Monday, October 16, 2006
The situation at the beginning of the Crusader Battle can be explained
We have left the offensive at the start of the Crusader Battle with the British having advanced and the Germans and Italians having not responded with any counter-movements. I suspect that left General Cunningham very worried, as he was outside of his expertise, and he had followed bad advice. Simple movements, without engaging were not sufficient to get Rommel's attention. His subordinates might have responded to the British moves as the British had hoped, but Rommel was in denial, and would not believe that a real offensive was underway. If the British had wanted a response from Rommel, they would have needed to actually attack at some key points. They should have pressed on to the Sidi Rezegh airfield and taken it, and threatened to break into Tobruk. That would have gotten Rommel's attention, and the battle would have started in earnest. Instead, the British forces had advanced and stopped. And that left the British without an obvious "next move".