Tuesday, November 01, 2005

This situation in the border area in April 1941

Brigadier Gott had been tasked to resist the German advance whereever he could. He had the 22nd Guards Brigade and four columns. The columns varied in strength, but usually consisted of a field artillery battery, an infantry company, and light tanks or armoured cars. The columns were positioned at Halfaya, where the 22nd Guards Brigade was in a defensive position, at Sofafi, Bug Buq, and Sidi Barrani. One company of the French motor battalion held the escarpment pass at the Halfway House. The columns were successful enough that they drew an attack by Herff Group. That forced the British to fall back on the Buq Buq-Sofafi line.

At Tobruk, they started with the Italian defences. There were double rings of defensive positions that covered a thirty mile front. The Australians worked on a defence in depth that would be hard to breach. In supportm, they had the remains of the 3rd Armoured Brigade. It had a regiment of armoured cars, two mixed regiments of light tanks and cruiser tanks, and one troop of Inf. Mk.II Matildas. The numbers were 26 cruiser tanks, 15 light tanks, and 4 infantry tanks (Matilda).

This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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