Hitler was traveling in a special train from his headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, to Munich for his annual celebration with the “veteran fighters” of the National Socialist party when he heard the news of the Allied landings in North Africa. Men and equipment poured into Tunisia, arriving daily by air and every two or three days by sea. From the beginning, Kesselring instructed the bridgehead commander — initially an air force colonel, later an army colonel — to gather units and push to the west. The flight to Tunis, an hour and fifteen minutes, was uneventful until the plane descended. In the belief that the Axis nations lacked sufficient resources to support operations adequately in North Africa, Rommel favored leaving the continent altogether, salvaging as many troops and as much equipment as possible, and organizing a defense of Sicily and southern Italy at once.