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5 - Axis Ascendency

January–August 1942

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2020

Richard Hammond
Affiliation:
Brunel University
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Summary

Despite the qualified successes of Operation ‘Crusader’, Britain was faced with a disastrous turn of events in early 1942. The entry of Japan to the war had compelled a redistribution of force to the Far East, while some key British losses and new in-theatre German commitments had further redefined the Mediterranean balance of power. Chapter 5 outlines how the British were forced to adopt a defensive posture throughout the theatre, as their gains from ‘Crusader’ were rapidly reversed. As the Axis then advanced into Egypt, Malta was subjected to an intense aerial siege and came perilously close to being starved into submission. The difficulties in conducting anti-shipping operations during this period were numerous. Yet in a reversal of the thesis advanced by historians such as van Creveld and Gladman, the chapter demonstrates that significant sinkings (of over 300,000 tons) were achieved during this period. The continued attrition was greatly troubling for the Axis, contributing to a shipping shortage that was to reach crisis point later in the year.

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Chapter
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Strangling the Axis
The Fight for Control of the Mediterranean during the Second World War
, pp. 107 - 126
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Axis Ascendency
  • Richard Hammond, Brunel University
  • Book: Strangling the Axis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108784566.007
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  • Axis Ascendency
  • Richard Hammond, Brunel University
  • Book: Strangling the Axis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108784566.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Axis Ascendency
  • Richard Hammond, Brunel University
  • Book: Strangling the Axis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108784566.007
Available formats
×