Projects for a second front in Europe, insistently demanded by Russia, were indeed being worked out in London; but apart from commando raids (such as that on St Nazaire in March) nothing was yet practical. Indeed, the early summer months of 1942 were months of German success on all fronts. In Russia the Germans swept forward to the Crimea; in the Mediterranean Sea area the British remained static in the African desert while Rommel was reinforced; and the new German air power in the Mediterranean Sea area nearly succeeded in starving Malta, the most essential British fortress, into submission. On 26th May Rommel forestalled the British and launched a heavy attack. On 21st June he captured Tobruk, thought impregnable, with its garrison of 25,000 men, and shortly afterwards entered Egypt, intent on destroying the whole British position in the Middle East. On 1st July Churchill's strategy was challenged in Parliament. In these circumstances Hitler was confident. Our rapid and great victories, he wrote on 9th July, might well confront Britain with the dilemma of either launching a full scale invasion now or seeing Russia eliminated as a political and military factor. He therefore gave new orders for readiness along the Atlantic coast, and promised that, in the event of an enemy landing, I personally will proceed to the west and assume charge of operations there. But the threat clearly did not alarm him. Such landings would be premature and could be dealt with. Meanwhile his eyes were turned to the east where he looked forward, at last, to final victory. His Headquarters were deep in the Ukraine. His public speeches and private table talk breathed confidence. Directives 43, 44 and 45 illustrate his plans for continuing the Russian campaign to final success in 1942.