Panzergruppe Intel Assessment 20 November 1941

This was sent from Panzergruppe command to the Army High Command, Department Foreign Armies West (OKH Fremde Heere West), in Berlin on 21 November, with copies to the Italian high command in North Africa.

  1. Enemy Behaviour

    7 Armoured Division on 19 November advanced with an armoured brigade enveloping Bardia, with another one direction Tobruk. The latter advance was stopped at mid-day 20 November on both sides of Sidi Rezegh. The armoured brigade which advanced direction Bardia on 20 November evaded the attack of D.A.K. towards the south and in the evening 20 November stood south of the Trigh el Abd at and west of B. el Gibni. Italian air reconnaissance reports mid-day 20 November 500 enemy vehicles advancing about 100 km south Mechili direction Benghazi, apparently two reconnaissance units from the area Giarabub. The enemy forces advancing from the area Giarabub (reinforced 4 Indian Brigade) stood in the evening 20 November south and southwest B. el Gibni.

    1 South African Division ascertained by air reconnaissance, in the evening 20 November present in the area 30 km southeast B. el Gubi. The enemy forces opposite the Sollum front (4 Indian Division) remained quiet on 20 November. The opponent in Tobruk as well.

    Use of strong enemy fighter forces made air reconnaissance east of Egyptian border difficult. The bringing up of further strong enemy forces could therefore not be ascertained. Nevertheless according to radio reconnaissance the bringing up of 2 New Zealand and 50 English Division can be expected. 2 South African Division appears to remain in the area El Daba.

  2. Recognised Order of Battle

    The Army Command 8, area Sidi Barrani, has subordinated under it 30 Army Corps, apparent HQ Maddalena. This corps command leads 7 Armoured and 1 South African Division. 7 Armoured Division leads the aforementioned 2 armoured brigades and the rifle brigade further to the south. Another command staff that appeared in the area B. Mahas Bu Meliha suggests the bringing up of another 1-2 armoured battalions.

  3. Details
    1. Single POW:     7 Hussars, 8 Hussars, R. Gloster H. of 22 Armoured
      Brigade, 4 s.a. Armoured Car Regiment.
      D-Company Northhumberland Hussars, 38 RTR and elements 7 Armoured Division recognised before Tobruk based on vehicle signs.
    2. Based on captured list of cover names, 4 Indian Division consists of:
      CIH and 4 s.a. Armd. Car Regiment

      3 Coldstream Gs. and 9 R.B.

          1 Buffs

      5 Indian Brigade    2 Raj. Rif

          3/1 Punjab

          1 R. Sussex

      7 Indian Brigade    4 Sikh

          4/16 Punjab

          2 Mahratta

      11 Indian Brigade    2 Cameron

          1 Raj Rif

      And per Brigade 1 AT and 1 MG company, in addition 12/15, 31/5, 52 and 234 battalions subordinated to 25 Field Artillery Regiment, and 1 Army Tank Brigade: 8, 42, 44 R.T.R.

  4. Overall Impression

    Opponent appears to prepare breakthrough direction Tobruk while simultaneously establishing a defensive line at and west of Gibni.

One thought on “Panzergruppe Intel Assessment 20 November 1941

  1. Pingback: Panzergruppe Daily Intelligence Assessments by Day – Overview Table | The Crusader Project

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