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
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.
Mersa Matruh, where the British stopped the Italian advance
Afrika Korps was the Panzer tank.
was rapid attack in open ground and keeping his enemy off-balance.
toward Egypt .
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.