Tobruch to El Alamein, Part 1: The Matruh 'Line'
In my previous essay on AFRIKA KORPS, I focused on the “first” battle of Tobruch, and the competing goals of the two opposing armies as they maneuvered and fought during the late spring and early summer of 1941. These initial Axis attacks are virtually preordained because of our determined, but imaginary Rommel’s absolute need to push the Commonwealth off of the escarpments that both parallel the Coast Road (Via Balbia) and closely ring the fortified port city of Tobruch. Thus, the overriding purpose of these initial Axis attacks is simple: to bring the British fortress under siege and, by so doing, to release the bulk of the Deutsches Afrika Korps for further offensive operations. Rommel’s strategic options after completing this first operation, however, are limited. Once Tobruch has been successfully invested by Axis forces, the Desert Fox really has only two choices as to his next course of action: reduce Tobruch, or drive east towards Alexandria.
Rommel’s Dilemma: Tobruch First?
If Rommel chooses the first option, then the Afrika Korps can — assuming adequate supplies in the battle area — immediately begin the “second” battle of Tobruch, with a series of attacks intended to reduce the British garrison and capture the fortress. This option, although risky, has several appealing arguments in its favor. First, it guarantees that the assault on the fortress begins when Axis forces are at their strongest, and the Commonwealth army is at its weakest. Moreover, the hypothetical General Wavell will actually have only three major units upon which to anchor his defense of the fortress: the two 4-4-7s and the single 3-3-7. Obviously, if the Axis attacks are successful, and they do not severely cripple the Deutsches Afrika Korps with losses, then Commonwealth prospects for victory decline significantly. For Rommel, the first attack is usually the “big” attack; if it succeeds in eliminating one of the British armored brigades without an exchange, the British commander has a real problem. If he reinforces Tobruch with the 3-3-7 mechanized unit, then the Desert Fox will simply attack it at 5 to 1, and take his chances with either a 1 to 5 or a 1 to 6 soak-off. This means that, after the first Axis attack, the Tobruch garrison will typically be composed of two 2-2-6s and a 4-4-7. Unfortunately, the methods for profitably attacking this weakened garrison are too numerous to catalog. Second, if the one surviving 4-4-7 is also eliminated without an exchange, not only will the fortress fall, but the Commonwealth player will have great difficulty in achieving combat odds against the powerful Axis armored units for the rest of the game. Finally, the several important advantages that the Axis possession of Tobruch would confer on Rommel, in terms of increased replacements, and in the accelerated arrival of supply convoys and reinforcements are too obvious to require elaboration.
The British commander is, of course, probably not going to sit passively by waiting for the Desert Fox to methodically grind down the Tobruch garrison. The problem is that the Commonwealth field army is not really capable of direct offensive action against the Afrika Korps, even after the arrival of July and August reinforcements, so long as Rommel makes sure that his interior flank is covered. In this situation, the best option available to Wavell is probably to attempt to slip the 2SA/7 Recce around the Axis southern flank as soon as possible, but this cannot occur before August I, at the earliest. In addition, moving the small British field force forward to put pressure on the Afrika Korps also means moving it within range of an attack by the same Afrika Korps. One nasty Axis tactic is to switch attacks back and forth between the Tobruch garrison and the British relief army as supplies reach the battle area.
The single crucial aspect of the “Tobruch first” strategy that discourages most Axis players from pursuing it, is the substantial risk attached to the attacks against the two 4-4-7s. Although individually, each of these combats has only a one-third chance of a doubled exchange, when considered as a pair of attacks, the chances of at least one exchange result occurring increase to more than fifty per cent. For this reason, most experienced Axis commanders will not attempt to reduce the fortress during the first summer, unless the British commander has already lost one of his armored brigades prior to Tobruch being brought under siege.
Rommel’s Dilemma: Egypt First?
