Asses the Significance of the North African Campaign to the Allied Victory in the European War
Asses the significance of the conflict in North Africa to allied victory in the European war.
Allied victory in the North African campaign is significant for allied victory in the European war. The campaign provided the allies with major strategic and economic advantages, boosted British morale and proved Anglo-American cooperation to be successful. Additionally, conflict in North Africa also diverted substantial German and Italian resources that were needed elsewhere, thus weakening the Axis position. It is also significant that German defeat in the battle of Stalingrad on the eastern front, occurred at the same time as defeat in North Africa, further weakening the Axis powers.
Italy entered the war in June, 1940, eager to capitalise on Germany’s swift defeat of the French. Mussolini hoped to prove himself and gain territory for himself. This came in the form of the North African campaign in September, 1940. Italy attacked the British in Egypt, through Libya, but within two months the numerically stronger Italian forces had been completely defeated. Thus, in 1941, Hitler had no choice but to assist his Italian partner and send Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps to fight the British. Hitler now had to divide his resources and troops and fight a three front war (the Western, Eastern and North Africans fronts).
In 1941 and 1942 victory eluded both the Germans and the British, until the British finally outsmarted Rommel in the Battles of El Alamein from September through to November 1942. This victory was very significant in boosting British morale and demoralising the Germans. Britain had not had much to cheer about during the war, and even though the USA had entered the war in December 1941, the British had beaten Rommel without the assistance of US troops. The battle of El Alamein gave the British the boost they needed. Not only did it give the troops hope in their ability to win the war but also it boosted morale on the home front,