el almein - Page 2




 
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December 5th, 2012  
Rowan
 
 
In the first defence of Tobruk (over 9 months) was commanded by Australian General Morsehead and the majority of the force were Australian 9th Division. Supporting them were much smaller forces (BDE strength of less) of New Zealanders, British and Poles (The Polish Carpathian Brigade). They had no to negligible air support of any kind and the Germans has vast aerial superiority. When this force was finally withdrawn, it was relieved by a predominantly South African force under South African General Klopper. They caved in after only a few weeks. My father, who was a RAA Gun Sergeant during the siege, always claimed that this was because many South African Afrikaners were pro-Nazi.
December 5th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
In the first defence of Tobruk (over 9 months) was commanded by Australian General Morsehead and the majority of the force were Australian 9th Division. Supporting them were much smaller forces (BDE strength of less) of New Zealanders, British and Poles (The Polish Carpathian Brigade). They had no to negligible air support of any kind and the Germans has vast aerial superiority. When this force was finally withdrawn, it was relieved by a predominantly South African force under South African General Klopper. They caved in after only a few weeks. My father, who was a RAA Gun Sergeant during the siege, always claimed that this was because many South African Afrikaners were pro-Nazi.
Morsehead was an excellent leader though and I think had they given him command on Crete that could well have been held.
December 5th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
In the first defence of Tobruk (over 9 months) was commanded by Australian General Morsehead and the majority of the force were Australian 9th Division. Supporting them were much smaller forces (BDE strength of less) of New Zealanders, British and Poles (The Polish Carpathian Brigade). They had no to negligible air support of any kind and the Germans has vast aerial superiority. When this force was finally withdrawn, it was relieved by a predominantly South African force under South African General Klopper. They caved in after only a few weeks. My father, who was a RAA Gun Sergeant during the siege, always claimed that this was because many South African Afrikaners were pro-Nazi.
Your father was actually correct, the majority of Afrikaners were in fact pro NAZI and very anti English. By the statement "English" that includes Scotland Ireland and Wales as well as Aussies and Kiwi's. Prime Minister Barry Hertzog was very much pro German.

Members of the Pro-Nazi South Africa Ossewabrandwag movement (they were caught committing acts of sabotage) were jailed along with their leaders for the duration of the war. One of them, John Vorster, was to become future Prime Minister of South Africa.
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December 5th, 2012  
Tankboy
 
 
It mentions the Royal Dragoons, attacking the German rear.
In good old Recce traditions.
December 5th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
One thing that astonishes me about British built tanks in North Africa, they were always under gunned. The Crusader with either a 40mm 2 pounder or a 57mm 6 pounder main gun. The same applies to the RAF, Lancaster bombers fitted with .303 machine guns. One ex air gunner complained bitterly about the poor effectiveness of his guns trying to knock down German fighters. I believe Canadian built Lancaster were fitted with two 50 cals in the rear turret which made far better sense.
December 5th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
The thinking behind having four .303 machine guns in the turrets of a Lancaster and many of the other bombers was that at night you did not see your enemy until he was right on top of you and the four machine guns could put out around 9.000 rounds a minute and like buck shot had a better chance of hitting some thing. Now in daylight there would be a good argument for the .50 calibre machine gun
December 5th, 2012  
Tankboy
 
 
I doubt if we Brits,had that many .50s, when the war started.
So we fitted what we had.
We had a .50 ranging gun on Chieftain, when I first joined.
Was a right pig to ****, as I only weighed 9 stone,at the time!.
December 5th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
The thinking behind having four .303 machine guns in the turrets of a Lancaster and many of the other bombers was that at night you did not see your enemy until he was right on top of you and the four machine guns could put out around 9.000 rounds a minute and like buck shot had a better chance of hitting some thing. Now in daylight there would be a good argument for the .50 calibre machine gun
As one rear gunner stated German night fighters could open fire and score hits with cannon while he was well out of range of the quad 303's.
December 5th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
Any way back to North Africa....There was a Greek Brigade there a French Division and several Indian Division along with the Australians, the New Zealanders, South Africans and the lads from Nepal. It was a truly a great Commonwealth effort and should be looked at as such.
December 5th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Any way back to North Africa....There was a Greek Brigade there a French Division and several Indian Division along with the Australians, the New Zealanders, South Africans and the lads from Nepal. It was a truly a great Commonwealth effort and should be looked at as such.
I am not entirely sure the French or Greeks see themselves as part of the Commonwealth and there were several French divisions there they were just fighting on the other side.

What I find amusing is that Auchinleck fought Rommel to a standstill at El Alamein twice and managed to launch reasonably effective counter offensives such as the one that relieved Tobruk with very little in the way of men and material yet Montgomery is considered great for being able to defeat Rommel with a 3 to 1 advantage and a US army landing in North Africa,

Seems to me that the man deserving credit is Auchinleck.