Saturday, September 08, 2007
The Axis forces in early February 1942
Mussolini had sent a directive to Rommel, which he received from General Bastico, ordering him to defend Tripolitania, over any other priority. Mussolini said that they were very short of fuel oil, so that it would be difficult to send supplies for now. Rommel was sure that the British would not be a threat for the next "six or eight weeks". In the recent push, the Axis casualties were light, but they were still suffering from the losses in the Crusader Battle. Rommel disposed his forces with a mixed German-Italian force forward, just a small group. The DAK and 90th Light Division were in the Jebel Akhdar, in support. He positioned the majority of the Italian 20th Corps and one infantry division near Benghazi. There were two more infantry divisions at Antelat and one each at Mersa Brega and Marada. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.