Thursday, October 11, 2012
Events in April and May 1941
Winston Churchill was constantly meddling in affairs. He considered himself a military and naval expert, and he assumed that his various creative enterprises were a help. for example, Churchill wanted to use the old battleship Barham as a blockship in Tripoli harbor in mid-April 1941. The fleet commander, Admiral Cunningham, objected, but he did bombard Tripoli on 21 April 1941. Churchill's next project was the Tiger Convoy, where about 240 tanks were sent through the Mediterranean on fast transports to reinforce the army in North Africa. Churchill then pushed Wavell to throw the tanks into combat even before they were fitted for desert operations. Churchill then pushed to have some tanks from the convoy. This met resistance, so then he wanted 12 tanks sent to Suda Bay after they were unloaded in Egypt. This was ordered, but Wavell came back to say that he had already had six infantry tanks and 15 light tanks sent to Crete. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.