BATTLE OF EGYPT: Britain's Round

As the last whiff of smoke blew off the wreck-strewn El Hemeimat battlefield, one thing appeared to be certain: the British had not only rocked Rommel's Afrika Korps back on its heels; they had given it a drubbing. If at least two observers, Winston Churchill and Wendell Willkie, could be believed, the Axis had suffered a major defeat.

Wendell Willkie, who got to Egypt just after the battle ended, counted 100 out of 290 of Rommel's first-line tanks knocked out. "I saw the ruins of these tanks myself," said he. "Rommel has lost 40% of his punch."

British officials in Cairo,...

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