Saturday, July 14, 2007

Losses in the battle from November 1941 to January 1942

The Italians lost a great deal of equipment in the recent battle, mostly due to the lack of transport during the massive withdrawal to El Agheila. In sheer numbers, though, the British lost many more tanks in the battle than the Germans. The Germans already had in place a strong recovery and repair capability. The British still were lacking in this area, despite having made efforts since Battleaxe, in mid-1941. Because the British ended the recent battle in possession of the battlefield, this enabled them to recover and repair many more tanks than would have otherwise been possible. The British did recover many tanks. By 29 November 1941, they had recovered 187 of the 300 damaged, destroyed, or broken down. By 6 December, the losses had grown to 450, but 338 of these, including the previous figures, were recovered. By 1 January 1942, they had recovered 600 tanks. This figure does not include the infantry tanks (Matilda and Valentine). About 200 were lost, in addition. The Germans probably lost about 220 tanks and the Italians lost about 120 tanks. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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