The battle for North Africa was a struggle for control of the Suez Canal and access to oil from the Middle East and raw materials from Asia. Oil in particular had become a critical strategic commodity due to the increased mechanization of modern armies. Britain, which was the first major nation to field a completely mechanized army, was particularly dependent on the Middle Eastern oil. The Suez Canal also provided Britain with a valuable link to her overseas dominions--part of a lifeline that ran through the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, the North African campaign and the naval campaign for the Mediterranean were extensions of each other in a very real sense.
The struggle for control of North Africa began as early as October 1935, when Italy invaded Ethiopia from its colony Italian Somaliland. That move made Egypt very wary of Italy's imperialistic aspirations. In reaction, the Egyptians gr
Tags: Battlefields, north africa, rommel, egypt, lybia, axis, allies, hitler, churchill, tunisia, world at war, world war 2, WW2, italy, armies, tanks, divisions, Afrika Corp, Panzer, artillery, desert warfare
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