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How Britain had to ask Germany for maps of Libya during revolt against Gaddafi
- Germany supplied maps for fight against Gaddafi
- The country did not support aiding rebels in Libya
By Tim Shipman
PUBLISHED: 19:42 EST, 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 19:43 EST, 10 July 2013
Britain had to rely on maps from Germany in its support for the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.
In an embarrassment for British spies, they ended up depending on help from a country that refused to back the rebels.
It was the first time the UK had to rely on Germany for military assistance since 1815 when the Prussian army of Gebhard von Blucher helped Wellington defeat Napoleon at Waterloo.
Scramble: An RAF Tornado is seen taking off from an Italian airbase to support Libyan rebels. British forces used maps of the North African country supplied by Germany
Intelligence officers revealed the problem in talks with MPs on the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.
The committee’s annual report published yesterday revealed that the Defence Intelligence Agency has had to fall back on the expertise of allies in countries where they have greater experience.
And in Germany’s case, it certainly did. Rommel’s Afrika Korps spent long periods of the Second World War in Libya before its ultimate defeat by Montgomery’s Desert Rats.
The committee said it accepted the general principle of accepting such help from allies.
Its report added: ‘It is not novel: for example, we have been told that “in [the uprising in] Libya we went to war on German maps”.’
Western powers supported the ousting of Gaddafi by Libyan rebels