As tantalizing as the prospect of the early fall of Tobruch is to the typical Axis commander, he will usually postpone initiating the “second” battle of Tobruch until he has, at least, attempted an offensive drive into Egypt and against the Allied Home Base in Alexandria. The arguments for this line of action are at least as compelling as those supporting the “Tobruch first” strategy. First, once the British block has been cleared from the Salum Pass, the front will open up, forcing the Commonwealth commander to sacrifice either combat units or terrain as he maps out his defense of Egypt. Initially, the east-west escarpment line will provide the British player with a small amount of defensive relief, but the greater range of the German panzer divisions means that the British forces will be hard-pressed to maintain strength at the front while still adequately covering their steadily-lengthening flanks. Second, if the Italian supply convoys can get past the Royal Navy during this critical period, and if the Axis offensive develops according to Rommel’s plan, then the Commonwealth troops will probably experience heavy attrition. Moreover, in the process they will be pushed back into the El Alamein Line by November of 1941. At this point in the campaign, Rommel will have four and a half months (nine game turns) remaining to either capture the Allied Home Base, or to double back for an assault against Tobruch. If the Desert Fox fails to do one or the other, however, then the Allied “three to one” advantage in replacements — beginning in March ’42 — will quickly swamp Axis prospects for victory in North Africa. Thus, the “Egypt first” Axis strategy offers one signal advantage that the “Tobruch first” strategy does not: that of flexibility. If the offensive peters out in Egypt, Rommel can always race back to attack Tobruch with the Afrika Korps. If, on the other hand, the Axis commander has burned his army out in reducing the fortress, then it may be a long time, if ever, before the Deutsches Afrika Korps resumes its march towards the Suez.
The Wild Card: German Supply
From July I ’41 through November II ’41, the fate of Rommel’s offensive into Egypt will depend almost entirely on the results of the Axis convoy die rolls. If four to six convoys manage to reach North Africa — the most probable set of outcomes — then the Deutsches Afrika Korps may have a real opportunity to inflict some serious damage on Wavell’s out-numbered forces. The date on which these convoys arrive, however, is also very important during this stage of the game. Any convoys arriving after the September II game turn will not reach the El Alamein battle area before November II ’41. So, if the Royal Navy is particularly adept at finding and sinking the July and August convoys, then Rommel is simply going to have to settle in for a long war. Whatever else happens, the Desert Fox can at least take comfort in the knowledge that the supply table will, beginning on the December I game turn, have only a one-sixth chance of a “sunk’ result for the remainder of the game.
The Battle for Egypt Begins
The balance of this essay will focus on the Axis drive into Egypt, and the several tactical and strategic challenges it poses for both the Axis and the Commonwealth players along the way. It will present a set of illustrative, but quite plausible, moves on the part of a hypothetical Axis commander and his make-believe Commonwealth adversary. It is assumed that the reader already has a thorough knowledge of the game rules and of the general flow and tempo of a typical AFRIKA KORPS match between two experienced and knowledgeable opponents.
The imaginary General Wavell, having preserved — for the time being, at least — Commonwealth possession of Tobruch, must now set his mind to the much more complicated, but no less important problem of defending British Egypt. To accomplish this task, Wavell can draw upon the survivors from his starting forces (now thirteen factors) plus ten factors of June reinforcements already on the map; in addition, eight additional combat units (nine factors) will enter play on July I, and a final contingent of four 1-1-6s will be in a position to land on Aug I. All of these soon to arrive Commonwealth reinforcements would seem to suggest that the British commander could look forward to a point of rough equilibrium between the Afrika Korps and Allied forces by August of 1941. This, however, is an illusion. Wavell simply has too many critical demands on his meager army to attempt to attain even temporary battlefield parity with Rommel before November of 1941. To see why this is so, it is only necessary to consider the British general’s several, sometimes conflicting goals.
First, and always most uppermost in the mind of the British commander, is the defense of the Allied Home Base in Alexandria. Following this, his second major priority is the continued Commonwealth possession of Tobruch; the early fall of the fortress, unless accompanied by truly appalling Axis losses, usually represents a lethal blow to British prospects in North Africa. Third, Wavell must attempt to control as much of the map as he can prudently manage; however, he can accomplish this only by maintaining his front line as far west as possible. While risky, this British strategy offers important benefits: the wider the front, the more difficult it will be for Rommel both to concentrate his combat power and to seal off the western desert from Allied raids. Moreover, the escarpment line that parallels the Via Balbia between the Salum Pass and Mersa Matruh, is an excellent “curtain of maneuver” for the British forces. If the Desert Fox masses along the Coast Road, then there will be few long-range German combat units left to straddle the escarpment and threaten Commonwealth forces probing around the southern end of the Axis line. The constant danger to the British, of course, is the longer reach of the German panzer divisions; one British mistake, and the Commonwealth forces could find themselves enveloped and out of supply. Thus, extreme caution must be exercised by the Allied player, particularly as the front moves east towards the end of the coast escarpment line. Fourth, Wavell should always attempt to maximize Rommel’s expenditure of supplies while minimizing British losses. The Deutsches Afrika Korps will typically be in a position, given average supply rolls, to make four or five attacks between June II and the British phase of the November I game turn. Supply convoys arriving after September II will probably not be able to reach the front line before November II. This represents a lot of potential damage. For this reason, it will be the British commander’s goal to try to keep Allied losses down to about two factors per Axis supply. The final objective of our hypothetical General Wavell is — as was the case during the First Battle of Tobruch — to conserve as many of his major (2-2-6s and larger) units as he can in the face of a determined Axis attacker. To add still further to the British commander’s problems is the fact that he must both maintain an adequate force in Tobruch at all times, and sufficient ready reserves to immediately reinforce the garrison, if the Axis suddenly switch their attention to an assault on the fortress.
