Thursday, October 26, 2006
20 November 1941
The two German panzer divisions moved east. At first, General Crüwell did not realize that there were only armoured cars before him. The 21st Panzer Division had to halt, as they had run out of fuel, and needed more ammunition. General Crüwell wanted to continue the advance the 15th Panzer, but Rommel wanted him to wait until the 21st. Despite Rommel's wishes, General Crüwell decided to send the 15th Panzer Division forward, looking to make contact with the British. He wanted the 21st Panzer Division to go forward to them in the night. The Official History says that the Germans were reacting to the British advance as General Auchinleck had anticipated. British tactical signals intelligence warned General Norrie of 30th Corps that both panzer divisions would attack the 4th Armoured Brigade. General Norrie ordered the 22nd Armoured Brigade to come up to support the 4th. The 1st South African Division would be left in front of the Ariete Division to keep them away from the battle. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.