Monday, February 11, 2008
From what we have seen so far in 1942, following the Japanese attacks in the Far East, the British and Commonwealth forces were stretched to the breaking point. We can say with hindsight that the Middle East was stripped down too far and the British paid dearly during the spring and summer, because of that. The situation in the Pacific was stabilized not by the force of arms on the ground but because of naval successes at the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway. The battle that was spread across 1942 into 1943 in the Solomons was what finally wore down the Japanese enough that the Allies were able to go on the offensive. Because of that overreaction, which is understandable but regrettable, North Africa was almost lost. Another factor as the Axis air superiority, partly due to their geographical advantage in Cyrenaica and partly due to better aircraft in the Bf-109f. More Spitfire V's had to be sent to the Mediterranean theater to restore the situation in the air. The great influx of American-built aircraft also helped, even when the fighter aircraft were inferior, initially. It was only when the P-51B's entered service that there was a better aircraft available.