Panzerarmee Intelligence Assessment 25 January 1942

Also today the German motorised forces advancing on Msus inflicted extremely heavy losses on 1st Armoured Division. The following were captured or destroyed:

  • 96 tanks and armoured cars, including some American models built in 1941
  • 38 guns
  • a large number of motor vehicles,
  • ammunition dumps and equipment
  • 10 planes were shot down or destroyed on the ground

According to aerial reconnaissance the remains of 1st Armoured Division retreated north and north-east in flight, apparently on Mechili. There according to radio reconnaissance the command of 13 Corps.  The reconnaissance forces planed in the line Sceleidima – Solluch – Ghemines (Central India Horse and 1st Welch Regt.) have pulled back their forward elements in the area of Beda Fomm, except for patrols. According to aerial reconnaissance around noon north of Tobruk with westerly course 5 freighters with 8 destroyers. At the same time motor vehicle concentrations near Tobruk. From there heavy traffic to the west. Radio reconnaissance establishes a command of 1st Light Free French Division west of Derna.

Panzerarmee Intelligence Assessment, 24 January 1942

Enemy Behaviour on 24 January 1942

The 1st Armoured Division which is encircled by German – Italian formations in the area east of Agedabia suffered extremely heavy losses during the reduction of the cauldron and in its attempts to break out, especially in the area south of Saunnu. During this operation were destroyed or captured (during the time 21 – 24 January 1942):

  • 143 tanks and armoured cars
  • 80 guns
  • Ground troops shot down 14 planes
  • 1,000 prisoners brought in

According to aerial and radio reconnaissance the command of 1st Armoured Division is in the area of Msus in the evening hours of today – there are about 700 vehicles in the area – and the heavily hit formations of 1st Armoured Division are in the area north-east of Saunnu – Antelat. No movement noted for the mass of 4th Indian Division. Reinforced reconnaissance forces in the line Sceleidima – Solluch – Ghemines. Weaker forward forces in the line north-west of Antelat – Beda Fomm – Si. Abd el Asti. Aerial reconnaissance reports no specific movements area Bardia – Tobruk – Mechili.

Panzerarmee Intelligence Assessment, 23 January 1942

1. Enemy Behaviour 23 January 1942

Elements 2nd Armoured Brigade, 1st Support Group and 200th Guards Brigade encircled in the area Saunnu – 23km south-west Antelat – east of Agedabia – Mn. el Grara. Breakout attempts in north-easterly direction were repulsed. In area Beda Fomm reconnaissance units 4th Indian Division. According to radio reconnaissance in the area 20km north-east Antelat a new formation.

2. Report about number of prisoners and booty to follow.