Monday, June 29, 2009

More from 14 June 1942

By late in the day on 14 June 1942, General Ritchie, the 8th Army commander, had issued an instruction that his intentions were to withdraw to the Egyptian frontier. The 5th Indian and 10th Indian Divisions actually had orders to that effect. By 8:30pm, General Ritchie gave the 30th Corps commander guidance that they should not be caught in Tobruk and surrounded. They needed to protect the escarpment and cover the 13th Corps. General Ritchie was concerned that the exits from Tobruk might be blocked by Rommel's forces. When Churchill heard about the intentions that were issued, he told the commanders in the Middle East that he hoped that they did not intend to withdraw from Tobruk, leaving it to the Axis forces. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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