Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Preparations at Tobruk in mid-June 1942
The South African Major-General Klopper, the 2nd South African Division commander, also commanded the defence of Tobruk. Brigadiers Willison and Johnson had made suggestions to Klopper, but he implemented none of them. General Gott had been in Tobruk, but General Ritchie ordered him to leave. The garrison awaited events on 20 June 1942, prepared to fight. General Auchinleck was becoming increasingly concerned by what he saw. He thought that the preparations in Tobruk were progressing too slowly. He also anticipate that the attack, when it came, would come from the east. All the records from 20 and 21 June were lost. The account of the battle on those days was built from personal accounts, as that was all the official history authors had available to them. The result of the battle was the capture of Tobruk and almost all of its defenders. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.