Monday, February 15, 2010
Other events in June 1942
While the Harpoon and Vigorous convoys were at sea, the British withdrew from the Gazala line. Within five days after the convoys, Tobruk was taken by the Axis forces. There was the rapid advance after Tobruk fell so that the Axis forces had occupied Mersa Matruh by 28 June 1942. Admiral Harwood responded to those events by dispersing the fleet and moving merchant shipping and unneeded warships to the south of the Suez Canal. In the meantime, the Queen Elizabeth was repaired so that she could be moved out of drydock, before being moved further out of harms way before being sent to Norfolk, Virginia for permanent repairs. The extent of the danger from a further Axis advance was unclear, so perparations were made to block Alexandria, if necessary. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.