Thursday, April 29, 2010

Behind the lines

While the Axis had staged air attacks against Alexandria, the Canal and the Red Sea, they achieved little. They did close the canal for a week with mines, but they were cleared. They inflicted some damage at Port Said, but it was not severe. They did sink a water boat, damaged a boom defence vessel, and sank an Egyptian coast guard vessel on 28 July 1942. The volume of shipping was unaffected and supplies, men, and equipment continued to arrive in the Middle East. The port of Suez was not affected, as they Axis commanders did not recognize its importance and vulnerability. The fleet had left Alexandria due to the close proximity of Axis air fields. Ships were based at Haifa and Port Said. Over four nights from 12 to 20 July, ships bombarded Matruh by the light of flares dropped by Albacores. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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