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The First VictoryThe Second World War and the East Africa Campaign$
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Andrew Stewart

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300208559

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300208559.001.0001

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Second Front

Second Front

Striking from the Sudan

(p.148) Chapter 7 Second Front
The First Victory

Andrew Stewart

Yale University Press

This chapter illustrates how the opening shots of the East African offensive actually began on the northern front. The advance by British and Commonwealth troops that started from the Sudanese border saw some of the heaviest fighting and the most resolute defense conducted by the Italians, not just in this campaign but in any of the entire war. In many respects, it was what Wavell had anticipated from his earliest strategic reviews: that the Red Sea would prove an attractive draw to his opponents, who would place many of their best units in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. Once the safety of the Red Sea was guaranteed, the United States could once again permit their merchant ships to use this route, which meant that more of the hard-pressed British shipping would be available for use elsewhere.

Keywords:   East Africa, Sudanese border, British troops, Commonwealth troops, General Wavell, Italians, Red Sea, United States, British shipping

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