Monday, July 06, 2009

Backup to the night of 13/14 June 1942

The 201st Guards Motor Brigade withdrew from Knightsbridge during the night of 13/14 June 1942. There were still some defended points that were resolutely held by Commonwealth and British small units. They were equipped with artillery as well as infantry. The remnants of the British armour were positioned to the "south and west of Acroma". Rommel tried to get his troops to cut the coast road, by that was beyond their capabilities at this time. The Axis forces succeeded in taking Pt. 187, but the 15th Panzer Division was held at bay while the 21st Panzer Division was eventually driven back at Eluet et Tama. By early on 14 June, the 1st South African Division and the 50th Division wre ordered to withdraw from Gazala towards the Egyptian frontier. The South Africans withdrew on the afternoon of 14 June, under cover of a dust storm. They left rearguard troops behind to slow the German advance. The 50th Division rearguard broke through to escape, but the South African's did not follow and were captured. Most of the 50th Division withdrew to the Egyptian frontier by 16 June, but some moved into Tobruk. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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