Friday, May 29, 2009

General Ritchie starts to anticipate Rommel's moves

Later on 12 June 1942, General Ritchie learned of the British tank losses and he realized that Rommel might well decide to move north and pin the 1st South African Division and the 50th Division against the sea. General Ritchie thought that his only options were to continue the battle or withdraw to the Egyptian frontier. The latter would leave Tobruk cut off and vulnerable. General Ritchie decided that standing and fighting would be better than risking a running battle and withdrawal. General Auchinleck, who had come forward, agreed with his decision. Churchill learned of the situation and agreed that they should stand and fight. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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