Saturday, August 25, 2007

23 January 1942

The British intentions on 23 January 1942 were to stage an orderly withdrawal of the 1st Armoured Division units that were in the far southwestern part of Cyrenaica. Rommel's intention was to capture as many of those forces as he could and to move forward. The British "bluff" was called by Rommel and as exposed to be a bluff and unrealistic desires. They did not count on Rommel's opportunistic streak and his willingness to push forward, where ever he sensed weakness. The British hope that they would advance into Tripolitania any time soon was shown to be a pipe dream. Axis forces had moved to the southeast in an attempt to cut off the most forward British troops. Rommel had wanted the 21st Panzer Division to move to Saunnu, but they didn't receive the order. Marcks Group had withdrawn from Saunnu to move east to Maaten el Grara. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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