|November 22nd, 1941|
The British "Crusader" offensive began on November 18th during a horrendous rainstorm, with one British corps taking up positions covering Halfaya Pass. The other corps moved across the desert in three columns, with the central one heading for Tobruk to link up with a planned breakout of the garrison troops. This part of the attack went well and reached within ten miles of the port, and took the Sidi Rezegh airfield. Although caught by surprise, Rommel soon realized that the British plan was to reach the Tobruk garrison. On November 22nd he sent his two Afrika Korps armored divisions to recapture Sidi Rezegh, supported by the Italian XXI Corps. The battle over this airfield saw tanks on both sides go up in smoke, but it finally ended up in German hands again.