Thursday, September 28, 2006
The situation in the middle of November 1941
At the middle of November 1941, both the British and Axis forces were preparing for offensives. The British intended to break through to Tobruk and raise the seige. They hoped to drive the Axis forces back towards Tripoli. Rommel was preparing to attack Tobruk, hoping to break through the defenses and take the fortress. Both sides intended to attack about the same time, but the British were able to move first. They had the largest tank force seen to that date in the desert, and had high-hopes about a tank-vs-tank battle. Rommel was apparently ready to concentrate against Tobruk and allow the British to make whatever moves they wanted. The Official History says that we need to study how the conflicting plans interacted, and how the commanders behaved, given the expectations about what the opposing forces would do.