Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The German plan to encircle the British on 20 November 1941

The start of an encircling movement by the Germans consisted of moving the 15th Panzer Division east and sending the 21st Panzer Division to Sidi Omar, to block a southward retreat. The Axis forces on the Egyptian frontier would bar that direction.

General Cunningham had visited 30th Corps HQ and left with "the impression that the enemy might be trying to slip away". General Cunningham had heard that the DAK HQ had
moved in the general direction of Tobruk, having been at Bardia. General Gott had moved up to Sidi Rezegh. General Gott had the idea that he was thinly opposed, so he thought that the Support Group might move up to meet 70th Division, if they would sortie from Tobruk. This would involve discarding the plan of destroying the Axis armoured forces before attempting a breakout. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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