The "Sea Battle" in North Africa

Ground War

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The "Sea Battle" in North Africa

Beitragvon neil » 5/10/2008, 19:13

From; ALAMEIN, by Stephen Bungay. ISBN 1 85410 842 5


"This war [North Africa] was dominated by machines: by guns, trucks, and above all, by tanks. The fighting was more like a war at sea than a war on land. Possession of territory counted for little, with tanks manovering like ships of the age of sail and loosing off there guns at each other accross the deserts empty expanse. The pounding of heavy seas on the planking and rigging was replaced by the grinding of rocks on tracks and grit on gears. Blinding salt spray on the faces of the Captains was replaced by clouds of dust in the eyes of the Commanders. Tank battles were interupted by sand storms rather than gails. They were becalmed by lack of petrol rather than lack of wind. To abandon a vehicle in the open desert was to be adrift in the ocean. There had never been anything like it before."

I never thought of it this way.

So, my first thought was...Were there any Naval tactics at the time that might have helped in the desert war?


Beitragvon Kuno » 6/10/2008, 09:05

@ Neil; also Rommel compared the desert war with a naval war. The tactics can really be compared: The few oases and towns were the harbours, the coastal road is comparable with a shipping-line and the permanent outflanking maneuvres are comparable to the movement of battle ships. Also think about that to occupy the country did not bring any benefit in the desert...
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