May 28th 1942 (3)
Captain Wallis sat on the hull of his Valentine III tank. What a spot of bother he’d gotten his men into. German Panzers swarmed all around advancing and seeming to ignore what was left of his battalion. “What a spot of luck old boy. They obviously don’t realise we’re here. Let them move on and then we’ll hit the blaggards from the…..” He was interrupted by shouts to his left “There, there!” As the shapes of German armoured cars came into view the Captain couldn’t hide his disappointment “Oh blast!”
With the threat of the British tanks removed Generalmajor Fischer gave the order to advance “Onwards to Bir El Gubi”
Oberst Lange couldn’t help but comment “What are those things? Are they tanks? Are we sure they’re tanks? I mean look at them!” The short exchange of fire convinced him that they may need to be treated with a little more respect but still they succumb to the inevitable.
Hauptmann Becker, still with a lot to prove (and confirm that Herr Pferdmann had made a good decision) was at the forefront of 22.Panzer regiments attack. AA guns mounted on the hull of an old Vickers tank proved inadequate for frontline duty.
The two Flak battalions assigned to support 21.Panzer concentrated their fire on the Hurricanes still buzzing through the sky following their successful attack run with devastating results.
With Knightsbridge now under siege the armoured elements of 21.Panzer pushed forward towards Tobruk.
Appearing out of the morning haze, the Hurricane wing was quick to locate a target. The guns of 13.Flak Abt quickly began tracking the nimble fighters, felling many aircraft.
Undaunted by the heavy flak fire the Pilots steeled the resolve to deliver their deadly payload against 4.Aufklärungs Abt.
Outgunned and outmatched, Major Wolf could not Fathom why the British light tanks would charge recklessly towards his line.
1.Schützen Regiment learnt first hand that it was a bad idea to engage those new “funny” British tanks on open ground. Despite their inability to inflict significant damage to their foes, the German infantry held. Confident in their own Panzers to come and support them.
Pferdmann despaired. The Italians had reported that the South African infantry had advanced further and was now attempting to secure the airfield. The Recon battalion that had been assigned to hold it took heavy losses but barely held for now. “How can they be having so much trouble against a single battalion? We better pray the rest of the British get any ideas about attacking our defensive line!”
May 29th 1942 (4)
Major Weiss swung his Panzers in a wide arc to fall upon the Grants rear. Still bogged down fighting infantry to the front they were quickly enveloped.
The Hurricane dived sharply through the terrible flak. As it came in low the bomb slung under its fuselage released hitting a German armoured car below. The Pilot pulled sharply back on his stick, willing the screeching plane to level out and then climb. As the plane levelled out and begun its long climb back to altitude an explosion tore through the right wing.
Karl looked through his binoculars and grinned “That’s another one for Bertha Otto!”
The pilots of the fighter wing assigned to escort their bombers looked on hopelessly. Their nimble planes could do nothing to prevent ground fire. Their radio sets crackled with the recall order but it was too late. A battalion of 20mm quad AA guns had found their range.
As the battle over their heads raged, 1.Panzer continued to advance. A few planes would not be enough to stop them.
5.Pioneer Abt crept ever closer to the enemy positions. At the allotted hour the artillery barrage ceased, this was the time. Charging in the British were caught still taking shelter from the shells that were landing all around them. Close combat favoured the Germans and soon the British were fleeing from the onslaught.
Pferdmann grinned. Knightsbridge was secure and the local garrison routed. Now the British on the Gazala line would have something else to think about other than beating up on his Italian forces. “Tell 14.Infanterie to hold that position”
5.Panzer regiment engaged some South African infantry with near immunity.
When the remainder of the Divisions Panzers arrived the SOuth Africans made the only logical decision. Infantry could not stand in open desert against tanks.
With Knightsbridge secure,21.Panzer continued their advance.
Now trapped in some boccage the South Africans that had probed the German defences found themselves in trouble. Italian Engineers proved up to the task of potentially removing this threat.
Obersleutnant Meier once more showed his value. More British tanks left as abandoned wrecks thanks to his well placed Panzerjagers.
21.Panzer weathered the storm. Infantry and tanks came at them but the steel line held firm.
As if the Italians didn’t have enough on their plate, now the British were sending their bombers at them. “Well at least they’re not bombing OUR men Herr General”