The planned “raid” by WDF is unleashed. Moving swiftly from their positions around Matruh, and despite the best Italian planning, a motley crew of 10REs worth of Indians, Brits Aussies and Frenchmen slam into a Libyan and Italian force, supported by an armoured II and Artillery. The Italians are forced back by Brits, but remain a cohesive fighting force. (3:1, AECA/AECD cancels each other out, DR result)
In the regular turn, the whole of the Allied force around Matruh lunges forward. The 7th Armoured XX and 22nd *X fight an inconclusive battle in attempting to drive to the sea and pin the Italians into a pocket. (1:1 +2 AECA = AS). Along the coast line west of Sidi Barrani, a battlegroup under the control of the 4th Indian XX with Aust. Brigades, Tank battalions and Frenchmen under the cover of guns from the Royal Navy hit the 2nd Lib, 63rd Cir XX and odds and sods for six, but the Indians and French suffer heavy casualties in clearing them from the battlefield. (2:1 = EX). From Alexandria, the Australian 6th HQ and odds and sods force march along the coast to Matruh (no rail available for Dec I turn).
In the exploitation phase, the 7th Armoured and motorised 22 *X swing south behind the Italian line to threaten Halafaya.
Feeling pretty pleased with weathering the initial British attack for fairly minimal losses, the Axis commander announces a readjustment of his lines, drawing his frontline out of Egypt into Libya. Halafaya is garrisoned by retreating Italian units and in a replay of the previous movements by the British, the motorised Libyans and Italian Lt Arm Xs swing south behind the 7th Arm XX before swinging north to block any sudden thrust to Tobruk. CR 42 fighters rebase to the port city and over Malta bombers inflict two hits on the facilities and structures supporting the RNs interdiction campaign.
The western desert of Egypt is awash with dust clouds and a mass of units make exploitation movement to reach the frontier. The AS 6th XX forms up west of Sidi Barrani while in a devastating attack by the infantry and tanks of WDF on the Italian infantry and paratroopers at Halafaya vaporises the Axis units totally. (2:1 +2 AECA =DE. 11 defence factors hit the replacement pool).
In a follow up to this attack, the 7th Armoured exploits through to the airfield at 4818 just south of Tobruk while the 22 *X motors along to Ain el Gazala, trapping a mass of units around Bardia and Tobruk.
A great gnashing of teeth is heard from deep within 10th Army HQ in the underground bunker at Bengasi! Nothing lies between the 22 *X and the port until the 10B Mot. III and 5th Arm II arrives at the port from Italy. The Italian airforce at Tobruk flees the doomed city and flies to Soluch and Agadebia, leaving the CCNN “3G” XX to man the trenches with the garrison troops. Expending valuable supplies, the 64thXX and 3rd Arm II attack the defenders of Ain el Gazala but dogged defence prevents any significant breakthrough. (1:1 +1 AECA = AS). The motorised forces remaining in 10th Army (Libyans and Lt Arm with attached 22C Art III) swing south into the desert to avoid the British and end up south of Ain el Gazala. Above Malta, bombers continue their reign of terror, inflicting another two hits on the island.
Following up from this, the 10B mot III moves to Derna and 1 and 2 Lib Mot III head to Mechili.