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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

The Importance of the Weather and Climate

The Importance of the Weather and Climate

Although the German General Staff have the initiative, their position is hedged round with difficulties and limitations. If an attack is to be made upon either the United Kingdom or Egypt, weather and climatic conditions must come into their calculations. They will play a large part and place limitations upon the activities of the Axis Powers. To effect a beach landing in the United Kingdom will require settled weather conditions, and these are unlikely to occur after the equinoxial gales in September. If the Germans have not attacked by that time they know from the rate of our rearmament that we will be too strong for a successful invasion next Spring.

It is argued, therefore, that Germany must attack before 20 September of this year or give up the project for good.

On the other hand, owing to the excessive heat a campaign on the Western Desert of Egypt could probably not be undertaken before October.

The invasion of Egypt from Libya should not, therefore, be possible until after the threat of a German invasion of England is over.

A further investigation of the administrative difficulties that face the Axis Powers gives us additional data to work upon. As stated, climatic conditions should preclude Germany and Italy staging a simultaneous attack upon the United Kingdom and Egypt. Further, the limited number of load-carrying aircraft of the Axis Powers would appear to compromise their chances of success. The losses to load-carrying aircraft which Germany would be forced to face in an attack upon the United Kingdom would minimise any chance of success in the Middle East later in the year. The Axis Powers can only attack one, not both.