Friday, July 21, 2006
The East Africa Command in the August and September 1941
The East Africa Command was to be directly under the War Office in Britain. The idea had been to relieve the theater commander in the Middle East from this responsibility. After the debacle in Greece and Crete, General Wavell had become increasingly balky at taking on new responsibilities. He was gone, succeeded by General Auchinleck, but the command remained. The command only formally came into existence on 15 September 1941. Lt-General Platt was appointed as the commander, but he was given a leave of absence. The acting commander became first Major-General Godwin-Austin. Shortly, Major-General Wetherall acted in his place. Lt-General Cunningham left East Africa on 29 August to become 8th Army commander, an unfortunate appointment. General Godwin-Austin left with him to become the 13th Corps commander. Lt-General Noel Beresford-Peirse was sent his place. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.