Sunday, September 18, 2005
Withdrawal in February 1941
The events of February 1941 seem amazing, in retrospect. General Wilson was sent to Barce as military governor of Cyrenaica on February 9. XIII Corps headquarters was withdrawn and General Blamey's I Australian Corps arrived. Starting on February 13, aircraft from Fliegerkorps X, based in Sicily, started bombing Benghazi. By February 18, the 7th Armoured Division was withdrawn and was replaced by the 17th Australian Brigade. At that same date, the navy had to stop supplying Benghazi by sea, due to the lack of air defense. By February 24, the 19th Australian Brigade was ordered to pull back to Gazala to ease the supply situation. The supply situation was aggravated by the withdrawal of air and anti-air assets. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.