Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The results of December 11th and 12th, 1940
The British offensive had almost driven the Italians from Egypt by December 12th. The only Italian position still held was blocking Sollum and there was a force at Sidi Omar. The next step was to send mobile forces to block the road between Tobruk and Bardia. In the meantime, the offensive had progressed so well that General Wavell felt confident enough to follow his plan to withdraw the 4th Indian Division and send them to the Sudan, removing a large part of the attacking force. They would be replaced by the 6th Australian Division. They would have the opportunity to take Bardia, when they had arrived. The British 16th Infantry Brigade would stay and continue the offensive. At this point, Wavell was conducting the anti-Blitzkrieg: instead of reinforcing success, he stripped away what made the success possible. This is based on the account in Vol.I of the Official History.