Saturday, February 24, 2007

From the Official History: the Axis forces on 26 November 1941

When Rommel visited the DAK HQ, the commander wanted to return to the area around Tobruk, but Rommel disagreed. He wanted to defeat British forces near the border. The challenges were the the 15th Pz Div was low on supplies and fuel. They drove towards Bardia to resupply. On the way, the encountered a NZ unit at Sidi Azeiz. General Cruewell decided that meant that more British forces were headed towards Tobruk. He also received a report from Lt-Col Westphal that the Boettcher Group was under attack, again. General Cruewell decided to hit the New Zealanders with 15th Pz Div. The 15th Pz Div commander decided to push through to Bardia, so he could refuel. The fought their way through the "28th (Maori) Battalion". While all this was happening, the Ariete Armoured Division was "about fifteen miles west of Fort Capuzzo." By the end of the 26th, Rommel had changed his mind and agreed with General Cruewell that they were needed back in the vicinity of Tobruk. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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