Jon found that the NZ National Archives have digitised their newspaper collection and made it searchable. I went into it to have a look at the first mention of Operation CRUSADER.
The articles below cover the start of the operation:
British Advance in Cyrenaica – 50 miles penetration “On the March” – New Zealand Troops RAF in Lybia Trial of Strength in the Desert
If you follow the Evening Post through the next days, there are some good articles and illustrations, which give a good feeling of the way the war was seen at the time.
New Zealand of course had a lot riding on the operation. It was the first time the New Zealand Division was participating in an advance against the enemy, and there was understandable apprehension based on what had happened in Greece and Crete.
The “Trial of Strength” map is rather good (although teh orientation is a little odd)
It took me a moment to figure it out, but now I think this is the best map I have seen of this area in a long time. It neatly aligns the direction of the advance with the lay of the land, by showing the escarpments so well.
Yeah, it was the escarpments that I especially liked … I didn’t realise that the iterior was lower than the Plateau! You can also quite neatly make out the escarpment 2 NZ Div advanced along on their way to Sidi Rezeg.
The choice of towns/locations to include/exclude is interesting too.