Archibald Wavell: The Background, Strategies, Tactics and by Jon Diamond

By Jon Diamond

Osprey Command sequence #28

Archibald Wavell continues to be one of many nice Allied commanders of the early stages of global struggle II. actually, among June 1940 and June 1941, he used to be the one British theatre commander actively attractive Axis forces. At a time while the British Expeditionary strength were expelled from the ecu continent and the house isles have been getting ready as most sensible they can for the specter of a Nazi invasion, Wavell used to be accomplishing campaigns throughout 9 international locations and components of 2 continents. In these yr, Wavell deliberate and at once oversaw a mess of campaigns, from the highly profitable iciness campaigns opposed to the Italians within the Western barren region and the conquest of Italian East Africa, during the Iraqi insurrection, the invasion of Vichy Syria and Lebanon and the ill-fated British involvement in Greece to the unsuccessful makes an attempt to wreck the siege of Tobruk that resulted in his substitute in June 1941. He then took command of all Allied forces within the Burma theatre, prime the determined and doomed defence opposed to the japanese offensive. whereas Wavell's nice victories are usually overshadowed via these of alternative commanders later within the conflict, this could now not detract from his confirmed skills as a strategist and tactician. This e-book tells the whole tale of Wavell's wartime exploits and examines his strengths and weaknesses as a commander.

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Additional resources for Archibald Wavell: The Background, Strategies, Tactics and Battlefield Experiences of the Greatest Commanders of History

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To the south, Cunningham had sent the 11th and 12th East African Divisions against Kismayu in Italian Somaliland with the support of the Royal Navy (Force F) on 11 February 1941. The 12th African Division entered the city after a brief but fierce struggle on 14 February and Cunningham next assaulted Mogadishu, which fell to his forces on 25 February. Following Keren’s surrender in the north, the Duke of Aosta focused his remaining forces on Amba Alagi. In a pincer movement, the 5th Indian Division assaulted Amba Alagi from the north on 4 May, while Cunningham’s troops attacked from the south on 10 May, completing the encirclement of the Italian fortress.

This command was ludicrous since it encompassed all Allied forces in Burma, Singapore, Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines (of which Wavell never assumed control ) and North-West Australia. However, General George Marshall, the US Army Chief of Staff, had the operational goal of one single supreme commander in each theatre of war. In order to win over a reluctant Churchill to his concept of command structure, Marshall suggested Wavell as supreme commander for the whole of the Far East theatre.

This was not an elite division, with over half of the tanks being the lighter models recently taken from the Czechs. Rommel trained this division incessantly and when the invasion of France and the Low Countries started on 10 May 1940, his division smashed through the Ardennes and across the Meuse River at Dinant. It then raced across France and Belgium so quickly that it received the soubriquet the ‘Ghost Division’. On 21 May, Rommel faced Gort’s only armoured counterattack at Arras and, with the help of anti-aircraft artillery, he was able to repel the British Matilda tanks as they closed to within 50 yards (45m) of his position.

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