Just why did we fight in North Africa?
It seems a no brainer to not fight there but yet we, the British and the Germans fought like hell there.
Because we were trying to confront Nazi Germany and did not have the resources in place yet to take the fight into Europe.
Also, the airfields we built in Libya gave us the means to attack southern Europe in advance of the ultimate invasion. Big Picture shit.LC LtC
Oil. The Royal Navy ran on oil from the middle east. Also, quicker access to the dominion territories in India and Australia/New Zealand would be lost with the Suez Canal. But mainly oil.
No, when one actually examines it. Every moment in Africa, Sicily was pure waste of soldiers and material.
You build, not expend resources
The United States exported oil. We had it coming out the ears
Having had another look at it, the oil question was more about stopping the Germans getting it rather than the UK needing it. By 1942, 100% of UK oil requirements were coming from the US anyway.
A number of reasons (not in order of importance). Fighting-the Brits were exhausted, US troops were green, not ready to against the first team yet. The Torch landings showed it. Oil-The US had plenty of oil at home. The Germans didn't. Their taking the Caucasus fields or the Arabian fields if Egypt fell would alter things significantly. Russia-Convince Uncle Joe the Allies were doing SOMETHING. More importantly, a significant part of Russian Lend-Lease moved up from Iraq/Iran ports. Losing Egypt and the Suez area would threaten that. Opening the Med-This would allow a short route to protect India from the Japanese attack. Also, Germany and Italy had a whole new coastline to defend. (Actually, I don't think the Germans wanted to be in Africa either, but their Italian allies got trounced so bad they had to step in)...
The troops were draftees and such as they are always green but you made me think. Our generals were largely pure crap and I guess Africa let us thin the herd before they could do serious damage. It is, however hard to think like that and yet, I think they did. Remorseless to a fault.
north africa gave the allies bradley, patton, eisenhower, alexander, montgomery and weeded out many of the inept.. it also established that the Atlantic Fleet didn't have a clue what needed to get done let alone how....
It would have been foolish to try and fight Germany in Europe and leave a huge force of theirs in Africa capable of attacking our flanks.We started on the edges and nibbled our way to the heart of the Reich.
If put into perspective, we fought the wrong people first. FDR basically hijacked the Pearl Harbor attack to declare war on Germany and that was the entire focus of our first 2 years in WWII. We very easily could have let the Russians fight our battle in Europe with lend lease and aid but FDR was, I believe, a Europhile and agreed with Winston that the US could actually make some sort of entirely meaningless contribution to victory by nibbling the flanks of the 3rd Reich.On the gripping hand, with people like Werner von Braun making space flight a distinct possibility it might make sense but only in retrospect. The US got savaged by Japan and ended up treating Japan and the the CBI theater as an also ran. Every single thing we did once we entered the wa was focused on defeating Germany.Do read about how General LeMay changed the nature of the air war in Japan. I found it fascinating.Can you imagine just how the Afrika Corps was going to make even the tiniest difference in Torch or Overlord?
If you accept that the US was going to fight both Germany and Japan sooner or later, Germany first was a no-brainer. They were just the other side of the channel; Japan was thousands of miles away. And Germany first meant the UK + dominions were onside - remember, it wasn't until 1945 that US troops outnumbered British Empire troops across all theaters.
My grandfather was the Pers Officer for Normandy. In those years we pushed hundreds of thousands of freshmen troops into Great Britain with the invasion of Europe the end goal and that didn't even include the USAAC that were flying the B-17s day after day.
Marshall said the the war in the ETO would have ended at least a year earlier, " if not for the private war between the United States Navy, and the Empire of Japan."
After June of 1941, USAAF.
Suez--British Empire-Survival of the UK.
Because South Africa already had their shit together.