Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tobruk loses air support

By 18 and 19 June 1942, the Desert Air Force had to withdraw all the way back to Sidi Barrani. They had been forced to withdraw from the Gambut fields and Sidi Azeiz could not be protected against fast-advancing Axis forces. What this meant was that Tobruk no longer had air support. One squadron of Kittyhawks with long range tanks could reach Tobruk, but that was the extent of what could be done. By early on 20 June, the German reconnaissance units had reached Sidi Azeiz. The Axis air forces spent 18 and 19 June readying for the big attack on Tobruk on 20 June. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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