Tuesday, September 11, 2007

German analysis of British shortcomings

Panzerarmee Afrika sent a report to Hitler about the fighting from 18 November 1941 through 6 February 1942. The report praised the British preparations for the Crusader Battle and how the attack caught the Axis forces by surprise. The report criticized the British on several points. The main point was that the British never concentrated their forces to fight for the critical battle. I would say that the most important battle was that fought near Sidi Rezegh airfield. The British dispersed their forces, instead, and allowed them to be severely stressed, to the point that some had to be withdrawn, such as the 7th Armoured Brigade. The German report praised British non-commissioned officers, but said that most British officers seemed timid when "they had to act on their own initiative". The report concluded that the British would not be a threat for some months, due to the losses incurred. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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