NEWS FROM THE FRONT
No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.
12th February, 1941 : General Rommel, Commander of the Afrikakorps, arrives in Rome.
General Italo Gariboldi is appointed to succeed Marshal Rodolfo Graziani in command of Italian forces in North Africa.
Churchill sends a telegram to Wavell congratulating him on the speedy capture of Benghazi, but orders him to hold up the advance and to prepare to send all forces not absolutely indispensable to Greece. Only one squadron of fighters remains available to the British in Libya. Wavell orders O’Connor to return to Cairo, and only the lightest defences are left to cover the territory captured from the Italians.
The British Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir John Dill, leave for Cairo. From there, together with Wavell, they visit Athens, Ankara and Belgrade for a series of talks aimed at forming a coalition against the Axis, reaching from the Aegean to the Danube. However, the Yugoslav government refuses to receive the British delegates; the Turks receive them but say they cannot go along with the proposal.