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.

10hussars

A 10 Hussars M3 tank, probably a command tank, refueling, January 1942 in western/central Cyrenaica. Location and Date unknown. Rommelsriposte.com Collection.

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 1941 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 166 tanks, exactly the ordinary total expected in a 1941 armoured brigade. 
  • 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. This ignores tanks delivered during the battle from T.D.S., of which there were some, based on the war diaries.

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