|Britain's Western Desert Force inflicts an enormous defeat on the Italians in the winter of 1940/41. Operation Compass is one of Britain's greatest victories and coupled with the Battle of Britain led to Churchill feeling over confident.|
Just a brief outline of tomorrow nights game. It is set in early spring 1941 and Rommel has dramatically taken charge of the axis armies in North Africa. The Italian Empire is on the verge of collapse and Hitler has sent his best general to hold Tripoli in Libya against the British. The British, through Ultra, have a copy of Rommel's instructions and know that he has been ordered to maintain a defensive posture. Forewarned, Churchill has decided to call a halt to the triumphant British offensive and move scarce military resources to beleaguered Greece in an attempt to keep Britain fighting on the continent.
Unfortunately for Britain, Rommel seldom obeys orders. A keen exponent of Blitzkrieg, he launches an offensive against the overstretched British with whatever mobile forces he has to hand. He believes that the key to victory is to unbalance your enemy and then ruthlessly exploit the ensuing confusion. He did this in world war one against the Italians, he did it in 1940 against the French and he is about to do it again in North Africa, launching the legend of the "Desert Fox".
Our game is set east of Benghazi at the important cross roads of Mechili. Two Indian battalions and an Australian Antitank regiment have been scraped together by the HQ of 2nd Armoured Division in an attempt to counter the Axis offensive. However, Rommel is determined to capture the HQ staff and destroy this vestige of resistance before pushing on to Tobruk and the Egyptian border.
Will the Commonwealth forces hold and resist or pull out to fight another day? Has Rommel overstretched himself or secured another triumph? We will see Thursday night.