Monday, July 02, 2007

The Axis forces withdraw further from 22 December 1941

After part of the 15th Panzer Division had driven back a column from the 22nd Guards, reinforced by the 3rd RTR, the Axis forces withdrew further. The Brescia Division seems to have performed a rearguard role while the other Italian infantry divisions went further down the road. The British plans went awry. The 22nd Armoured Brigade "ran out of petrol" after advancing to Saunnu. The 7th Support Group wasn't able to interfere with the Axis withdrawal from Benghazi. "Bencol" had started to move towards Agedabia. The Brescia Division finally withdrew after fulfilling its rearguard mission. By late on 24 December, the DAK, the Italian 20th Corps (Ariete and Trieste), and the Brescia Division were at Agedabia. Vol.III of the Official History says that this completed Rommel's successful withdrawal from the Gazala position. This account is based on that in Vol.III of the Official History.

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