Wednesday, June 06, 2007
5 to 7 December 1941
By late on 5 December 1941, the Axis situation had deteriorated further, mostly due to the lack of supplies and reinforcements. The only hope for the troops on the frontier was to withdraw to Bardia and then hope for rescue by sea. There was an apparent danger that the British would be able to outflank the entire force from the south. Action on 6 December left the 15th Panzer Division commander dead and the forces in further disarray. It had been the 22nd Guards Brigade that fought the 15th Panzer. General Ritchie had told his 30th Corps commander, General Norrie to leave Bir el Gubi alone and push to the northwest, rather than use the 4th Indian Divsion at Bir el Gubi. That was the right move, as the Germans were concerned about just such a move and it would cause them to withdraw further west. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.