Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More about Brevity

Colonel Herff thought he was being attacked by two divisions at the border. The RAF actually dominated the skys over the battlefield and hit transport to the west. The 7th Armoured Brigade Group had reached Sidi Aziz, but that failed to draw the Germans back from Fort Capuzzo. Late in the day, the force on the coast took the lower level of Halfaya Pass. Rommel, however, guessed that there were only small forces engaged and planned a counter-attack. A tank battalion was to arrive early the next day to reinforce Colonel Herff's forces. The Germans were hampered by fuel shortages, as the 1st Battalion of the 8th Panzer Regiment ran out of fuel on arrival near Sidi Aziz. Eventually, the 7th Armoured Brigade Group withdrew to Bir el Khiregat. The eventual outcome was that the only new territory held by the British was Halfaya Pass. The British losses exceeded the German. They had 5 Inf. Mk.II as total losses and 13 damaged. The Germans lost "three tanks destroyed". This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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