Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Uncertainty in the Middle East
During the summer of 1942, the commanders in the Middle East became increasingly concerned about threats from the north against their position. The Germans might well blitz across Russia and down the east side of the Black Sea. The smaller countries like Iran (the British insisted on calling it Persia), Iraq, and Syria might throw their support to the Germans. The commanders had hoped to get a better intelligence assessment from Britain, but received none and, in fact, no guidance at all. In Britain, the War Office dismissed the idea that there was anything of substance to the concerns of those in the Middle East. The Middle East commanders worried that all their forces were engaged in the desert and that they had no defenses facing north. They were keenly aware of the forces that had been diverted to the Far East after December 1941, and had some vague hope that some of them might be pulled back to face the uncertain threat. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.