Panzergruppe Intelligence Assessment 22 November 1941

This was sent at 22.00 hours 22 November 1941 by Major von Mellenthin to Berlin.

  1. Enemy Behaviour on 22 November 1941:

    Also today no attacks from Egypt on Sollum front. Instead during the morning hours advance 7 Armoured Brigade with 7 Rifle Brigade and 38 Battalion from area southwest Sidi Omar on Sidi Azeiz. 38 Tank Battalion with a motorised battalion forward to push on Marsa Luch. Via Balbia in area north B. el Gabr blocked by this formation. 7 and 22 Armoured Brigades stationed in area just south Sidi Rezegh northeast of B. el Gubi – B. el Chelb also today attempted unsuccessfully to break through to Tobruk via Sidi Rezegh. Related to this, on 21 November loss of 2017 tanks to German units reported. Also the attack from the south of elements 1 South African Division against Division Ariete was successfully repulsed with the loss of 50 tanks and 150 other vehicles. During the afternoon hours British tank formations ceased their attacks. Opponent in Tobruk supported British breakthrough attempts from southeast only by artillery fire. In his unsuccessful breakout attempts on 21 November he lost 27 tanks until now. [replaced by hand: in bitter counterattacks [unreadable] heavy losses] The fast enemy formations set in the direction Agedabia reached the area 60km southwest of it in the afternoon 22 November. Column has numerous losses due to air attacks. Supply depot for this colum is reported 100 km south of B. Tengeder.

  2. Calculation of enemy tanks used in the Tobruk – Sollum battle:

    Based on captured code name list and other material.

    1. 1 Army Tank Brigade on Sollum front under 4 Indian Division:    150 I Tank Mk. II
    2. 4 Armoured Brigade and 38 R.T.R. (rear of Sollum front):    170 medium tanks
    3. 7 and 22 Armoured Brigades southeast of Tobruk:            260 medium tanks
    4. In Tobruk 2 battalions 1 and 4 R.T.R.:                80 I Tank Mk. II

    Total at least 230 heavy and 430 medium tanks.

  3. Details

    According to POW reports, 8 Hussars equipped with American tanks.

  4. Overall Impression

    Advance of armoured brigade into back of Sollum front shows that enemy wants to break through this front first, in order to then task mass of tank units on Tobruk. This seems to be required to secure his supply base on the coastal road.

    It is possible that the [handwritten: knocked about] 2 Armoured Brigades southeast of Tobruk will cease their attacks until the mass of tank units on the Sollum front will be freed to advance on both sides of the Via Balbia towards Tobruk. t

The picture below shows the hand-drawn sketch by Lieutenant Block, aerial reconnaissance observer who carried out the aerial recce of 07.05 to 07.30 hours. It shows vehicle numbers and movement directions (upper left inside the circle), vehicle assembly areas (500 vehicles, small circle at lower right of circle), and air defense encountered.

Bildskizze

One thought on “Panzergruppe Intelligence Assessment 22 November 1941

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

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