Dates of Operation Crusader

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Attrition
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Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Attrition » 03 Aug 2019 16:39

Does anyone have a copy of Battles and Engagements or such like for a definitive statement of when Crusader stared and when it ended? Thanks

MarkN
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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by MarkN » 03 Aug 2019 21:12

Attrition wrote:
03 Aug 2019 16:39
Does anyone have a copy of Battles and Engagements ....
I'm sure somebody does, but l don't.
Attrition wrote:
03 Aug 2019 16:39
... for a definitive statement of when Crusader stared and when it ended? Thanks
As far as Auchinleck was concerned, night of 17-18 November 1941 to 17 January 1942. Others, no doubt, take different positions depending on the definitive understanding of "start" and "finish".

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Urmel » 04 Aug 2019 08:53

The Empire saw it from 17 November (crossing the wire) to 15-17 January (withdrawal of 7 Support Group to the Delta). The Axis called it the 'Winterschlacht' (winter battle) and considered it lasted from 18 November (first engagement) to 6 February (end of the counteroffensive).
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by MarkN » 04 Aug 2019 15:37

So Attrition, do the answers Urmel and I provided mean you won or lost your arguement elsewhere?

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Urmel » 04 Aug 2019 16:17

As long as we win Mark, all is good.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Attrition
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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Attrition » 05 Aug 2019 09:30

Not an argument, a discussion since my sources vary; the most convincing one for me has Crusader "petering out" near El Agheila in December. The reduction of Bardia etc is treated as separate.

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Urmel » 05 Aug 2019 12:29

It didn’t ‘peter out’ in December. It ended with the crash-bang whallop of 22 Armoured Brigade taken to the cleaners at Wadi Faregh, again.

https://rommelsriposte.com/2008/07/16/c ... ec-41/amp/

Following this on 6 January the Axis forces withdrew from Agedabia. Mid-January is the best end point, when 1 Armoured Division took over the forward sector.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by MarkN » 05 Aug 2019 13:45

Attrition wrote:
05 Aug 2019 09:30
... the most convincing one for me has Crusader "petering out" near El Agheila in December.
That's a great advertisment to discourage one from relying on other storytellers for your history. It's the sort of nonsense one sees regurigitated endlessly on the internet especially on sites such as wiki.

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Urmel » 06 Aug 2019 07:18

Pretty much.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Attrition
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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Attrition » 07 Aug 2019 12:48

[quote=MarkN post_id=2215749 time=1565009157 user_id=66427]
[quote=Attrition post_id=2215702 time=1564993852 user_id=33401]... the most convincing one for me has Crusader "petering out" near El Agheila in December.[/quote]
That's a great advertisment to discourage one from relying on other storytellers for your history. It's the sort of nonsense one sees regurigitated endlessly on the internet especially on sites such as wiki.
[/quote]

The official history?

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Urmel » 07 Aug 2019 13:19

Well if it really says it petered out... then yeah best not to rely on it. That’s not what happened.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by MarkN » 07 Aug 2019 14:08

Attrition wrote:
07 Aug 2019 12:48
The official history?
What about it?

Where does the OH say the "Winter Battle" petered out?
Attrition wrote:
05 Aug 2019 09:30
... my sources vary; the most convincing one for me has Crusader "petering out" near El Agheila in December.

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Aug 2019 17:52

MarkN wrote:
07 Aug 2019 14:08
Where does the OH say the "Winter Battle" petered out?
It does not. Instead, on page 91-92 it describes the battles with the 22d Armoured Brigade on 28 and 30 December, followed by its withdrawal to refit.

"General Ritchie could now do no more than try to gather a sufficient force to turn the enemy out of his positions at Agedabia, but for reasons which are discussed in Chapter VI he could not do this at once. General Rommel, for his part, believed that the DAK’s recent successes had for the time being removed the danger to his right flank, and expected a few days’ breathing space. Finding it difficult to reorganize and supply his troops in their present positions he decided to retire to El Agheila and there use the respite he had won to recruit his strength. The movement began on 1st January, and although some thinning-out was noticed by patrols and much traffic was seen, the British were not convinced until the 5th that a withdrawal was taking place, nor could they have interfered seriously with it even if they had known. The weather then grew worse and the enemy’s rearguards left Agedabia on 6th January under cover of a day-long sandstorm. Small British columns followed, and within a week they had discovered that the enemy was holding a series of defended localities from Mersa Brega on the coast towards Bir es Suera, with their desert flank drawn back to Sidi Tabet and Alem el Mgaad. Part of this front was protected by impassable salt marshes and the rest was mainly soft sand dotted with ‘camel humps’, over which the going was said to be as bad as anywhere in the desert."

P. 96. "Thus the British had succeeded in their object of clearing Cyrenaica of the enemy, though not by means of a rapid stroke, as had been planned, but only after a long and costly struggle which consumed so many of their resources that by the time they reached the western end of Cyrenaica their blow was spent. It had been realized that the difficulties of supply would increase enormously in Western Cyrenaica, and it was for this reason, wrote General Auchinleck in his Despatch, that he had been anxious to destroy the enemy as far east as possible.

In a sense the Winter Battle was not yet over, for before January was out history had repeated itself and Rommel was driving the British out of Western Cyrenaica very much as he had done in the previous April. Before describing this reverse it will be necessary to deal with some immensely important events which had been taking place in November and December 1941—notably the struggle for the vital sea communicate ns in the Mediterranean and the entry of Japan and the USA into the war."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by MarkN » 07 Aug 2019 20:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2019 17:52
MarkN wrote:
07 Aug 2019 14:08
Where does the OH say the "Winter Battle" petered out?
It does not. Instead, on page 91-92 it describes the battles with the 22d Armoured Brigade on 28 and 30 December, followed by its withdrawal to refit.
Indeed. I think he was just making it up to deflect attention.
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2019 17:52
In a sense the Winter Battle was not yet over, for before January was out history had repeated itself and Rommel was driving the British out of Western Cyrenaica very much as he had done in the previous April. Before describing this reverse it will be necessary to deal with some immensely important events which had been taking place in November and December 1941—notably the struggle for the vital sea communicate ns in the Mediterranean and the entry of Japan and the USA into the war."
Conceptually, Op CRUSADER was designed to be the first stage of evicting the AXIS from North Africa. Auchinlech was keen to press on with the second stage and push into Tripolitania as soon as possible based upon very (overly?) optimistic intelligence analysis. As soon as the Japenese attacked Pearl Harbour, that became an unrealistic proposition so he planned to hold Cyrenaica at el Aghelia to prevent a repeat of April 1941.

The idea that CRUSADER "petered out" is quite absurd. It's a very shoddy understanding of the historical reality. The AXIS were already messing up the British advance in December and then counter attacked in January in force. CRUSADER didn't "peter out", it got stopped, turned around and routed.

I hope the poster Attrition is not passing on his shoddy understanding to others.

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Re: Dates of Operation Crusader

Post by DrG » 07 Aug 2019 23:26

The official history of the Italian Army puts the beginning of Operation Crusader on 18 November 1941 and the end on 17 January 1942 (fall of Halfaya).

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