El Alamein October/November 1942

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by BFBSM, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Jonathan Ball likes this.
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I am currently reading 'Hitler's Mediterranean Gamble: The North African and the Mediterranean Campaigns in World War II' by Douglas Porch. He suggests that El Alamein was 'from a strategic perspective, a battle that need not have been fought' because 'it would have been impossible to defend two North African fronts situated 1,500 miles apart', and that 'Torch would force Rommell to retreat'.

    What does everyone think??

    Germany had not been defeated in Russia at this stage however all was not well. A different result there would see North Africa reinforced. What then?

    Look at Italy!

    Had Churchill allowed O'Connor to continue the rout and not have to worry about most of his army going to Greece in early 41 many things could have been different however he didn't and it wasn't.
     
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    BFBSM
    What I think is that many authors don't know what the hell they are writing about - and this is one of them.

    The landings at Torch didn't really bother the German as they sent in another Corps of Infantry - paras and the 10th panzer div - which stopped the British 1st Army which was no larger than a corps and the US II corps who were greener than your lawn in spring - as the debacle at Kasserine showed.

    Rommel was soundly beaten at Alum El Halfa (sept '42)from a conceptual standpoint as Monty changed the rules by not allowing our armour to chase after his armour onto the waiting 88.mm's for their destruction as had been the prior case.

    Rommel was again beaten at El Alamien(Oct'42) physically from which he never recovered - and entered into his rearguard tactics which then sent people who didn't know any better to accuse Monty of being slow - which lasted the rest of the war - Rommel's final battle was at Medenine(Jan'43) after Tripoli when his three panzer divisions were mauled - and Rommel was fired......THEN.... Monty had gotten rid of the Armoured leaders with their old fashioned tactics - and three airmen who went off to Algiers - and the British "blitzkrieg" was born with the RAF "Cabrank" support which did a great job at El Hamma (mar '43) - then the final battle at Tunis(may'43) - and the Great Swan into Belgium after Normandy (Aug '44)

    At Tunis the Germans surrendered 250,000 men - much the same figure as they did at Stalingrad - but your author probably doesn't know that - all from the unnecessary El Alamien!
    Cheers
     
    Owen likes this.
  4. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Just as Tom wrote, Alamein was the true turning point, as necessary as bottled oxygen underwater, because Rommel's solution to the two-front deal would have been not to alter his original plans, and to keep advancing until Nazi flags were hanging down from the nose of the Sphinx!

    Comando Supremo would have been in panic and hard on his heels from day 1, but the likely answer to any appeal would have been "What? No Tripoli? Well, I'm on my way to Alexandria as we speak..."

    Lad just wasn't of the kind that gets scared easily.
     
  5. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I get the impression from my reading of other books about North Africa, that El Alamein was definitely a turning point, and that while Rommel had the chance of taking Alex, the Axis would have not recalled him to defend Tunisia. That the Axis would, and did, reinforce from elsewhere, the approximately 1,000 reinforcements a day that were coming into Tunisia after Torch, and the invasion of Tunisia, were not coming from Rommel's Army.

    Am I wrong????
     
  6. Ormey

    Ormey Junior Member

    I have just cleard out my Grandparent house and have 100's of pictures from this area. One interesting one was taken from a german POW's camera of Rommell, another private picture of Churchill, numerous shot down German fighters etc etc. My Grandfather has written on the back of most so I have names, places and dates.Is there any interest in me scanning these and posting somwhere?
    Ormey.....................
     
  7. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    I have just cleard out my Grandparent house and have 100's of pictures from this area. One interesting one was taken from a german POW's camera of Rommell, another private picture of Churchill, numerous shot down German fighters etc etc. My Grandfather has written on the back of most so I have names, places and dates.Is there any interest in me scanning these and posting somwhere?
    Ormey.....................
    Definitely! please post, would love to see them, my Dad was in North Africa from '41 onwards.
     
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I have just cleard out my Grandparent house and have 100's of pictures from this area. One interesting one was taken from a german POW's camera of Rommell, another private picture of Churchill, numerous shot down German fighters etc etc. My Grandfather has written on the back of most so I have names, places and dates.Is there any interest in me scanning these and posting somwhere?
    Ormey.....................

    Ormey
    Please post away & feel free to start your own thread.

    If you have difficulties with posting photos here on the forum, have a look at this thread
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/network-information/12816-how-insert-pictures-videos-into-your-posts.html
     
  9. Ormey

    Ormey Junior Member

    Just been going through them and it looks like they are from 952 Squadron and there is a picture from Sheerness 1941: Some names

    Sid Hamish
    C.Cairnwood
    Derek
    Bill
    Geoff
    Tom Morris
    Jack McKenzie
    George Goss
    John Habbick
     
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    El Alamain was not a turning point in WW2 it was a turning point in the war for Britain. Rommel was not there to conquer the Middle East he was there to prop up the Italians and tie down the British and he accomplished this task. Rommel was at the end of his tether due to supply problems in late 42. Even if he had reached Egypt 50,000 German troops plus the Italians would not have done much more than pushed through the Nile delta and reached the Suez Canal. The British would have withdrawn to Upper Egypt for which planning was going on and established themselves on the other side of the Suez Canal. All important installations would have been blown up.

