By Jon Latimer
In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, normal Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the subsequent years the Afrikakorps and its commander might turn into mythical. In his first offensive, Rommel swept around the wasteland, using the British again to the Egyptian frontier and shooting a lot of the 2d Armoured department within the strategy. One thorn remained in his aspect - the important port of Tobruk endured to withstand. If it might probably carry out Rommel's offensive should be halted. Wavell urged common Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 made up our minds Australians to carry in any respect price. The scene used to be set for one of many epic struggles of the barren region war.
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Additional info for Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move (Campaign, Volume 80)
209 was cut at 1915 and restored at 2045, in time for the operator to say 'we are all right' before being cut again. By midnight this post had been overrun and it was difficult to see how far the Germans had penetrated. Not that all had gone according to plan for the attackers. Posts S13, S7 and S8 were still being held by the stubborn Aussies and many of the assault troops provided by Brescia had failed in their task of breaking though on the right of the German 104th Rifle Regiment, which had only arrived in Africa two days before.
They must use the cover of darkness to cross the ditch and open a breach for the panzers to advance. 's position, Morshead was expecting an attack in this sector and deployed his guns and tanks accordingly. Field and anti-tank batteries were brought up and emplaced. Starting at 1700 on 13 April a heavy artillery barrage fell on posts R31 and R32. After an hour, Ponath's men supported by 200th Engineer Battalion, had reached the perimeter and were trying to open a breach. Hearing this, a party of Aussies went looking for them and a vicious hand-to-hand fight ensued in which Corporal John Edmondson won the VC.
Bde. and various small units. Meanwhile, Rommel fully intended to attack them the following morning but had so far been unable to collect a strong enough force. , RAAF. Hovering on the flank looking for an opportunity to create a diversion was A Sqn. of the Long Range Desert Group which had been located at Jalo. Twice during the day Gambier-Parry was summoned to surrender and twice refused. The second note at 1730 was signed personally by Rommel With its gull wings, massive landing gear and screaming dive-trumpets, the Junkers Ju 87 was planned as a Sturzkampflugzeug (divebomber) or Stuka and rapidly became synonymous with the type.
Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move (Campaign, Volume 80) by Jon Latimer