The North African Campaign Was Vital to Winning the War
This myth goes that Hitler had grand designs in the Middle East, and that had the Axis won in North Africa and seized Egypt, they would have gone on to seize the rest of the Middle East and its oilfields, and, most importantly, gone on to win the war by outflanking the USSR and attacking it from the south. The concept looks good on a map, but it was unrealistic. Far from having ambitious plans for the Middle East, Hitler only got involved in North Africa in order to bail out Mussolini, and the Germans kept their investment in that theater to a bare minimum because they had greater objectives elsewhere with a higher claim on their resources.
Had the Germans won in North Africa and conquered Egypt, they would have severed the Suez Canal, which would have discomfited the British and their supply lines to India and Asia, without severing them: at various times, the Axis managed to make the Mediterranean too hazardous for shipping and forced the British to reroute around Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. It took longer, but the supplies reached their destination.
However, grander designs about seizing the rest of the Middle East, or bigger ones such as using the region as a base to attack the USSR from the south, were nonstarters. The Germans lacked the shipping capacity to supply a force large enough for such goals. Throughout the North African Campaign, the Axis had struggled to keep the Italians and the Afrika Korps minimally supplied, and frequently fell short. This, with a force operating near the shortest supply routes from Italy.
If the Axis lacked the shipping to adequately supply a force as negligible as the 4 German divisions of the Afrika Korps positioned nearby and close to the sea, it is inconceivable that they would have been able to supply a much larger force capable of overrunning the Middle East, or impacting the gargantuan war against the USSR, where the Germans and Soviets pitted hundreds of divisions against each other.