Wednesday, August 29, 2007
24 January 1942
Rommel had finished 23 January 1942 not really realizing what had happened. He wasted time headed to the southeast when the British had actually withdrawn to the north. The events of 23 January had greatly worried the 13th Corps commander, General Godwin-Austen. His concerns were that the Axis forces were stronger than had been expected and that his forces seemed inadequate for stopping or even slowing the Axis advance. General Ritchie, the new 8th Army Commander, would have nothing of it and still thought that the Axis forces couldn't possibly be in a position to advance further and would be running low on supplies. General Ritchie thought that if the British could assemble to groups, one at Msus and the other south of Benghazi, that would be more than the Axis forces could handle. General Godwin-Austen had reservations, as he felt that the 1st Armoured Division was too weak to protect the "desert flank". This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.