Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 27 June 1942 (Western Desert Campaign): In 1942 Rommel (Erwin Rommel) launched his greatest offensive against the British in  North Africa (Western Desert Campaign), expelling them from Libya (Operation Theseus) and invading Egypt (Operation Aida). By the end of June, he was closing in on Alexandria, forcing the British to evacuate the Mediterranean Fleet to safer ports.