In November of 1941, the British forces in North Africa launched Operation Crusader with the intention of engaging the Axis forces led by Erwin Rommel. The British were hoping for a tank battle in which the superior numbers of British tanks would have the advantage and crush the German armor while also relieving the besieged fortress at Tobruk.
It did not turn out that way. The short version begins with British constantly giving up the initiative, dispersing their tanks and then suffering huge losses as the concentrated German forces smashed through them one by one. Despite numerous initial setbacks, Operation Crusader ended with what is generally considered a victory for the British. Rommel overreached, and during his “dash to the wire” (the border between Libya and Egypt), the British, rather than retreating as Rommel had thought, held fast and Rommel was ultimately forced to withdraw west of Tobruk. It was not an overwhelming victory for the British by any means, and in many ways the fighting highlighted the British Army’s glaring tactical shortcomings. Yet it was a victory, generally considered to be the first by the British against German-led forces during the Second World War.
The Royals might be said to have had their own version of Operation Crusader in 2013. They made some questionable decisions along the way, they did end up winning 86 games, their first winning season since 2003 (with the previous one coming in 1993 — every 10 years!). So on Black Friday, the Royals rather unsurprisingly announced an extension for general manager Dayton Moore, whose contract was scheduled to end after the 2014 season. The new contract extends him through 2016.
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