The author provides an engaging narrative of the German involvement in North Africa and the motivations of Mussolini and Hitler. An occasion where Hitler again had to prop up Mussolini and attempt to sort out the mess the Italians had made – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Hitler’s War in Africa, 1941-1942, The Road To Cairo FILE: R3369 AUTHOR: David Mitchellhill-Green PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, North Africa, Mediterranean, coast road, desert, Sahara, armoured warfare, Italian Army, German Army, Luftwaffe, British forces, Commonwealth forces, Rommel, Hitler, Mussolini, Auchinleck, Montgomery ISBN: 1-52674-436-8 PAGES: 242, B&W table and map in the body of the book, 16 page B&W photo- plate section IMAGE: B3369.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/7mc3tpva LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author provides an engaging narrative of the German involvement in North Africa and the motivations of Mussolini and Hitler. An occasion where Hitler again had to prop up Mussolini and attempt to sort out the mess the Italians had made – Very Highly Recommended
The ambition of Mussolini and his Fascists was to recreate the Roman Empire. Late onto the stage of colonial empire building Mussolini had few choices available and by looking to Libya and Ethiopia he was bounded by the Mediterranean and the neighbouring colonies and protected nations of France and Britain. He dithered over invading France from the South until he saw Hitler winning in Western Europe. He thought he could advance on Egypt and claim the Suez Canal and he hoped to sweep down through the Balkans to Greece, making the Eastern Mediterranean into an Italian lake. At each turn the Italian performance was unimpressive and the Germans came to understand that their high maintenance ally would never achieve anything without German troops leading the way.
The British in North Africa were given obsolete and obsolescent equipment from the start. Priority had to be placed in home defence in 1940. Even after the Battle of Britain and the German invasion of Russia, North Africa did not receive first priority for arms and equipment. It also relied heavily on Commonwealth troops particularly Indian and ANZAC. Wavell achieved a miracle in his advance towards Tripoli but his resources were thin and getting thinner as they were raided to attempt salvation in Greece and Crete. Hitler realized that the loss of North Africa was acceptable militarily but damaging to morale and reputation. That made the creation of the Afrika Korps under the best armour commander inevitable. Rommel repaid this by driving the British back to Egypt but he was almost forcing an open door as the British had already outrun their supply lines.
Generally the war went well until the Germans reached El Alamein. By then Rommel’s supply lines and original tactics had become exhausted. Montgomery waited for him to reach El Alamein while supplies to him poured into Egypt. He knew what ‘surprise’ Rommel was about to attempt again, and struck back, starting another British lightening advance on Tripoli and eventual linking up with the Anglo-American Torch landings to capture large numbers of Italian and German prisoners and equipment in a complete surrender.