Friday, July 06, 2007
The end of 1941 and beginning of 1942
Mussolini had agreed to Rommel's plan to withdraw to El Agheila. After winning a success against the 22nd Armoured Brigade, Rommel decided to hit them again, to help the infantry have some rest. The German Afrika Korps hit the 22nd Armoured Brigade, again, on 30 December 1941 and destroyed another 23 British tanks. That left the 22nd Armoured Brigade with a few Crusaders and the rest being Stuarts. The British withdrew the remainder of the 22nd Armoured Brigade. The British didn't realize that the Axis forces had started the withdrawal to El Agheila on 1 January 1942. They only noticed on 5 January and then they didn't have forces to interfere. The last Axis forces withdrew by 6 January to a defended locale near El Agheila. The British had small columns that followed but could not actually be in contact. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.