Rommel withdrew from El Alamein on Nov 4th 1942

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Tomorrow is the 4th of November  and in 1942 on that date,  Rommel realised he could no longer break through at El Alamein, so ordered a withdrawal. I wondered if it had been better had the Germans never offered to help the Italians with the token force that was the Africa Korps. They were to be plagued by supply problems despite a strong Italian Navy used in the Central Med. Malta’s position in the middle of the Med was to prove a thorn.
    The Americans landed in West Africa on the 8th November 1942 and their presence contributed to German woes. As you may know, 6 months after El Alamein the Axis surrendered 300000 men in Tunis. Sicily would be next.

  • Italy not capturing Matla on first day of the war with England and France was a huge blunder.

    With Germany throwing additional units into Africa in late 1942 and early 43 was a blunder.

    Had all Axis units been removed from Africa when the theater became a two front war, those units could have made the Allies goings much tougher in Sicily and Italy.

    What would have happened at Salerno had some of those 300,000 Axis troops added to the German counter attack?

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    In Feb 41 the Germans weren’t doing anything, so sending two Divisions was not costing them anything. When Hitler declared war on the US, six months after invading Russia, the situation was different. I believe the veteran German units, now three Divisions, could and should have been pulled out of Africa. It would be a long six months of see saw movement before Tobruk fortuitously fell. Of course Rommel had to move on Egypt after that, but supply wise things were not much improved. The British had a secure, strong base in Egypt, not encumbered by Mediterranean disruption, unlike the Axis.
    Once the Americans landed in North West Africa and behind Rommel’s already outnumbered army, the Africa Korps days were numbered.
    Rather than reinforce, the Axis would have been better of pulling out and starting to prepare for an invasion of Italy.
    Those 300000 men who surrendered in Tunisia would have made the conquest of Italy much more difficult and probably lengthened Italy’s Axis alliance.

  • '17 '16 '15

    those 300,000 troops should have went with Rommel when he first got there

    otherwise I agree they should have not been sent at all

  • the troops in Africa who were send there with Rommel did not have the purpose of taking Egypt or Malta. they had as objective to slow down/stop British advance into libya for 2 reasons: to bolster Italian strenght there and to keep as many British units as possible to this front, in a (let’s face it) useless piece of desert instead of preparing invasions in France.

    so, those units were no bad idea. the problems started when forces from the Eastern front were withdrawn to reinforce Rommel, advancing to the Egyptian border.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I would have doubled the committment in Africa.

    If you end it there, you end it for Britain after the fall of Egypt.  Opening a third front -with- Arab allies on the communists.

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