Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Politics in dispositions
General Auchinleck was concerned with covering the northern flank from attack down from Russia. The very incomplete 6th Division was in Syria, and was being built up in strength. When the 50th Division arrived from the UK, Auchinleck directed that they be sent to Cypress. That got the attention of Churchill, as Churchill was concerned that they main forces in North Africa were not British, but from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. The Prime Minister's pressure got Auchinleck to replace the 5th Division with the 5th Indian Division, which had been in Iraq. The 50th Division, at this time, was under the command of the 9th Army. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.