November 4 - November 4, 2010 I. Slideshow Africa= mostly...

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November 4, 2010 I. Slideshow Africa= mostly French areas. North Africa important b/c of oil moving from the Middle East up to Great Britain. The country that controls surez controls the oil from the Middle East. Western part have Gerbraltar, which controls access to the Mediterranean. One major coastal road. Hard to move large number of troops in North Africa. 14 hundred miles to Surez, can’t go off road either. Working with extreme heat and swarms of flies. Can’t keep the flies off of you. Lots of sand and dust that mucks up engines. Not a good place to fight a war. Why fight here? Not the oil (although important) but for Germans to get control of Surez, had to imagine how they could do it. How do you supply the troops? For the Germans, N. Africa is a logistical nightmare. They would need far more than 2 divisions to take over the Surez. Why are the Germans down there? What about Italy? Mussolini, he is in this war and lined up armed to arm with Germany (pact of steele) and they want something out of the war= wants the revival of the Roman Empire. He wants a little bit of N. Africa and the French lands (Egypt, Algeria, Libya…) He is going to send the Italian army. In the 1940s, Italy sends forces down into N. Africa and they attacked through to Egypt. It’s a good start. It’s an idea. Unfortunately, the reality is that he has really bad troops, terrible equipment (bad tanks). Have 200 thousand Italians that want to go back to Rome and get out of Africa. It’s a fiasco, and so bad that Hitler decides to strengthen remaining Italian forces and sends a couple divisions of Germans. Sends General Erwin Rommel . Attacks the British, force them back. Rommel initially is the best person down there, and as he pushes the British back, he moves away from his supply lines. The further east he moves, the harder it is to get supplies. They need gas for tanks. What we have here are sea- saw offenses. Germans attack, run out of gas, British counter attack, and the Germans get gas, and back and forth. 1942: British also get a very good commander, Montgomery always focuses on achievable goals, also insufferably conceited. For his soldiers, they love him. At his level or above him, it is a nightmare. America gets into the war and faces important, political questions.
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Resources= we have a finite amount of resources, where to allocate resources? Send to pacific or to Europeans? Make a decision early on. We make a decision that our primary focus will be on the European war and send most to the much, bigger theater. It’s a war of millions of troops. We have three major allies: US, G. Britain, and Russia. They don’t see the war from the same position
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course HIST 351 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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November 4 - November 4, 2010 I. Slideshow Africa= mostly...

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