Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Some disasters on 28 and 29 November 1941
Late on 28 November 1941, Rommel had made plans to attempt to stop the forces that were moving to relieve Tobruk. The Axis forces would gather "to the north of Belhamed and strike west and south-west". Rommel changed plans almost immediately to try to prevent a breakout from Tobruk. General Crüwell decided that changing the orders would be a mistake and wanted to meet with the division commanders. Before that could happen, General von Ravenstein had blundered into the 21st New Zealand Battalion's position and was captured. There was an immediate shuffle, so that General Böttcher took over the 21st Panzer Division "and Colonel Mickl took over the Böttcher Group". Late on 29 November, the Ariete Division broke into the 6th New Zealand Brigade and took them prisoner. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.