Monday, October 24, 2005

The withdrawal from western Cyrenaica

Difficulties in communications hampered withdrawal efforts in the face of the German-Italian advance. General O'Connor had already ordered the 2nd Armoured Division HQ and support group to withdraw to Mechili. General Gambier-Parry was out of touch, but he too was moving towards Mechili. Brigadier Rimington, commander of the 3rd Armoured Brigade decided that there was not enough fuel to reach Mechili, so he decided to aim for Maraua, which had a small amount of fuel. He decided, then, to head for Derna. That move hampered the movements of the 9th Australian Division. The newly arrived 1/KRRC provided cover and performed demolition at their rear. The first Australian units trickled into Tmimi on April 7th. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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