Rommel’s objectives are, as might be expected, the exact opposite of Wavell’s. The “make-believe” Desert Fox wants to drive east into Egypt as quickly and economically as possible. If possible, Rommel would like to push past the east-west escarpment line, before substantial additional Commonwealth reinforcements arrive and, by so doing, to seal in all of the British field forces east of the narrow El Alamein gap. Once on this shorter line, Rommel’s goal will be to methodically destroy exposed Commonwealth units while preserving his own. With Bologna already gone, and only eight units able to maneuver, the Afrika Korps can afford very few, if any, additional combat losses. Still, the Desert Fox hopes to eliminate three or four factors per game turn during the last few attacks right before November and, with a little luck, to be able to seize and occupy the Ruweisat Ridge before the arrival of the substantial Allied winter reinforcements. Thus, Rommel will plan his campaign against Egypt and the Allied Home Base so as to minimize supply expenditures and Axis casualties; while, at the same time, he attempts to inflict the greatest possible damage on the Allied defenders both in terms of combat losses and in terms of their defensive position.
Setting the Scene: Commonwealth and Axis positions at the End of the June I 1941 Game Turn
The following photo (photo #3) shows a section of the AFRIKA KORPS game map along with the Axis and Allied unit positions at the end of the Commonwealth phase of the June I game turn. The Germans have assaulted the Tobruch perimeter at H25 and have eliminated 9A/20 at 6 to 1; Bologna, however, was lost in the accompanying 1 to 5 soak-off. Because a supply convoy arrived at the Axis Home Base on June I, Rommel still has two supply units on the map (one in the immediate battle area); even though he used supply #2 to sustain his attacks this turn. Wavell’s response to the Axis assault is again dictated by circumstances: he orders all but one of the surviving British defenders either into Tobruch or through the port and out to sea. The first battle of Tobruch is essentially over; now Rommel turns his gaze eastward: the battle for Egypt is about to begin. The final positions, after combat, of all Axis units are as follows: Rommel – G14; 21/5, 21/104 & Ariete – I25; 21/3 – L46; Trenta - J26; Brescia – J28; Pavia – I28; Savena – W3; 15/8 & 15/115 – H24; 15/33 – K35; Supply #1 – O39; Supply #3 – K11. Surviving British units, including June reinforcements, occupy the following hexes: 4I/7 – H26; 4I/11, 2/3, 7/4 & Supply #2 – G25; Pol/Carp – M49; 7A/1 – J37; 7A/2 – J36; 22 Gds & 7/3I Mot – At Sea; Supply #1 – I48; 7/7 S.G. – Q55; 7/7 – J46; 7/4SA Mot – O52; 4I/23 – J47; Supply #3 – P55; Supply #4 – J62.
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June II ’41, Rommel Drives East
Rommel receives his first piece of disappointing news: he learns that the Royal Navy has intercepted and sunk the June II Axis supply convoy. This is particularly unfortunate timing, as it is critically important to Rommel’s operational plans that the summer convoys arrive so that the Afrika Korps can launch a sustained offensive against the British before their powerful November reinforcements arrive in the El Alamein battle area. In spite of the supply sinking, however, the Desert Fox wastes no time in clearing away the two blocking Commonwealth brigades at Tobruch and the Salum Pass. In the Axis commander’s view, the sooner these units are removed, the sooner his army can begin to drive east. And if he delays, he suspects that the British commander will simply shift the unit in the Salum Pass east a few hexes so that it would require not one, but two Axis supplies to clear both H26 and the Pass. If, as the Desert Fox expects, General Wavell leaves an infantry brigade to delay Axis movement through the Salum Pass, then the Afrika Korps will bypass and surround the Allied block while Rommel waits for additional supplies to land and come forward.
