Sunday, January 21, 2007
Rommel and General Cruewell disagreed on the course of action
The Afrika Korps commander, General Crüwell, wanted to finish beating the British near Tobruk, following his victory at Sidi Rezegh. Rommel, disagreed, and wanted to go east, to relieve his troops on the frontier. General Crüwell saw the initial victory at Sidi Rezegh as just a first step in destroying the British armoured forces. He had, in fact, removed the 7th Armoured Brigade, and might well have done the same with the 4th and 22nd Armoured Brigades. By the morning of 24 November 1941, Rommel felt like the British were too weak to raise the seige of Tobruk, so he might head to the east, in good blitzkrieg fashion, and see if he could panic the British further. He had seen the British tendency to panic when confronted with rapidly moving armoured forces in April and June 1941. Now would be an opportunity to try the same gambit. From what we know now, it would have worked, but for Auchinleck. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.