Axis soldiers at Tunisia, 1943

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Axis soldiers at Tunisia, 1943

Post by GFM2000 » 28 Mar 2002 12:25

In "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", William Shirer wrote "Over 240,000 Axis soldiers surrended at Tunisa in 1943. Had only a fraction been allocated to the Africa Corp a few months before, Rommel would well be on the way to Cairo, and the Allied landings in North Africa become extremely difficult to take place.", or thereabouts.

I think Shirer is correct in the overall global strategy but I do have a few queries. Where did all these soldiers (I believe half are German) come from? What are their fighting capabilities (despite Kasserine, the fact that they didn't fight too well against a battle-untested American army does say something)? And an "What if" scenario - if those very troops WERE indeed given to Rommel in, say, early 1942, would they definitely allow the Africa Korp to make it to Cairo? Or would they be sunk by British bombers stationed at Malta, and still permit the Western Forces to make a landing at NW Africa?

Any thoughts or opinions?

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Post by Dan » 28 Mar 2002 14:20

Men don't help in desert warfare without oil. With the Brits reading everything sent to Africa by the High Command, the mostly Italian shipping that carried supplies was sunk so often that in one case Rommel was only able to continue fighting because of stumbling onto a bunch of fuel drums that had washed ashore from a sunken ship.

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