Thursday, July 28, 2005
By late January 1941, the British focused on Benghazi
The capture of Benghazi had increased priority, even on January 21st, 1941, the day that the Tobruk assault commenced. General O'Connor had plans to send the 7th Armoured Division westward. The 7th Armoured Brigade was to drive towards Derna while the 4th Armoured Brigade would move to Mechili. The move into the western portion of Cyrenaica brought the British out of the desert and into a more fertile land. Benghazi was a substantial port city of 65,000 with a rail connection to the north to Barce and to the south to Soluch. In this region, rain could turn roads and airfields into mud, unlike the desert surface to the east.