Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The air battle on 11 and 12 June 1942
The British air forces saw the Axis movements north from Bir Hacheim later in the day on 11 June 1942. By the morning of 12 June, they knew that the 90th Light Division was near El Adem and commenced to attack them from the air, almost continuously. The 90th Light Division found these attacks to be non-effective and only a minor nuisance. There were about twenty low-level attacks by British aircraft during the day. The British had the air to themselves, however, on 12 June, as the Axis air forces were absent from the battle near El Adem. They were busy near Knightsbridge and Acroma. The biggest attack was a 100 plane raid at about 8pm which was intercepted by six British fighter squadrons. A huge air battle ensued. British fighters flew 583 sorties on the day. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.