Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tobruk surrounded: 18 June 1942
By early morning of 18 June 1942, Tobruk was surrounded by Axis forces. Axis control extended east about 40 miles. The DAK was situated on the east side of Tobruk, while the Ariete Division was southeast. The 10th Corps (Italian Pavia and Brescia infantry divisions)was on the south side. The 21st Corps (Sabratha and Trento divisions) was to the west, with some German infantry. General Ritchie reported to General Auchinleck, the theater commander, that he was not able to operate against the forces around Tobruk and still defend the frontier. At that, General Auchinleck flew out to the front to assess the situation. The result was that 13th Corps would protect the frontier, the 30th Corps would be withdrawn into reserve, and the army would directly command the forces in Tobruk. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.