Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New information and events from 24 April 1941

One result of the fighting on 24 April 1941 was that the British and Australians got information about enemy units besieging Tobruk. There had been a battle group called the Fabris unit involved in the fighting around Tobruk. That group had been replaced by a battalion from the Italian Trento Division. There were two regiments from the Brescia Division deployed on the west side of Tobruk. There were also units from the German 15th Armored Division present. they included the infantry regiment, one battery of artillery, and an engineer company.

The Medauuar area in Tobruk was an ongoing concern. After the fighting on the 24tg, the Australians worried that there would be a new effort to reoccupy the area where they had been driven from in the battle. Some reconnaissance proved that by 25 April, the area was still empty of enemy troops.

There were further patrol actions by the Australians on 25 April. Infantry from the 2/23rd Battalion drove enemy troops from the positions near the Derna road. The 2/23rd Battalion commander was intent on keeping the enemy at a distance of about 3,500 yards. He was afraid that if the enemy could establish themselves close, it might make his battalion more vulnerable. The area near the battalion had deep wadi's and escarpments. They relied upon the Indian cavalry regiment, the 18th Cavalry for information from their patrols. The word was that there were two posts that had been established. The northern post was found deserted, but the southern post had Germans working on defenses. An Australian patrol ahd surprised them, but were driven off in a fight.

The Australians responded with new a new patrol group. They were slowed by trying to bring mortars along. By the time they arrived at the southern position, the Germans were moving back. The Germans fired machine guns and artillery against the Australians. They did capture some enemy soldiers. They also attacked some enemy vehicles loaded with ammunition. Later, the 18th Cavalry captured an Italian officer and 32 men near the coast. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Australian Official History.

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