Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Events in April to May 1941

 The advance of Rommel's force in North Africa in early 1941 was a serious problem for the British. Mr. Churchill liked to be seen ordering actions. What he ordered necessarily were actions that he could understand. His first idea was to interfere with Rommel's supply line. He ordered the Mediterranean Fleet to make the hsrbor at Tripoli unusable. Atypical Churchill suggestion was to sink thebattleship Barham to block the harbor entrance. Instead, the fleet bombarded Tripoli. 

Churchill's next idea was to send a convoy with tanks through the Mediterranean Sea. The convoy sailed and arrived in Egypt. One ship with tanks was lost, but the rest arrived. This was the Tiger convoy. General Wavell anticipated Churchill and on 10 May ordered six infantry tanks and 15 light tanks sent to Crete. 

Crete is notable for a mountain range on the south coast that touches the sea. In the northare three flat areas used for agriculture.  One area is near Suda Bay and the  capital Canea in the west. Another area is some30 miles east of Canea at Retimo. In the east is Heraklion, a port and the largest town. 

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long. 

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