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El Alamein and the Struggle for North AfricaInternational Perspectives from the Twenty-first Century$
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Jill Edwards

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165818

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165818.001.0001

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Silent Service: The Royal Navy and the Desert Victory

Silent Service: The Royal Navy and the Desert Victory

(p.137) 7 Silent Service: The Royal Navy and the Desert Victory
El Alamein and the Struggle for North Africa

Nick Hewitt

American University in Cairo Press

The Second Battle of El Alamein has been justifiably identified as the key turning point in the Western Desert campaign and, arguably, even of the war in the west. The Mediterranean was crucial as a supply route for the Axis powers throughout the war as is shown in this chapter on the Royal Navy. But without losing sight of what was achieved on land, it is important to remember one of the most important reasons for Montgomery's victory. By the end of 1942 the Royal Navy had secured almost total control of the Mediterranean, despite being at times outnumbered, out-gunned and faced with perhaps the most intransigent enemy of all: geography. Without this control of the sea, it is probably not an exaggeration to argue that Operation Supercharge might never have taken place at all.

Keywords:   British naval strategy, Mediterranean fleet, Crete engagement, Malta, Operation Pedestal

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