Sunday, August 06, 2006
The new organization in North Africa in the fall of 1941
Two new armies were formed in North Africa from September 1941. The 9th Army included the area north of Egypt. The 8th Army was formed facing west, towards Rommel and the Italian army in Libya. General Maitland Wilson commanded the 9th Army and General Alan Cunningham was brought in from East Africa to command the 8th Army. Palestine and Transjordan became one "Base and Line of Communication Area", while Egypt became a second "Base and Line of Communication Area". Churchill wanted General Wilson to command the 8th Army, but General Auchinleck thought that Wilson should take the northern army, covering the rear of the 8th Army against incursions from Russia, while General Cunningham's fast moving campaign, involving rapid movement impressed General Auchinleck that he had the right sort of attitude for the 8th Army. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.