Monday, June 04, 2007
4 and 5 December 1941
On 4 December, when his forces were blocked at El Duda, Rommel decided to hit British forces near Bir El Gubi, instead. They posed a serious threat, as his forces could be outflanked by an attack from Bir El Gubi. He decided to send the panzer divisions and the Italian mechanized divisions (Ariete and Trieste) to hit the British at this spot. The Axis forces would attack on 5 December 1941. The plan fell apart from the beginning. The Italian divisions never arrived, as the Ariete was held up by the 7th Support Group while the Trieste Division never moved from where they were sitting. Only the 8th Panzer Regiment and infantry had any success. They had overrun part of the 11th Indian Infantry Brigade, but could make no further progress. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.