Saturday, July 28, 2007

After the Japanese attacks in the Far East

The British naval losses in December 1941 and the Japanese attacks in the Far East meant that British plans for future operations were severely affected. The planned operation to take the rest of Libya, named "Acrobat", was removed as a possibility. Instead, for the first part of 1942, Rommel was resurgent and ultimately pushed back the British forces to the El Alamein area, where Auchinleck stopped him decisively at the First Battle of El Alamein. The British lost their superiority in the air along with their material superiority. The officers below Auchinleck were not able to win without that edge in equipment and men that they had enjoyed in the Crusader Battle. British planners were already thinking beyond Acrobat and were considering an operation to capture Sicily. The setbacks that occurred meant that was postponed to 1943, after the Axis forces were finally destroyed in Tunisia. At the same time, the Americans had landed in French North Africa and were moving east. But all that was more than a year in the future. But in the near term, the British hoped to negotiate with the French commander in North Africa, General Weygand, whom they knew quite well. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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