Monday, August 29, 2016
Early on 7 April 1941 near Tmimi
One company of the Australian 2/48th Battalion reached Tmimi before the rest of the battalion. They moved into a defensive position about one thousand yards south of the road. The battalion's leading truck encountered three German vehicles in a small depression. They were German reconnaissance cars and they opened fire on the Australian truck. The Australian warrant officer in the truck was wounded. One man in the truck fired effectively on the Germans and killed two and wounded two more. There was a British cruiser tank moving through on the road at this time. The tank was ordered to the spot of the fight. The two German cars that had not been engaged drove off. They captured six men, of whom two died later. Soon, the commander of the 26th Btigade arrived at Tmimi. He took over the abandoned Cyrenaica Command headquarters. The rest of the 2/48th Battalion now arrived at Tmimi. The 1/Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and their commander arrived next. By now, the 2/13th Battalion had been ordered to move to Tmimi to support the 2/48th Battalion. Three other battalions were ordered on to Gazala. These were the 2/24th, 2/15th, and 2/17th Battalions. They were apparently part of the 20th Brigade and would set up a defensive position at Gazala. One thing that happened now was that Lt-Col. Marlon found the 2/15th Battalion headquarters unit. They were stopped on the inland track. There had been rifle on the road, but they had not arrived yet, which seemed strange. He finally became concerned that they might have taken the coast road and been caught in the ambush. While he was waiting, a German force drove up on them and attacked. They had four light anti-aircraft guns on Italian trucks and they engaged the German armored cars. Two of the guns were knocked out and caught fire. The other two fired all their ammunition. As they were trapped, the Australians surrendered. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Australian Official History.