Operation Brevity was conceived by General Wavell as a preliminary offensive in mid 1941 to gain control of the Egypt-Libya border, as a starting position for a larger offensive (Battleaxe) to break the siege of Tobruk. The strategic situation is shown in context of all engagements in Fig 1.
Order of battle;
- No overall HQ on board, but command & control derived from the Allied control point. C2 level: 1D6 = 4,5,6 (50% success chance). 24” range to Infantry Battalion or tank squadron HQs which have a 12” range to their companies or troops.
- 2nd Battalion Scots Guards: 3 rifle companies (A,B,C) and Support Company (D) [Pete]
- C Squadron, 4th RTR (3 troops of Matilda II and HQ troop of Vickers MkVI) [Pete]
- 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards: 3 rifle companies (A,B,C) and Support Company (D) [Alan]. (An optional reserve selected by Allies)
(C2 level: 1D6 = 3,4,5,6 for DAK (66% success chance) and 5,6 (33% success chance) for Italians)
- BHQ for the 15th Kradschützen Battalion (overall command & control)
- 1st Kompanie
- PaK Kompanie (section of 37mm PaK-36 and section of 50mm PaK-38)
- 2nd Infantry Company (reduced), 12th Bersaglieri Btn, 8th Bers. Regt, Ariete Div.
- Artillery Battery, 1st Gruppo, 24th Artillery Regt., Ariete Div (100mm 100/17 battery)
- Optional Reserve: Intended for the entire border defence. So if taken for the top of the Pass then certain Allied losses must be inflicted or a penalty is incurred, as they are not defending another point on the front. Deployed in the open (not dug-in).
- Batterie, 18th Flak Regt., 15th Pz Div. (88mm Flak 36/41 battery) [Taken by Axis. Penalty of having to heavy damage or destroy two troops of Matildas.]
- Batterie, Artillerie Regt 33, 15th Pz Div (105mm FH-18 battery) [Taken by Axis. Penalty of having to destroy or rout two companies of allied infantry]
Battle opened with C Squadron 4th RTR advancing on the centre, between the sandy ground and rocky outcrop seen in Fig 5.
Meanwhile, the Coldstream Guards had entered on the southern side of the soft sand, to attack the Bersaglieri on the Axis right flank, shown in Fig 9.
The weaker Allied command & control began to let them down and slow their movement as they reached the end of the automatic C2 ranges.
The Scots Guards breached the wire near the head of the pass and took the control point on the northern end of the road (4-1 = Allied substantive victory, plus 2 victory levels as 2 Matilda troops and 2 infantry companies had not been destroyed despite the optional reserve gun batteries).