Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The situation in December 1941 near Gazala
After General Auchinleck backed off from direct involvement in the Crusader Battle, the operation went back to the normal British haphazard mode. Auchinleck had installed Neil Ritchie as the 8th Army commander, as Auchinleck wanted to switch back to theater commander, which he felt was what he had been appointed to be. Because of that, Rommel was able to fight a successful rearguard battle that enabled his forces to eventually withdraw to El Agheila, only to rebound in the new year back to Gazala. At least, the Germans and Italians at Bardia and Halfaya were put in the bag. Some 30,000 prisoners were taken. Wikepedia has a Crusader Battle page with some of the details.