Monday, March 19, 2007

Late 1941 and early 1942: a bit like a year later

After the second battle of El Alamein, Rommel was able to execute a gradual withdrawal to the west. Something similar was true in the ending of the Crusader Battle, as well. The main difference was that after El Alamein, the Axis forces were in more serious strategic difficulties, as Russia was going badly and the Americans were landing in Morocco. All Rommel could do then was to withdraw to Tunisia and know that "the game was up". In December 1941 and January 1942, Rommel could stage a careful retreat, eventually back to El Agheila, for a temporary breather and then stage a fresh attack back to Gazala. Because of the general ineptitude of British generalship, Rommel still would come close to winning in North Africa, in the early summer of 1942.

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