Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Adventures on 28 January 1942

The Italian 20th Corps, with the Ariete Divsion and Trieste Division overran a group of Welsh Regiment at Sceleidima. They then advanced on Soluch. While approaching El Regima, the Marcks Group was joined by Rommel, with the 3rd and 33rd Reconnaissance Units operating in concert. The 33rd traveled across rough terrain to Coefia, which they reached by 6pm on 28 January 1942. They caught the 7th Indian Brigade on a causeway, on the main coast road. The brave leadership of Brigadier Briggs took them in three columns, so that they broke out to the south. They all arrived "either at Mechili or El Adem". They had come very close to being put in the bag. The Axis air forces had been left behind by the rapid advance. The RAF was hampered by the gradual withdrawal. Still, the British had air superiority over the battlefield, for the present. After the Axis advance, only aircraft based on Malta could attack Tripoli. The British withdrawal reached the Gazala-Bir Hacheim line by 6 February. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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