A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939-1945

By Martin Kitchen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR

The War in the Mediterranean (March 1941-May 1943)

At the beginning of March 1941, Rommel reported to the OHL that he intended to go on the offensive as soon as possible. His immediate aim was to recapture Cyrenaica, and if all went well he intended to push on into Egypt and seize the Suez Canal. Both Halder and Brauchitsch strongly supported the idea of an offensive, but Halder felt that it would be impossible to advance any further than Tobruk. Brauchitsch, who was preoccupied with planning for 'Barbarossa' and who argued that supplies would not be available for such an ambitious strategy in north Africa, doubted whether Rommel would be able to advance much beyond Agedabia.

Rommel returned to Africa with a somewhat less ambitious programme. He ordered an offensive to secure the approaches to Agedabia. This proved a relatively easy task since the British had failed miserably to establish adequate defensive positions in the strategically vital bottleneck at Mersa Brega, a strip of land only eight miles wide between the sea and impassable salt marshes, which was the key to the whole of Cyrenaica. With his forces depicted by Churchill's decision to send troops to Greece, and thinking that the Germans would be unable to mount an offensive for several months, partly because of misleading intelligence gleaned from 'Enigma' decrypts, Wavell had left a minimum force of inexperienced troops in Cyrenaica. With obsolete and lightly armoured tanks and inadequate anti-tank guns, they were in no position to stand up to the Panzer IIIs and IVs. The British excused their decision to withdraw by claiming that they were trading space for time, but they had allowed Rommel to get through the defile and he now could make full use of his numerical superiority.

Wavell recalled O'Connor, the finest of his generals, who was on

-90-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 382

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.