Sunday, November 29, 2009
The situation at Mersa Matruh deteriorates
The attack on the New Zealand Division at Minqar Qaim seems to have caused General Gott to decide that his troops needed to withdraw to the east. He sent a cryptic message to General Lumsden, 1st Armoured Division commander that authorized him "to withdraw east of the Bir Khalda track". The message indicated that the New Zealand Division had already left Minqar Qaim, which was not the case. The New Zealand division also received a message, possibly from General Gott. After General Freyberg was wounded, Brigadier Inglis, the acting division commander, decided to withdraw to the El Alamein line. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.