Sunday, July 24, 2005

O'Connor's plan for Tobruk and beyond in early 1941

General O'Connor intended to keep the 7th Armoured Division back from the Tobruk assault. He hoped to be able to push the 7th Armoured Division west, intially to Mechili. The 7th Armoured Division Support Group was deployed between Acroma and the coast. The 4th Armoured Brigade was stationed on the flanks of the 6th Australian Divsion. The 7th Armoured Brigade and the 11th Hussars (armoured cars) were sitting west of Tobruk as a blocking force, but ready to advance to the west. Scouts had found a great deal of unoccupied territory and towns to the west, from January 15, 1941 and later. They had gone almost to Mechili. General Mackay asked for the 7th Armoured Division to support his attack on Tobruk, so General O'Connor postponed the advance to Mechili, which he had apparently hoped to do prior to taking Tobruk. This is basee on the account in Gavin Long's To Benghazi.

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