Wednesday, July 04, 2007
British supply problems
Now that the British forces occupied almost all of Cyrenaica in late December 1941, they were faced with major supply problems, while those of the Axis forces were reduced. Tobruk was still not in any condition to allow for large shipments. The port was still being repaired and there was sufficient danger from air attack, that shipments were more difficult than anticipated. Still, by 13 December, the RAF was at least able to provide fighter cover over Tobruk, so that shipments could be scheduled to arrive during daylight. They had hoped to use the Glenroy to transport lighters to Tobruk, but she was torpedoed by an Italian SM79 (a really good torpedo bomber) and was lucky to survive. The main threat now had become German submarines. They were still able to handle 600 tons of supplies per day at Tobruk, but the army needed more than that. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.