Sunday, February 04, 2007

Into 25 November 1941 in the "Dash to the Wire"

Apparently, in the night of 24 to 25 November 1941, both Rommel and General Crüwell were almost captured. The battle was very fluid, but the British were hampered by the abrupt withdrawal of tactical reconnaissance from the front, due to the German movements. General Auchinleck was still with General Cunningham at the 8th Army HQ, so he was aware of the situation on the ground. Auchinleck had a firm hand on the battle, and he had the 13th Corps troops at Tobruk to stand their ground and continue with their operations. They cobbled together a force to defend the railhead at Misheifa against a German force headed in that direction. They had the 4th Indian Division stand their ground, while the 5th Indian Brigade would move to the Misheifa to defend the railhead. The 2nd South African Division was to be alerted to the dangerous situation. Units arriving at the border were to be brought together with the troops still defending the wire. 30th Corps sent the 22nd Guards Brigade to protect the No.62 Field Maintenance Centre. The 4th Armoured Brigade formed a leaguer to the north, and were joined by the Support Group and the remnants of the 7th Armoured Brigade. They were located about 16 miles north of the maintenance center. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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