‘the Only Reason the Axis Powers Were Defeated in North Africa Was Because of Supply Problems’. How Far Do You Agree?

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The Axis powers did certainly encounter supply problems with their campaign in North Africa. Especially towards the end of the campaign, they were experiencing serious difficulties in this sphere. Fuel, troops and ammunition were running out at such a rate that it was becoming increasingly difficult to replace it and Rommel’s pleas to Germany were being ignored. However there were certainly two more important factors that contributed to the Axis power’s defeat. These were Hitler’s, and to a lesser extent Rommel’s, poor grasp of strategical and logistical warfare in the North African area as well as the superiority of Allied naval and air power with the welcome introduction of American forces after 1941.

After an unsuccessful Italian
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After this series of failed attacks a four-month stalemate ensued during which Rommel was denied reinforcements and the British Army had the chance to re-organise. This lack of supplies and thus inability of the Axis powers to attack Allied forces at full capacity and strength weakened their offensive as well as defences and contributed to quite a significant degree to their ultimate defeat at the hand of the Allied forces.

The ultimate loss was a stunning strategic setback for Germany. At first, North Africa had been a rather effective economy-of-force campaign. At the risk of only three German divisions and a number of Italian divisions of questionable quality, the Axis was able to tie down a proportionately larger force and at the same time pose a significant threat to one of Britain's strategic lines of communication. But after the defeat at El Alamein, Hitler's sense of pride once again overcame his meagre grasp of strategy, and he committed a second field army to North Africa that he could neither sustain logistically nor afford to lose. The forces Hitler threw away in May 1943 just might have made some difference for the Germans fighting in Russia or Sicily. On the tactical and operational levels, several factors conspired against the Axis despite the battlefield brilliance of Rommel and the superb fighting of the Afrika Korps. Although North Africa was a logistician's hell, logistics was the

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