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Destiny in the Desert: The road to El Alamein - the Battle that Turned the Tide by Jonathan Dimbleby

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– NINE –A NEW BROOM IN THE DESERT

‘We have sought no shooting war with Hitler. We do not seek it now … But when you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck you before you crush him.’

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wavell’s successor as C-in-C, Middle East was General Sir Claude Auchinleck, who arrived in Cairo on 30 June 1941 from India, where he had enjoyed a similar titular status but in a far less demanding theatre of operations. ‘The Auk’, as he was nicknamed, had not been regarded as a high-flyer. At Wellington School he had failed to distinguish himself academically; his achievement in winning the Derby Gift – for industry and good conduct – presciently identified those qualities with which he was most readily associated. ...

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