Thursday, August 13, 2009
The British plan on 18 and 19 June 1942
General Auchinleck was now involved with developing plans to fight the advancing Axis forces that has enveloped Tobruk and pushed past towards the border. The plan by late 18 June 1942 was to use the 13th Corps, supplemented by the 7th Armoured Division, with the remnants of the 4th Armoured Brigade, the 7th Motor Brigade, and the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade, as a mobile force. The British were reduced to 66 tanks and had six columns of artillery and motorized infantry. The 1st South African and 50th Divisions provided one brigade each to be used to constitute three columns of mobile infantry and artillery. The rest of those divisions would be concentrated on the border, with the 10th Indian Division, to defend that area. They knew that there was a chance that Rommel would strike towards the border, but expected an attack on Tobruk as being more likely. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.