Saturday, September 01, 2007

The next developments

After his successes on 25 and 26 January 1942, Rommel took advantage of the momentary lull in the fighting to "take on supplies and salvage the extensive booty". Rommel still had, at this date, his excellent tactical signals intelligence operation. They could tell that the British commanders had some disagreement about the next steps. He also learned that they might pull out of Benghazi. Rommel resolved to take Benghazi by a bold stroke, where he would send the Marcks Group and the 3rd and 33rd Reconnaissance Groups across the bad ground from southeast of Benghazi. Rommel's plan was for them to capture Benina and block the coast roadt at Coefia. He would send the Italian 20th Corps to attack through "Sceleidima, Soluch and Ghemines". He also would send the 90th Light Division north on the coast road, starting from Beda Fomm. He would use the DAK to divert British attention by feinting towards Mechili. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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