    The Germans could not sustain a two front war in North Africa if they had been in Egypt when the Torch landings took place. They could not hold what Hitler wanted which was to keep a bridgehead in North Africa with shorter supply lines. The Americans were green but they learned quickly and could pour huge amounts of men and equipment into the theatre. If Hitler had not decided to keep a bridgehead in Tunisia the North African campaign would be regarded as a German success. The British effort to evict the Germans dwarfs the German effort of maintaining a force of around 50,000 men prior to the Torch landings.

    German losses in Tunisia were magnified at the time as the allies wanted to announce a victory that would equal Stalingrad. The Axis forces probably had a ration strength of 170,000 according to the British historian Liddell Hart. It was not surprising the British won at El Alamain it would have been surprising if they had lost. Montgomery was not a great General and he could be snail like as after the landings in Southern Italy. Journalists who landed in Southern Italy with the British forces were able to drive up to Salerno and contact the Americans before the British army established contact. Montgomery did understand the army he was leading and I think tailored his way of fighting to it which shows a good General.
     
  11. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I have just cleard out my Grandparent house and have 100's of pictures from this area. One interesting one was taken from a german POW's camera of Rommell, another private picture of Churchill, numerous shot down German fighters etc etc. My Grandfather has written on the back of most so I have names, places and dates.Is there any interest in me scanning these and posting somwhere?
    Ormey.....................


    Please post away, would love to see them.
     
  12. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    El Alamain was not a turning point in WW2 it was a turning point in the war for Britain.

    I haven't seen this sort of angle since the last time WW2forum was playing up.
     
  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rich - can understand how you feel about Stephen's erudite contribution - pity it's all Bullshit
    Cheers
     
    Owen likes this.
  14. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Just not worth the effort to put him straight really.!!!!!!
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Rich - can understand how you feel about Stephen's erudite contribution - pity it's all Bullshit
    Cheers

    Tom, Rich and 51 highland - Couldn't agree more!

    Stephen; Message 10 - [​IMG]

    Steve.
     
  16. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Tom, Steve, Rich and Highland 51 - I wasn't going to dignify him with a response, I kinda feel the same way as you guys.

    Mark
     
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Not too often I use bad language but really couldn't help that outburst as I have read anything like that on this forum - so my apologies to all
    Cheers
     
  18. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Tom, tis a common term to which comes to the point, and as far as I am concerned needs NO apology.
     
  19. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    El Alamain was not a turning point in WW2 it was a turning point in the war for Britain.

    A very strange statement Stephen - What could you possibly base that on.

    El Alamein was the culmination of (3) defeats in a row for Rommel from which the Axis would never recover. More battles ensued but Rommel was done and dusted at El Alamein.

    To say it was not a turning point in the war is ridiculous. Tobruk in 1941 was a turning point for Britain, El Alamein was definitely a turning point of the war.

    From this defeat and another mauling at Medenine and the final thrust on Tunis:

    250,000 prisoners taken,
    Africa would be in Allied hands,
    the Mediterranean open for Allied shipping,
    the second front launched in Italy,
    the surrender of Hitlers ally Italy,
    the forced transfer of an average 20+ divisions to defend Italy from the allies

    All not possible with a loss at El Alamein!

    Rommel was not there to conquer the Middle East he was there to prop up the Italians and tie down the British and he accomplished this task.


    Rommel playing second fiddle to the Italians! Rommel was trying to conquer the Middle East and he failed miserably. The Desert Fox could not take Tobruk in April 1941 or in three further attempts during that year. When he finally did take Tobruk in 1942 it was too late and would only be a consolation prize.

    Rommel was at the end of his tether due to supply problems in late 42. Even if he had reached Egypt 50,000 German troops plus the Italians would not have done much more than pushed through the Nile delta and reached the Suez Canal. The British would have withdrawn to Upper Egypt for which planning was going on and established themselves on the other side of the Suez Canal. All important installations would have been blown up.
    I will only comment on the continual supply problems which is always thrown up but never the fault of Rommel. Supply problems could not take him forward yet he was able to retreat much greater distances.

    The rest of this is a "What if" and crystal balls are banned on this forum.

    The Germans could not sustain a two front war in North Africa if they had been in Egypt when the Torch landings took place. They could not hold what Hitler wanted which was to keep a bridgehead in North Africa with shorter supply lines. The Americans were green but they learned quickly and could pour huge amounts of men and equipment into the theatre. If Hitler had not decided to keep a bridgehead in Tunisia the North African campaign would be regarded as a German success.
    Another What if!!!! A German success - I want some of what you are on!!

    The British effort to evict the Germans dwarfs the German effort of maintaining a force of around 50,000 men prior to the Torch landings.
    Where were the rest of the Germans / Disguised as Italians?

    German losses in Tunisia were magnified at the time as the allies wanted to announce a victory that would equal Stalingrad. The Axis forces probably had a ration strength of 170,000 according to the British historian Liddell Hart.



    The total figure of 250,000 did include Italian prisoners not just German.

    German Troops Africa.jpg

    This is German strength only, how many Italians? What about the 11,000+ Luftwaffe ground crew contingent moved from Egypt to Tunisia.

    Were they part of the final number?
     
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Spidge -
    all helps to revise the revisionists .... but they have forgotten what the objective truth is !
    Cheers
     

Share This Page