Thursday, May 24, 2007

Early December 1941

Early December 1941 saw the Axis forces still strongly positioned near Sidi Rezegh airfield. Tobruk had been cut off from ground communication, after the siege had been briefly broken. The Germans had generally committed their forces in such a way as to be give their troops the best possible chance of success, except in Rommel's abortive "dash to the wire". The planned big armoured battle where British armoured formations would fight the decisive battle with the Axis armoured forces never happened, as the British forces were dispersed and expended piecemeal. The British commanders who succeeded General O'Connor, besides General Auchinleck, lacked the knowledge of how to fight this sort of battle. They also had lost their artillery superiority. The 25pdr gun-howitzer was the most effective British weapon against German tanks, but they had taken losses and had scattered their artillery units across the desert. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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