Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Reacting to the Japanese attack
The British had wanted to supply the Far East forces without withdrawing troops and equipment from the Middle East, if possible. Units being sent to Iraq were diverted from Durban: "one complete anti-tank regiment and the men of a second; on eheavy and one light anti-aircraft regiment; Headquarters No.267 Wing and four fighter squadrons, with fifty-one Hurricane IIs and twenty-four pilots." Other pilots and aircraft were diverted at Takoradi. Men and equipment intended for Gymnast were sent east, instead. Fifty light tanks were sent, but not missed. They went to reinforce India. Force in India were lost to the Middle East and were to head east, as well. When the Crusader Battle ended, many aircraft were to be sent east, to destinations such as Singapore. Naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea were greatly weakened, which would give the Italians and Germans much more freedom to operate. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.