Thursday, August 20, 2009
The 20 June 1942 assessment
On 20 June 1942, the commanders in the Middle East sent a message to the Chiefs of Staff in Britain that indicated that they had no idea that they were on the brink of Tobruk being overrun. They continued with their usual over-vonfidence that would soon be shattered. They listed the known reinforcements that were enroute to the Middle East and thought that Tobruk was well-defended and supplied. They thought that Tobruk should be able to hold out until relieved. The 8th Armoured Division was due to arrive in late June and the 44th Division was due to arrive in mid-July. Even if Tobruk was taken, surely, the Axis forces were in no shape to advance into Egypt. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.