The British Riposte
General Wavell is also a little disappointed, given the Axis supply sinking, that Rommel still continued with the attack against the two British blocking units. The Commonwealth commander had already issued orders for 7A/2 to withdraw a few hexes to the east if the Axis did not attack at the end of June. As things now stand, another small infantry brigade must be sacrificed to keep Rommel’s one supply unit from moving far enough to the east to create problems for the British around Mersa Matruh. Rommel could, of course attack the two brigades covering the ends of the Via Balbia, but that would mean that the Afrika Korps — assuming it received supply on July I — would not be able to attack Wavell’s Egyptian army until the August I game turn at the earliest. Besides, our imaginary Wavell has begun to make plans of his own.
The ground between Sidi Barrani and Mersa Matruh offers interesting possibilities for an opportunistic defense. It is precisely the type of terrain that General Wavell is looking for. Because the coastal plain narrows just to the west of Mersa Matruh and the escarpments curve in to form a nice defensive shoulder, the Commonwealth commander has decided to make Rommel fight for this last precious section of the escarpment line. The front is narrow and the ridges divide the battlefield along the east-west line of the escarpments. So, regardless of Rommel’s plans, Wavell has concluded that, with the additional British reinforcements landing on July I, this stretch of coast is a perfect place for a battle. Moreover, with at least three of Rommel’s mobile units tied up isolating the Allied unit near the Salum Pass, it may be possible for the Commonwealth to create a situation in which the British reconnaissance battalion can slip around the Axis right flank.
Commonwealth and Axis June II Final Positions
The following photo (photo #4) shows a section of the AFRIKA KORPS game map along with the Axis and Allied unit positions at the end of the Commonwealth phase of the June II game turn. The Germans have destroyed the British blocking units at H26 and J36 with AVs, but have used Supply #1 to sustain the two attacks. In addition, the Axis supply convoy for June II was sunk, so Rommel currently has only one supply unit on the map. The British have responded by continuing to block the Salum Pass at J37, and by occupying terrain as far west as possible on the Coast Road and escarpment while still deploying just out of range of Rommel’s one remaining supply unit. The Desert Fox has completed arrangements for the Axis siege of Tobruch and has also succeeded in prying open the Salum Pass; despite these attacks, however, it appears that General Wavell intends to form a line somewhere near Mersa Matruh . The final positions, after combat, of all Axis units are as follows: Rommel – N13; 21/5 – L40; 21/104 & 15/115 – H27; 21/3 – M43; Ariete & Pavia – L37; Trenta – H25; Brescia – I26; Savena – W3; 15/8 – J35; 15/33 – L39; Supply #3 – J27R. Surviving British units occupy the following hexes: 4I/11, 2/3, 7/4 & Supply #2 – G25; Pol/Carp – J45; 7A/1 – J37; 22 Gds – K50; 4I/23 & Supply #1 – K51; 7/3I Mot – N51; 7/7 S.G. – Q55; 7/7 – M49; 7/4SA Mot – O52; Supply #3 – P55; Supply #4 – J62.
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July I, Rommel’s Offensive Stalls: Shadowboxing with Wavell
The news from the Axis Home Base is disappointing again: another Italian convoy has been lost to the Royal Navy. Given his current logistical difficulties, the Desert Fox can do little but maneuver, and plan for happier times. Rommel returns to the Axis Home Base so as to be able to speed supplies east, and also to release Savena for combat duty at the front. On the main front, the encirclement and isolation of 7A/1 is the one small bit of mischief the Afrika Korps can accomplish while it waits for additional supplies to reach North Africa. Of course, given Axis logistical problems, it is difficult to be sure of real British intentions. Wavell may intend to contest the Coast Road around Mersa Matruh, or he may be bluffing; just biding his time and waiting for additional Axis supplies to come forward before falling back to either the El Daba or the El Alamein line.
The British Dig in
While the Desert Fox ponders the future of his stalled offensive, General Wavell has focused his attention equally on both the calendar and the map. Rommel’s supply situation, while not yet desperate, is beginning to hold out promise for the British commander. With the way things now stand, if the Afrika Korps receives every supply convoy possible between July II and November I, the Desert Fox will only be able to launch a maximum of five additional supplied attacks before the Commonwealth reinforcements arrive in November. Moreover, because Rommel’s advancing force has only eight units, the loss of even one Italian division or German reconnaissance battalion would create problems for Rommel around El Alamein. Given these two facts, Wavell decides to form a line running along the eastern escarpment and onto the narrow coastal plain west of Mersa Matruh. General Wavell will not allow the Desert Fox to open the door to El Alamein without a fight.
