First discord: D.A.K. War Diary Entry 2 April 1941

2 April 1941

During the night 1/2 April 5.lei.Div. closed up to the forward detachment, with the beginning of the main elements at the Via Balbia, south of M. Tabilb.

The enemy which had been observed to the north and south of the Via Balbia at B.Bilal and B. el Medfun during the evening 1 April by the forward detachment of 5.lei.Div. had retreated east during thenight. During the morning of 2 April he again faced about to resist, but after some artillery rounds evaded up to the area 20km west of Agedabia.0251

German 10.5cm lFH18 light howitzer of I./A.R.75 in action, probably April 1941. Collection

Lt. General Rommel gave the following verbal order at 13.00 hours: “5.lei.Div. pushes first on Agedabia, then in northwesterly direction on port Zuetina and occupies the same. Mass of the division to be pulled up immediately to Agedabia and the area west of it.”

Armoured Division Ariete at 15.00 hours received order by Aide de Camp[1] “Div.Ariete occupies as soon as possible area (based on thrust line[2]) 12-19 right 2 (7km southeast Cantoniera, south of Mn. Tabilba – Ergh et – Teneb).”

At 16.15 hours Agedabia was taken by the forward detachment of 5.lei.Div. after a short engagement. A.A.3 pushed past Agedabia to the northwest and took Zuetina. 17.00 to 17.45 hours an engagement took place south of Agedabia between II./Pz.Regiment 5 and 20 light English tanks. 7 enemy tanks were destroyed, 11 men captured, three of our tanks were lost.

Div.Brescia advanced into the area east of Agedabia as ordered with the elements instructed to do so. The Bologna battalion on Merduma airfield was subordinated to it.

The operation order of 2 April established the organisation of 5.lei.Div.Div. Brescia, and Ariete for the defense of the area Agedabia – Zuetina.

The Corps combat HQ was suring the day first brought forward to el Muktas, 20km west of Agheila, following that it was brought further forward into the area Cantoniera south Mn. Tabilba.

The airlanding operation to occupy Gialo was further delayed, and now envisaged for 4 April.

The following radio message was received from the Italian High Command: “From messages I have received I take it that your advance continues. This is contrary to what I have ordered. I politely request that you wait for me before you continue the advance.”


[2]See this older link for an explanation.

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