Thursday, February 22, 2007

More from 25 November 1941 from the Official History

We have gone back to Vol.III of the Official History for more action from 25 November 1941. Rommel had intended to send the 33rd Reconnaissance Unit on a raid to Habata, but they never got started, as they were under heavy air attack and lacked supplies, especially ammunition. By the end of the day, they had lost 20 vehicles to the air attacks. All the German units near the frontier were well within range of British day bombers, so they suffered from attacks from Blenheims (probably Nos.11, 14, 45, and 84 Squadrons, as well as the Free French Lorraine Squadron) and Marylands (Nos.12 and 21 Squadrons). Another factor was the presence of the New Zealand brigade at Gambut, which prevented German fighters from operating far enough forward to provide air cover. Also, Brigadier Dan Pienaar's 1st SA Brigade fought the Ariete Division "west of Gabr Saleh". Later, Panzer Gruppe Afrika heard that Bottcher Group was under attack near Bel Hammed. By midnight, the situation had calmed, however.

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