Sunday, August 26, 2007

Confusion on 23 January 1942

The Queen's Bays had been directed to Saunnu, looking for Marcks Group. They had been sent to el Grara, so no one was at Saunnu, when the Queen's Bays arrived. Rommel had ordered the 21st Panzer Division to Saunnu, so but the did not receive the order. They sat where they were, instead. Air reconnaissance was impaired by ground haze, early in the day. British air reconnaissance did see the massive move up the coast road and attacked with LR Hurricanes, as that was the only aircraft available. Fighters were used for reconnaissance, since the air battle over the scene was so intense. The weaker 21st Panzer Division was hit by the 9th Lancers and 10th Hussars and was stopped. They called for help from the 15th Panzer Division. They would not respond without DAK approval. The 15th Panzer Division was ordered forward and ended up chasing the 1st Support Group northward. Late afternoon on 23 January saw the 2nd Armoured Brigade caught in action with DAK, and while they inflicted some damage, they also lost guns. The initial German confusion subsided and they started to press the 1st Armoured Divison quite hard, until they leaguered for the evening. The artillery on both sides was engaged valiantly. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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