Saturday, May 12, 2007

Later on 29 November 1941

El Duda is located to the southeast of Tobruk, about 15 miles away. The 15th Panzer Division attacked there, starting at about 2pm. They had taken one end of the postion by 6:30pm. There were British, Australians, and New Zealanders holding the place. There was the 1st Essex Regiment, which lost almost two companies in the attack. Nearby were the 2/13th Australian Battalion and the 1st RHA, which were able to repel Axis infantry attacks. There were two Royal Artillery Regiments in support: the 104th and 107th. A counter attack by 11 infantry tanks from the 4th RTR, with two Australian infantry companies "and regained all the lost ground". The Germans had intended to use the 8th Panzer Regiment of the 15th Panzer Division to recover El Duda, but they were mistakenly withdrawn on El Adem. When General Ritchie and others had tried to get Brigadier Dan Pienaar to bring the 1st South African Brigade up to support the New Zealanders, he resisted, as he was apparently concerned about being expended the way that the New Zealanders had been so casually lost. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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