Submitted by Jason McDonald on July 26, 2011 - 4:55pm
UK General Claude Auchinleck, hampered by the siphoning of his men and equipment to support the abortive Greek campaign, had lost all the British gains of 1941 to the fast-driving Rommel. In June 1942 Auchinleck had fallen back to the last line of defense before Alexandria: El Alamein was town 65 miles to the west, bounded by the Qattara Depression, terrain impassible to tanks. He was sacked and returned home.
Submitted by Jason McDonald on July 26, 2011 - 3:32pm
The crushing defeats the Allies suffered since 1939 were beginning to take their toll on Allied morale. Even though the Battle of Britain had staved off German victory, little success had happened since then.
Most of occupied Europe had been under Nazi domination for at least two years. While there was no immediate threat of the Allies losing the war, the Allied command, especially the British, wanted to win a battle in order to raise morale at home and abroad.
Submitted by Jason McDonald on July 25, 2011 - 2:00pm
When the Japanese occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians in Alaska in June 1942, the Allies had to remove them before they could attack the Kuriles. The Aleutians would be the only land battles in North America during World War II. The cold weather and remote location would make resupply of the Japanese garrison difficult, while the Americans would send thousands of highly trained soldiers to attack the outpost that conceivably could threaten Canada and the Western coast of the United States.
Submitted by Jason McDonald on July 25, 2011 - 12:40pm
The rapid advance of the Japanese stunned even them. Their advance - formed by superior equipment, training, tactics, and in some cases, numbers - left the Allies confused and in disarray. Despite immediate setbacks such as Pearl Harbor and the destruction of the British Battleships and destroyers of Force Z, the Allies made immediate plans to organize their forces for a counterattack.
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