While the British defense of Crete in May 1941 was considered a military failure, it altered Hitler’s future tactics.

Operation Compass

Beyond All Praise: British Defense of Crete

By Jon Diamond

Brigadier Eric Dorman-Smith, serving as a liaison to Lt. Gen. Richard O’Connor during Operation Compass, the Western Desert campaign, traveled to General Archibald Wavell’s Middle East Command headquarters in Cairo on February 12, 1941, to seek permission to advance British XIII Corps farther west to Tripoli after the total victory over the Italian Xth Army at Beda Fomm, which gave Britain and her Commonwealth Allies control of the Cyrenaican half of Libya. Read more

Operation Compass

General Percy Hobart: Britain’s Genius Tanker

By Jon Diamond

An army that will be poised for victory requires élan, military intellect, a penchant for tactical and strategic innovation, and the zeal to use the most qualified individuals for training and leadership. Read more

Operation Compass

Sir John Dill and Winston Churchill: A Clash in Strategy

By Jon Diamond

In describing the relationship between British General Sir John Dill and his political superior, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Dill’s biographer, Alex Danchev, noted, “It was … an association strikingly lacking in empathy or understanding, etched in fundamental disagreement, and scarred by a mutual disaffection welling up at times into personal distaste.” Read more

Major General Eric Dorman-Smith was an architect of the strategy that won the first battle of El Alamein in June 1942.

Operation Compass

Eric Dorman-Smith: Churchill’s Scapegoat in North Africa

By Jon Diamond

When one gazes upon the bookshelves in the Military History section of a well-endowed library, one cannot help but notice the number of volumes dedicated to the battles for North Africa during World War II and particularly to the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Read more

The British 3.7-inch antiaircraft gun might have served as an effective counter to heavy German armor in the North African Desert.

Operation Compass

A 3.7-Inch AT Gun? A Wartime What-If…

By Jon Diamond

The often see-saw action across the North African littoral from 1940-1942 was fostered in part by both the British and Axis forces racing to innovate and implement novel tactics and upgraded weaponry. Read more

One of the more underappreciated WW2 leaders, Field Marshal Archibald Wavell had accomplished much, often with very little, only to be marginalized when he could not perform miracles.

Operation Compass

WW2 Leaders: Field Marshal Archibald Wavell

by Christopher Miskimon

In late 1940, fortune seemed entirely against the United Kingdom. France had fallen, Italian troops threatened imperial holdings, and Britain’s few allies were still gravely threatened. Read more