The British commander’s plan is a simple one. While he does not have the combat power to directly attack the Afrika Korps if it remains concentrated near the coast, Wavell can make it difficult for Rommel, in his turn, to attack without risking Axis soak-off losses. In addition, if Rommel commits his panzers on the northern side of the escarpment, then the Afrika Korps might well have a difficult time blocking deep Allied raids into the southern desert. The key to this defensive arrangement is a combination of sacrificial screening units and British force concentrations that, because of the limitations of German stacking, are difficult for Rommel to attack efficiently. While “stronger” in this situation would certainly be better, because his powerful armored brigades are tied down defending Tobruch, Wavell must make do with his smaller units. The key to his defensive strategy is for any undoubled defending British stacks to all total five defense factors, and to be vulnerable to Axis attack from only one hex. This arrangement means that the entire stack cannot be attacked by the Axis player at greater than 3 to 1 odds. Given that Rommel will probably be disinclined to exchange a 7-7-10 for a few 2-2-6s and a lone 1-1-6, assaults against such a stack will undoubtedly be split into two combats. The most likely Axis attacks will probably take the following form: 7 to 1 against a single 2-2-6, and either a 1 to 2 or a 1 to 1 against the remaining three Allied factors. While the guaranteed destruction of the 2-2-6 is unfortunate, the one-third chance of the A elim , and the one-sixth chance of an exchange combine to impose a fairly hefty opportunity cost on the Axis player who chooses to make the attack. Certainly, Wavell would admit that Rommel’s attacking units might be lucky; but they also might not be, and every attack would be exactly the same “coin toss” for both commanders.
The other, more subtle, benefit for the British in choosing to defend west of Mersa Matruh, is that any Axis attack against the units on the coastal plain will inevitably require both German panzer regiments, as well as three other combat units to be committed north of the escarpment line. Assuming that at least five Axis units are required for the northern battles, Rommel is going to have very little remaining rifle strength with which to cover his southern flank.
Commonwealth and Axis July I Final Positions
The following photo (photo #5) shows a section of the AFRIKA KORPS game map along with the Axis and Allied unit positions at the end of the Commonwealth phase of the July I game turn. Axis supply luck continues to be poor, so Rommel accomplishes what he can. The Allied blocking unit near the Salum Pass is encircled and isolated. The Desert Fox also orders uncommitted elements of the Afrika Korps to advance east and deploy astride the escarpment. In addition, Rommel has returned to the Axis Home Base so that incoming supplies can be sped east, and so that Division Savena can be released for front line duty. British reinforcements stream west from Alexandria to the front. Wavell has now made his intentions clear: the British Army has dug in around Mersa Matruh and gives no sign of abandoning this position without a fight. The final positions of all Axis units are as follows: Rommel – W3; 21/5 – I43; 21/104 & Ariete – M42; 21/3 – L44; Trenta – H24; Brescia – H26; Pavia – L39; Savena – N5R; 15/8 & Supply #3 – M41; 15/115 – K36; 15/33 – I39. Commonwealth units, including the July reinforcements, occupy the following hexes: 4I/11, 2/3, 7/4 & Supply #2 – G25; Pol/Carp – J46; 7A/1 (1st Isol) – J37; 22 Gds, 50/69 & 9A/18 – J47; Supply #1 – J49; 7/3I Mot & 7/7 – K47; 7/7 S.G. – Q54; 7/4SA Mot & 4I/23 – M49; 50/150 & 50/151 – N51; 50/6SA Mot – Res; 2SA/6 & 2SA/4 – O52; 2SA/7 Recce – T55; Supply #3 – T56; Supply #4 – J62.
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July II, Rommel Receives Good News At Last
After waiting a full month, our patient, but imaginary Desert Fox is finally rewarded with good news: an Italian convoy has arrived at the Axis Home Base and has already begun off-loading supplies for his front line troops. At last the Deutsches Afrika Korps can begin to move again. Fortunately, the isolated Commonwealth brigade near the Salum Pass will be gone before the new Axis supplies reach the front. In anticipation of the coming operations, the Desert Fox orders his Italian divisions to the Coast Road, and then sets about making preparations for a renewed drive on Alexandria. The main enemy strength appears to be heavily committed to the coastal plain; therefore, Rommel decides to shift his panzer divisions inland towards the south in an effort to unhinge the British left flank. Although the Axis commander does not actually want to attack without a store of additional supplies in the battle area, he hopes that just the threat of his advancing panzers will induce Wavell to abandon the Mersa Matruh position and retreat back towards El Alamein where both armies will have shorter, more defensible fronts. Rommel also makes certain that the Allied reconnaissance battalion has no way of slipping past his front and into the Axis rear. Given his current supply situation, the last thing the Desert Fox wants to have to do is waste a supply on a single raiding British battalion.
