Egypt

Destiny in the desert: the road to El Alamein: the battle by Jonathan Dimbleby

By Jonathan Dimbleby

Attracts on legitimate files and the non-public insights of these focused on the conflict of El Alamein, to aspect the political and strategic realities that fueled the conflict that modified the process international warfare II.

summary: attracts on reliable files and the private insights of these excited by the conflict of El Alamein, to aspect the political and strategic realities that fueled the conflict that modified the process global warfare II

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Extra resources for Destiny in the desert: the road to El Alamein: the battle that turned the tide of World War II

Sample text

34 DES TIN YIN THE DES E R T A few days later, scrambling to catch up with the advancing British armour, the BBC's correspondent came across the 'gutted tanks and armoured cars blistering in the sun, petrol and diesel lorries with burst tyres and broken backs, exploded ammunition trucks standing like black skeletons in pools of their own debris. ' Initially Graziani's Tenth Army fought with stubborn resolve against O'Connor's men. But, confirming that a small mechanised army supported by infantry tanks can wreak havoc against a much larger force of foot soldiers, their resistance was short lived.

During the preceding weeks, with the threat of an immediate Nazi invasion of Britain receding, the Prime Minister had become increasingly restless for action, demanding that the Chiefs of Staff find somewhere - anywhere - to confront the enemy. ' When Eden returned to London with the news that such an offensive was already in preparation, the War Cabinet gave immediate approval to what Churchill described as Wavell's 'splendid enterprise', which, he insisted, 'should take first place in all our thoughts and have, amid so many other competing 30 DES TIN YIN THE DES E R T needs, first claim upon our strained resources'.

Wavell, who had feared an all-out onslaught on Egypt, was greatly reassured. The lassitude of the Italians allowed O'Connor both to relax and to seize the initiative. His conversation, according to his ADC, was often 'about hunting and point-to-points' and he paid particular attention to the quality and preparation of dinner in the officers' mess: 'When he brought back some asparagus from Cairo, with strict instructions to see the long stalks were left on and served with butter sauce' he was less than pleased when 'his orders fell 24 DES TIN YIN THE DES E R T on deaf ears and the asparagus was served butterless and nearly stalkless in the middle of a large dish'.

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