Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chaos erupts: the divisional headquarters are overrun or dispersed

The Official History does a poor job of mentioning the date when events happen. Apparently, still on the afternoon of 5 June 1942, Rommel decided to go on the offensive with his mobile forces. The Ariete Division and the 21st Panzer Division attacked to the East and the 15th Panzer Division attacked north towards Knightsbridge. The 9th Indian Division and 7th Armoured Division headquarters were scattered by these attacks. Whatever control was being asserted over the constituent units was lost. The 5th Indian Division HQ was at El Adem. The 22nd Armoured Brigade was hit by the 15th Panzer Division. What made the situation worse was that General Ritchie, the army commander, had no real idea that the situation and gone so badly wrong. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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