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 placed 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.
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I am curious how aerial battlefield reconnaissance was done at this time of war. I suppose it had to be done by fighters for more risky missions and bombers for less ones. But were they attached at corps/division level?
I’ll put together a post on this in the next week or so.