Monday, February 26, 2007
Rommel's thinking in late November 1941 is pretty amazing
Given Rommel's reputation and obvious skill, his continued mistaken thinking in November 1941 is amazing. He was fixed on what he believed that the British would do, and when evidence emerged to contradict that, he refused to believe, at first. He also had such a low opinion of the British, that he expected that the "Dash to the Wire" would panic them and cause them to withdraw, leaving him in possession of Eastern Cyrenaica and Tobruk. He was very close to being correct, if Claude Auchinleck had not intervened and stopped the British from reacting as Rommel had expected. Furthermore, Rommel had objectives that he wanted to achieve in the frontier area which were not realistic, given the critical nature of the situation around Tobruk. Fortunately for the Germans, General Cruewell was very savvy and level-headed, and finally convinced Rommel that they needed to return to the area around Sidi Rezegh and Tobruk, as they were about to be in trouble in that location.