The north african campaign and the middle east
1 / 17

The North African Campaign and the Middle East - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

The North African Campaign and the Middle East. Key Events and Concepts 1941 -1945. Background Since World War I, Britain had troops in Egypt and Palestine Britain's strategic interests were To guard the Suez Canal To protect its access to its Empire in India and its colonies in Africa

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

The North African Campaign and the Middle East

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

The North African Campaign and the Middle East

Key Events and Concepts1941 -1945

  • Background

  • Since World War I, Britain had troops in Egypt and Palestine

  • Britain's strategic interests were

    • To guard the Suez Canal

    • To protect its access to its Empire in India and its colonies in Africa

    • To guard its oil supplies in Iraq.

  • France (under the Vichy) had troops in Lebanon

    • Vichy France's interests were to protect German interests.

  • Theaters of Battle

  • Battle of Atlantic 1939 - 1943

  • Operation Torch

  • Sicily and Italy

  • Stalingrad

  • Kursk?

  • Bombing Germany

  • Battle of Berlin

  • Britain promised Palestine to both Jews and Arabs

  • Jews supported Britain in WW.I and WW.II.

  • Arabs gave minimal support in WW.I and supported Germany in W.W. II.

Beginning of the North African Campaign

Mussolini- wanted a share of the action, to prove Italy worthy of partnership with Germany. He also wanted to strengthen access to Italian colonies in Africa.

Hitler- wanted control of the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal for access to oil which he needed for his war machine and for the resources of Africa. He also wanted to tie down British and French forces in Egypt and North Africa.

  • In 10 June 1940, in an attempt to capitalize on German successes, Italy declared war on both England and France.

  • On 13 September 1940, Italian forces began an eastward advance from Libya into Egypt headed for the British controlled Suez Canal, but was halted by British defenses, 300 miles west of the canal.

  • The French government in Lebanon was controlled by Germany

  • British forces were tied down in Palestine to guard against attacks by Arab terrorists coming from Lebanon.

  • When the Italians attacked Libya, the British found themselves fighting a two-front war in the Middle East.

  • In North Africa, the Italians did poorly against the British. A British counter-offensive in December 1940 pushed the Italians back more than 500 miles.

  • On 22 January 1941, they captured the port of Tobruk in Libya from the Italians.

Mersa Matruh, where the British stopped the Italian advance

  • In February 1941Hitler sent General Erwin Rommel with the Afrika Korps to help the Italians.

  • By April 14, Rommel and his German-Italian army had pushed the British eastward back to the Egyptian border.

  • He simultaneously assaulted Tobruk, still held by the British, but Tobruk did not fall.

  • The major weapon of the

    Afrika Korps was the Panzer tank.

  • General Irwin Rommel's strategy

    was rapid attack in open ground and keeping his enemy off-balance.

  • At first the British forced the Germans back

  • Then the Germans counter-attacked and captured the British forces at Tobruk taking 35,000 prisoners.

  • The British limited the German advance

    toward Egypt .

  • On 23 October 1942, at the Second Battle of El Alamein,900 British guns bombarded the Germans with the largest barrage since World War I followed by a surprise infantry attack that drove through the German lines.

The Americans decided to invade the North African French colonies in 1942.

Driven by Stalin’s relentless pressure to open a second front in 1942, and by a desire to get into the fight, the Americans decided to land an Army in the rear of the Afrika Korps line of retreat from their loss at El Alamein.

The Americans avoided the dangerous U-boat controlled sea-lanes to England and sailed their convoys through the less defended South Atlantic. In a bold move, the ships were combat-loaded in East Coast

seaports and did not stop, disembarking their troops and equipment in Morocco and Algeria


The first U.S. battle against the Germans resulted in an American defeat.

  • Changes in leadership, tactics, and weapons changed the outcome of U.S. Attacks in N. Africa.

  • Login