No Retreat! Wavell’s Troops to Fight for the “Matruh Line”
Rising dust clouds in the west alert the British to the fact that German and Italian columns are on the move. Very quickly Wavell surmises that Rommel is moving against the weak British left flank. Despite recommendations from a number of his staff to begin a gradual and orderly withdrawal to the east, the British commander instead orders the left flank to be reinforced by what few mechanized units can be scraped up. He explains to his staff: “We can’t be strong everywhere and neither can Rommel; if he is moving against our left, then he has undoubtedly stripped strength away from the Coast Road sector. If he can do it, so can we.”
The British commander adjusts to Rommel’s move by reinforcing the area near the southeastern shoulder of the escarpment line. Wavell rightly guesses that, if Rommel does attack in this sector, he will be unable to adequately cover his flanks and still attain good odds against the most likely target units. Even the two Allied sacrifice units are carefully positioned so that they cannot be attacked using the same Axis supply. The British commander is also convinced that the Desert Fox is not going to want an Allied recce unit roaming about in the Axis rear, particularly with the front line now so close to the El Alamein bottleneck. For this reason, Wavell is sure that Rommel will maintain his southern line all the way to the Qattara Depression.
Even Tobruch is momentarily safe from a serious attack because of the Axis armor’s movement into the desert. For this reason, the British commander can even afford to temporarily deplete his ready reserve in order to put all of his larger brigades into the fight for the Coast Road.
Now that his dispositions are made, General Wavell can only wait. If the Afrika Korps receives another supply convoy, then the British commander knows that an Axis attack will be inevitable. Time is short, and Rommel is certainly not going to give the Royal Navy a “free” sunk after the Italian convoys that have already been lost. The only real question remaining is not whether Rommel will strike, but where: Which part of the British line will the Afrika Korps finally attack?
The Commonwealth and Axis July II Final Positions
The following photo (photo #6) shows a section of the AFRIKA KORPS game map along with the Axis and Allied unit positions at the end of the Commonwealth phase of the July II game turn. Rommel finally receives a supply convoy and wastes no time in speeding the new supplies toward the front. The Australian 7A/1 is eliminated due to isolation at the end of the Commonwealth portion of the turn. With additional supplies coming forward, the Desert Fox can again turn his attention to renewing his offensive against Alexandria. In an effort to conserve supplies, Rommel decides to try to maneuver Wavell out of his Matruh position; by threatening heavy pressure against the British left flank, Rommel hopes that the British commander can be induced to withdraw back towards El Alamein without a fight. He soon has his answer; Wavell strengthens the southern part of his line, but makes only a few limited, local withdrawals to the east. It is now clear to Rommel that if the Axis commander wants the British Army to retreat, then he will have to actually attack and drive it back. Wavell, it would appear is no mood to be bluffed. The final positions of the Axis units are as follows: Rommel – W3; 21/5 – L46; 21/104 – R51; 21/3 – U54; Ariete – I44; Trenta – H24; Brescia – H26; Pavia – I39; Savena – D7; 15/8 – O49; 15/115 – K36; 15/33 – L39; Supply #1 – J12R; Supply #3 – M44. Commonwealth units occupy the following hexes: 4I/11, 2/3, 4/7 & Supply #2 – G25; Pol/Carp – J46; 22 Gds & 2SA/4 – P56; Supply #1 – J49; 7/3I Mot & 50/6SA Mot – J47; 7/7 S.G. & 7/7 – O54; 7/4SA Mot & 4I/23 – N50; 50/69 & 9A/18 – K48; 50/150 & 50/15 – O52; 2SA/6 – R58; 2SA/7 Recce – R59; Supply #3 – Q59; Supply #4 –J62.
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Tobruch to El Alamein, Part 2: On to the Ruweisat (Future Post)
Coming in Part 2 will be the conclusion to the “Battle for Egypt” and an analysis of Rommel’s first big push towards Alexandria and the Suez.