Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Axis forces at the end of 27 May 1942
The Axis forces had penetrated deep behind the British front at Gazala by dusk on 27 May 1942. The 15th and 21st Panzer Division were just west of El Adem, but had lost one third of their tanks. The 15th Panzer Division was short of fuel and ammunition. The 90th Light Division was somewhat farther east, south of El Adem. The Italian Ariete Armoured Division had attacked Bir Hacheim, but was repulsed. The Trieste Motorized Division had turned north too quickly and was trapped in minefields west of the Gazala line. The DAK headquarters was trapped, without support, just south of Bir Harmat. Rommel's response to the situation was a planned advance with the remaining mobile force, the 21st Panzer Division. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.