Thursday, July 21, 2011
The German attack on 12 April 1941
The Germans attacked General Mackay's Australians on 12 April 1941. They attacked on a broad front and were in close formation. They overran a platoon, but Capt. Robertson's platoon was able to stop the Germans. The Rangers below, however, had thought that they were overrun, so they started to withdraw. The Germans had trucks and tanks and used the tanks to advance with the infantry following. These were the tactics that the Australians had used, themselves, in Libya. The Australians were increasingly under machine gun fire, and the Royal Horse artillery was left in an exposed position with no infantry in front. By 5pm, the Germans had penetrated the Australian front and had advanced deep behind the lines. In order to escape, the Australians often left their weapons behind. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.