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The Battle of Gazala was a series of clashes between Rommel and the British in the late spring of 1942 near the Libyan coast. The brilliant, but risky maneuvers by the 'Desert Fox' in late May and early June were …
The Battle of Gazala was a series of clashes between Rommel and the British in the late spring of 1942 near the Libyan coast. The brilliant, but risky maneuvers by the 'Desert Fox' in late May and early June were a success, but left his armored units low on fuel and widely scattered. A major attack by British reserves might very well have delivered a decisive victory and destroyed most of Rommel's mobile units, but a failure to exploit this weakness by the British allowed him time to re-supply. On June 12th, with reports of a gap in the German tank formations, British high command had assembled the 2nd and 4th Tank brigades for an attack. Although the British had a numerical advantage, Rommel used his superior leadership and equipment to counter-attack. He ordered a frontal attack by the 15th Panzer, while the 21st Panzer attempted an outflanking move. The British forces, after a fierce engagement around Knightsbridge, were destroyed in this climactic battle.
The Battle of Gazala was fought during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, west of the port of Tobruk in Libya, from 26 May to 21 June 1942. Axis troops of the Panzerarmee Afrika consisting of German and Italian units fought the British Eighth Army composed mainly of British Commonwealth, Indian and Free French troops. The Axis troops made a decoy attack in the north as the main attack moved round the southern flank of the Gazala position. Unexpected Resistance at the south end of the line around the Bir Hakeim box by the Free French garrison, left Panzerarmee Afrika with a long and vulnerable supply route around the Gazala Line. Rommel retired to a defensive position backing onto Allied minefields (the Cauldron), forming a base in the midst of the British defenses. Italian engineers lifted mines from the west side of the minefields to create a supply route through to the Axis side. Operation Aberdeen, an attack by the Eighth Army to finish off the Panzerarmee, was poorly coordinated and defeated in detail; many British tanks were lost and the Panzerarmee regained the initiative. The Eighth Army withdrew from the Gazala Line and the Axis troops overran Tobruk in a day. Rommel pursued the Eighth Army into Egypt and forced it out of several defensive positions. The Battle of Gazala is considered the greatest victory of Rommel's career. As both sides neared exhaustion, the Eighth Army checked the Axis advance at the First Battle of El Alamein. To support the Axis advance into Egypt, the planned attack on Malta (Operation Herkules) was postponed. The British were able to revive Malta as a base for attacks on Axis convoys to Libya, greatly complicating Axis supply difficulties at El Alamein.
Wikipedia: Battle of Gazala
Game Type: Standard
Board Type: Desert
Website Access: Available