Thursday June 18th (cont.)
… from mountains 2000 ft in height to sea. Tiberias situation in Galilee very ???, mostly evacuees from Europe. Lovely meadows & trees on seashore – very hilly country. Passed groves of oranges & lemons – too late for fruit. Travelled until 30 miles west of Haifa – stayed night. Did 250 miles today.
Friday June 19th
Moved on 6AM. About midday began to strike patches of sand. Plenty watermelons – huge crops of maize. Camped night in desert – still in Palestine.
Saturday June 20th
Convoy moved off at 6AM. Crossed Palestine frontier at 11AM then into Sinai Desert – much sandier desert than Libyan. Terrific heat rising off sand. Sighted Canal & Ismailia at 4PM. Camped night on Sinai side of canal. Had swim in canal.
Sunday June 21st
Crossed pontoon bridge at 5.45AM now in Egypt. Followed “Sweetwater” Canal all morning crossed it and skirted Cairo then through Meena port, the pyramids and into Egyptian desert again. Halted at El Amriya for night. Showers. Convoys returning from front – many tanks damaged.
Monday June 22nd
Left Amriya at 6AM on usual route to western desert. Huge convoys still returning. Pulled in at Mersa Matruh for night – camped a few chains from Med. Heard Tobruk has fallen.
Tuesday June 23rd
Remained west of Mersa Matruh for morning then shifted to positions east of Matruh – passed through numerous minefields – trenches and dugouts. Pill boxes left from the Aussies. Company spread well…
The following extract from World War 2 Timelines website in order to put the above into perspective.
|19/06/1942||Rommel launches a surprise attack from the southeast against Tobruk. This throw’s the garrison into confusion which allows German troops to breach the outer defenses.|
|21/06/1942||Tobruk falls to the Germans, who capture 32,000 prisoners, 2,000 tons of fuel, 5,000 tons of food and 2,000 vehicles.|
|23/06/1942||German advanced elements reach the Egyptian border. Rommel signals Kesselring for permission to continue the advance in to Egypt, pointing out that at Tobruk his forces has captured large quantities of fuel and supplies.|