Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Battle of Gazala in three phases

In Chapter X of Vol.III of the Official History, the Battle of Gazala is described as having three phases. The first phase was 26 to 29 May 1942. This commenced with the sweep around the British southern flank by German mobile forces. This failed to dislodge the British forces that were in the line stretching south from the sea to the far end at Bir Hacheim. In the second phase, the Axis mobile forces sat in "the Cauldron" turned on the defensive, decisively defeating a British attack on 5 June. The third phase was the deciding attack on 11 to 13 June that defeated the British armoured forces. In response, General Ritchie resigned the British to defeat and planned to withdraw towards Egypt. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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