Saturday, November 14, 2009
27 June 1942 at Mersa Matruh
On 27 June 1942, Axis forces moved around the south of Mersa Matruh to block the coast road and trap retreating British forces. The New Zealand Division was located south of Mersa Matruh, at Minqar Qaim. By midday, Rommel directed the 21st Panzer Division to attack the forces located at Minqar Qaim and by 2pm, they had started to encircle the New Zealand Division. The army took steps to send support to the New Zealanders. The 10th Corps would attack south. The 50th Division and 5th Indian Brigade were moving towards objectives nearby. What really relieved the pressure was a move by the 1st Armoured Division that threw the 21st Panzer Division on the defensive. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.