Panzerarmee Intelligence Assessment 4 February 1942

1. Enemy Behaviour on 4 February 1942

4th Indian Division retreated via Tmimi, Gazala, into the area of Acroma, protected by reconnaissance forces of Force E standing at and south of Gazala. 1st Armoured Division retreated on both sides of the Trigh el Abd, up to the area of B. el Harmat.

The following are to be presumed in the area B. Hacheim – Acroma and north of it during the evening of today: 1st Armoured Division, 150th Brigade, 1st South African Division, Polish Brigade, 1st Light French Brigade and 4th Indian Division.

Overall Impression: It appears that, protected by a security screen in the line Mteifel el Chebir – Ain el Gazala, an enemy defensive line is forming west of Tobruk between B. Hacheim – Acroma and north of it.

2. During January 1942 the below were destroyed or captured:

377 tanks and armoured cars (as well as armoured vehicles)

192 guns

1,220 motor vehicles (most of them destroyed)

50 planes (shot down or destroyed by army units)

3,300 prisoners of war were brought in

3. Tank situation of 2nd Armoured Brigade based on captured papers

a) 16 December 194 arrived at Matruh

Staff 9 M3 and 1 Mk. VI

Bays 17 M3 and 35 Mk. VI

9th Lancers 17 M3 and 35 Mk. VI

10th Hussars 17 M3 and 35 Mk. VI

b) 18 January 1942 at Antelat

Bays – 44

9th Lancers – 46

10th Hussars – 48

in total 138 medium tanks

Panzerarmee Afrika

Ic

Notes:

M3 = US-built M£ Stuart light tank

Mk. VI = British-built Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader

The 16 December total arrives at 163 tanks, the ordinary total expected in a 1941 armoured brigade would have been 166. 

The 18 January total is pre-combat, but after a long approach march, much of it on tracks. This number was also mixed, although the M3 and Mk. VI have not been broken out.

Panzerarmee Intelligence Assessment 3 February 1942

1. Enemy Behaviour on 3 February 1942

Today 4th Indian Division retreated via Derna to Tmimi, covered by rear guards of 5th Indian Brigade at Gasr el Carmysa, Martha, and Si. Umm er Rzem. During the evening hours still combat south of Si. Umm er Rzem. 1st Armoured Division also, at least with elements, retreated from Mechili 40km east.

2. A Polish POW taken near Martuba states: strength French Brigade 5,000 Polish, 900 Czech. In Tobruk there are 3 battalions of French.

3. Assessment of the currently available enemy formations in North Africa

British defensive line in the triangle Tobruk – Ain el Gazala – B. Hacheim is being established. Available for this: heavily hit 1st Armoured Division and 4th Indian Division, Polish Brigade, 1st South African Division (one brigade), 150th Brigade, 1st French Light Brigade, 22nd Armoured Brigade (in replenishment), 70th Division with remains 32nd Army Tank Brigade tied down as Tobruk garrison, 2nd South African Division tied down as garrison Bardia and Sollum front. Therefore available for mobile defense line west of Tobruk at present: about 150 tanks, 18 battalions, 9 light and 3 medium artillery regiments.

Panzerarmee Afrika

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Notes:

In Item 1 the original sentence stated that there was still combat at Si. Umm er Rzem, but then ‘at’ and ‘still’ were struck out and replaced by an unreadable insert, reproduced below. Thanks to Matti for solving this!

NewImage

Item 2. was added by hand to the typed report. It should refer to the Polish Brigade, but that is not what is written there. Many thanks to Horst Weber and his mother who helped decipher the handwriting on this thread.