By Gordon A Harrison

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The British army retreated across the Egyptian border to El ‘Alamein. On Sunday, 21 June, British and Dominion troops, isolated in Tobruk by the withdrawal, were forced to surrender. The rest of the army dug in at El ‘Alamein for the defense of Alexandria. That month also marked the opening of the expected new German offensive on the Russian front. Expected or not, the event was disheartening. The prevailing opinion among military leaders in America and Britain was still that they would be lucky if Russia managed to stay in the war through 1942.

No attempt was made at the time to foresee these. ” 65 Churchill was dissatisfied with the planners’ caution. He retorted with a memorandum of his own sketching an operation with “qualities of magnitude, simultaneity and violence,” and involving six landings by at least ten armored brigades in the first wave, and the debarkation of 400,000 men in the first week. "66 Churchill’s object in sketching his impression of ROUNDUP in such terms was to give an idea of the “scale and spirit” which he felt 65Ibid.

If it were found impossible, then Marshall should review the world situation with King and Hopkins and determine “upon another place for U. S. “93 At the first London meeting, on 20 July, Churchill outlined his views and set the framework for subsequent staff discussions. The first question, he said, was the feasibility of SLEDGEHAMMER. Although the British had failed to devise a satisfactory plan, they would all listen sympathetically to any U. S. proposals. However, he went on to question the 92 Cbl, Marshall to Eisenhower, 13 Jul 42, C/S file BOLERO.

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Cross-channel attack by Gordon A Harrison


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