Sunday, January 14, 2007

By 23 November 1941 (from the Official History)

Late on 22 November 1941, General Cunningham had become greatly concerned about the tank losses that his forces had sustained. By early on 23 November, reports indicated that the British tank strength had been reduced to 44, while the German strength was about 120 tanks. General Cunningham decided that he needed to inform General Auchinleck of the situation. He spoke to General Auchinleck, later in the afternoon on 23 November. General Cunningham wondered if British forces should take a defensive posture, or if they should continue the offensive. He was concerned that they might totally expend the armoured forces, if the offensive continued. General Auchinleck instructed Cunningham to continue the offensive. He read Cunningham the sentence in the orders that said "You will therefore continue to attack the enemy relentlessly using all your resources even to the last tank" This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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