Sunday, April 06, 2008
A shortage of Ordnance Workshops in the Middle East
One of the continual complaints in the Middle East from mid-1941 onwards was the long period required to return damaged tanks to action. Besides the inherent shortcomings of the Crusader and other tanks, a major factor was the scarcity of Ordnance Workshops. This shortage was acknowledged, but a series of events thwarted sending more to the Middle East. In October 1941, the commanders had decided that replacement drafts were more important than Ordnance Workshops, so they were bumped from several convoys. Only two were in transit by March 1942. Another workshop was blocked by the intended convoy being diverted to the Far East. The ongoing battle between the commanders and staff in Britain, who desired an attack as quickly as possible and the commanders and staff in the Middle East, who did not want to attack until they had prospect of success. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.