Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Organizational changes in the Middle East
During the actual fighting in Iraq, the command had passed to the Middle East theater commander, but in June, the commander in India was given back the responsibility. In mid-December 1941, a consensus was building that Iraq should be moved back under the Middle East. General Auchinleck was actually in favor of it. General Wavell, who was in India, was less sure that such a move was best. The proposed change would include Persia (Iran) under Auchinleck's command. Wavell's area was now expanded to include Burma, as well as Thailand and Malaya. With the winter in Russia in full force and Russian forces making gains, the threat to the Middle East from the North now seemed less imminent. The move was actually made on 12 January 1942. As a consequence, the forces in Iraq became the Tenth Army. Shortly after that, on 29 January, a treat was signed in Teheran, bringing Persia (as Churchill preferred to call Iran) under Allied protection. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.