Friday, July 10, 2009

14 and 15 June 1942

The "Vigorous" convoy was sailing to Malta on 14 June 1942, between the island of Crete and Cyrenaica. This diverted German aircraft that might otherwise have been bombing the retreating British forces. Some Bostons and Wellingtons bombed the airfields, including at Derna, on the night of 13/14 June to disrupt bombing of the convoy during the day. There were dust storms on 14 June that all but eliminated any air operations. Both British and Axis air operations were affected. The situation on 15 June was pretty grim for the British. Rommel calculated that he had won the battle and that what he was seeing was the disassembly of the British forces before Tobruk. The British tank forces were reduced to "one weak brigade of compositie regiments". Rommel's next objective was to take Tobruk. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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