Sunday, February 12, 2006

General Wavell decided to stage operation Brevity

Since he knew that he would receive reinforcements in the form of the Tiger Convoy, General Wavell decided to stage an operation in the border area commanded by Brigadier Gott. The operation was called Brevity, and hoped to push the Germans from Sollum and Fort Capuzzo.

While Brevity was being planned, the Navy was busy attacking the German rear, including bombarding Benghazi, Gazala, and Derna. They achieved a certain amount of success, using gunboats and destroyers.

Brigadier Gott proposed to attack with three columns. The 7th Armoured Brigade Groups (an armoured brigade in name, only) would cut across the desert to Sidi Aziz, in the rear of Sollum and Halfaya Pass. They only had two squadrons of 29 cruiser tanks. The bulk of the strength was in three columns from the Support Group. The second column, in the center, consisted of the 22nd Guards Brigade Group supported by the 4th RTR with 24 Inf.Mk.II Matildas. The would attack the upper portion of Halfaya Pass, take Fort Capuzzo, and move north. The third column would advance along the coast, and included the 2/Rifle Brigade and 8th Field Regiment. They were to block any German advance from Sollum and to take the lower portion of Halfaya Pass and Sollum.

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

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