Tuesday, October 05, 2010
The situation at the end of July 1942
General Auchinleck had persisted in attacks that always seem to end in disaster because he sensed that the Axis forces were close to the breaking point. Too much was being tried on an ad hoc basis, but Rommel agreed with Auchinleck's assessment that his forces were being pushed to the limit. General Auchinleck thought that the Italians were at the point of collapse, so he concentrated on attacking them. Rommel wrote on 17 July 1942 that the British were destroying Italian formations, one at a time. The Germans were too weak, however, to fight without the Italians. The Axis forces were fortunate to survive this period with their lines intact and it was a very close thing. The saving grace for the Axis was that the British operations were hastily mounted and without adequate preparation or planning. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.