Download e-book for kindle: Albatros fighters by Ray Rimell

By Ray Rimell

ISBN-10: 0948414359

ISBN-13: 9780948414350

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To his right is Oberst Fritz Bayerlein who was chief of staff of the Afrikakorps from October 1941 to November 1942. (HITM) 30 Crusader (known to the Germans as the ‘Winterschlacht’) was a confused affair, with many mistakes on both sides. Rommel was caught off guard, partly because of an intelligence failure that gave no warning of the attack, and his reactions were slow and uncertain. For two days he thought that the enemy attack was not a major offensive, and appeared on the battlefield only on the 21st at Belhamed to fight the enemy armoured drive.

His unschooled and untrained talent and skills worked well in North Africa, but did not in Normandy where Rommel was a a round peg in a square hole. Why exactly Rommel was chosen for North Africa is not entirely clear. In a way, his inability to cooperate amicably made his relationship with the Italians and German high command very difficult. On the other hand this might have been the very quality that made him the best choice for the job. A more cautious commander, someone concerned about cooperation and careful planning, might have achieved some victories, but would have been hard pressed to match Rommel’s spectacular successes in the Western Desert.

One of Auchinleck’s faults was his constant interference with Eighth Army’s commanders, first Cunningham and then Ritchie, which resulted in a loss of trust and confidence from their subordinates. 51 This scenario could not happen on the German side, for the command system encouraged personal initiative. When Crüwell decided to ignore Rommel’s order he simply exercised a prerogative of his own, which did not lessen the authority of the superior commander. Rommel’s almost monomaniacal adherence to the idea of leading from the front and his mistake in dashing to the wire certainly cost him the final victory in the winter battle of 1941, but the rigid British command system and the inadequacy of its high-level command during Crusader would prevent the destruction of the bulk of the Axis forces in North Africa and a complete victory, with the result that, two months after his decision to withdraw, Rommel was back at Gazala.

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Albatros fighters by Ray Rimell

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