Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The situation in East Africa, starting in the spring of 1941
After the main Italian army, commanded by the Duke d'Aosta had surrendered in East Africa, the British commanders had wanted to strip down the remaining forces to the minimum. It was only due to General Cunningham's successes that he had won permission to continue offensive operations. One factor that greatly helped was that the Italian air force in East Africa had "collapsed". The SAAF and RAF in the Sudan were able to "play a decisive part". Air power proved to be a "decisive factor" at Gondar, later in the summer and fall. General Cunningham's first operations were in Galla-Sidamo from April to October 1941. Some of General Platt's force was made available to General Cunningham from the Sudan. The second phase ran from October to November and included the attack against Gondar. French Somaliland also was an ongoing concern, although that mainly was a political problem. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.