Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The 2nd Armoured Division and 9th Australian Division early on 7 April 1941

The units of the 2nd Armoured Division that were on the road to the east mostly stopped to rest during the night of 6 to 7 April 1941. The support group headquarters had stopped "off the inland track". They were near Giovanni Berta. The armored cars of the King's Dragoon Guards were stuck in traffic on the road to Derna. The 1st Royal Horse Artillery made a stop at 5am, on the way to Derna. One company of the 1/KRRC had stopped near them for breakfast. Another company was on the road through Derna. A third company and the headquarters were on the desert road to Mechili. There were other units on the road ahead of them. They included the 51st Field Regiment as well as a substantial part of the Northumberland Fusiliers. There was also "most of the 2/15th Battalion". There was also part of the Australian 26th Brigade. One the road to the east, there was the 2/17th Battalion, another 9th Australian Division battalion. They were headed for a road intersection, the one where the Mechili road connected to the Derna road. They eventually passed the battalion commander and his staff at breakfast and then the 2/15th Battalion headquarters. The 2/14th Battalion was still sitting at Martuba. The 2/48th Battalion and 2/24th Battalion were strung out on the road nearing Tmimi. Major Batten had already reached Tmimi and hoped to be directing the 2/48th Battalion into its assigned position. Major White, from Morshead's staff had already arrived and had some engineers and elements of the 2/48th Battalion already in place to man defenses with anti-tank rifles. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Australian Official History.

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