Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The airfields at Gambut
On 15 June 1942, the Axis forces were getting very close to Gambut, where the Desert Air Force was based. Air Vice-Marshal Coningham decided to stay there with his aircraft, so that they could continue to support the forces defending El Adem. At Gambut, there was an armoured car screen from the No.2 Armoured Car Company, RAF. Behind the screen, Gambut was defended by "four infantry battalions and three and a half anti-aircraft batteries (ready to engage tanks if necessary)". Bostons attacked the "El Adem-Sidi Rezegh area" seven times. Fighter bombers attacked twenty times. The Germans had thought that they were taking 20mm cannon hits on their forces, but it was actually Hurricane IID's with 40mm guns. Some Bostons were attacked by Me-109s, but took no losses. The Kittyhawk escorts drove off most of the Me-109s. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.