Friday, November 19, 2010
The Axis supply situation was grim
By late August 1942, the Axis ability to ship supplies to North Africa had deteriorated further. Many of the ships dispatched towards Libyan ports were sunk. Rommel decided to gamble on a quick victory and decided to proceed with his planned attack. Even the fuel supply to the front was problematic, as Tobruk was 350 miles from El Alamein. At the same time, Rommel was experiencing incrasingly bad health problems. It was so bad that on 22 August, he had requested that General Guderian be sent to command in his place. Rommel was informed that not only was General Guderian not available, but no one else was, either. Rommel's plan of attack was that his troops would move forward on 30 August, at 11pm. They would initially move to the east, but would then turn north. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.