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Destiny in the Desert: The road to El Alamein - the Battle that Turned the Tide by Jonathan Dimbleby

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8A FIGHTBACK FAILS

‘One thing seemed quite certain to us, that if the battles were to be fought from London, a mess would be made of them.’

Major General John Kennedy

In Cairo and in London, the Western Desert remained the most important battlefront and greatest headache. At his headquarters in Cairo Wavell surveyed his demesne with gloom. On 15 May, as he prepared to invade Syria, he also launched an attack on Rommel’s front line which was – appropriately – codenamed Operation Brevity. Believing that ‘the enemy strength in armoured fighting vehicles in the forward area was small and that he was in difficulty with his supplies’, he decided to launch an attack in the expectation of retaking Sollum and Capuzzo on the Egyptian side of the Libyan ...

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