"east and south-west".of Bir el Khireigat. After that, they would then hit the 7th Armoured Division which lay to the east. This was not to be a prolonged operation and the 21st Armored Division would return to their position within 24 hours.
Other units would hit the coast sector on Sunday. Despite the usual practice of not having a gun set up to fiire on the beach on Sunday, the day of the attack, there was a gun. Three more guns were set up a short distance behind. The evening before Rommel's attack, the three guns back had been registered.
The main thrust of Rommel's operation was south of the escarpment. Units on the west were told to expect an operation by Axis troops. Rommel was going to have problems, because the British were ready with air power to hit his masses of moving vehicles. Later in the North African campaign, a common practice of dispersal was implemented. But Rommel was oblivious to the issue, surprisingly enough.
When Rommel's operation started on Sunday morning, there were three columns from the 21st Armored Division sweeping on arcs that hoped to catch British battle groups. The British were prepared and fell back to the minefield avoided the three columns. The South African armored cars stayed at a distance and provided a screen for the withdrawing battle groups. When the Germans had moved up to the dummy supply dump, they found "empty desert". The British positions at North Point and the Playground were abandoned. The Germans passed through the British minefield and drove to Sofafi when they ran out of fuel. The Germans went into hedgehog formations when they were hit by the British air attack. They took fire and bombs. At thst point, the Germans pulled back and headed for the rear. Rommel was present and driving in his captured British command car. He had a flat tire, which they struggled to fix.
The Australian gunners on the coast were not privy to prior knowledge about the impending attack. They were all set for a normal day where they would shoot harassing fire. The Australians could hear noise from the direction of Halfaya pass. A British column commander did not explain what was happening. They were finally Early in the morning, the Scots Guards were attacked by a German patrol and took casualties. The patrol was hit by mortar fire and by a carrier patrol. The Australian gunners were supporting the Scots Guards. This based on the account in Vol.III of the Australian Official history.