Battle of Agedabia - 30th March 1941




Battlefield and initial dispositions were as follows:

Orders of Battle:

Battalion Element Unit Name
Strength Point's
Morale Point's
British - All Regulars
6th Battalion RTR and Support elements:
HQ Company M13/40
3
4
A Squadron A13 Cruiser (2 pdr.)
3
4
A Battery - 1st RHA 25 pdr./Quad
5
4
J Battery - 3rd RHA 2 pdr. Portee A/T gun
5
4
Axis - All Veterans
M/Gun Battalion #2:
HQ Sdkfz 251
2
5
1st Co'y MMG (2nd'y weapons 50mm mortar/AT rifle)
4
5
2nd Co'y MMG (2nd'y weapons 50mm mortar/AT rifle)
4
5
3rd Co'y MMG (2nd'y weapons 50mm mortar/AT rifle)
4
5
Support Co'y 37mm AT gun (secondary weapon 81mm mortar)
4
5
1st Pioneer Co'y Infantry AT rifles (2nd'y weapon flame thrower)
4
5
2nd Pioneer Co'y Infantry AT rifles (2nd'y weapon flame thrower)
4
5

The battle, in reality more of a skirmish, was fought on the outskirts of the town of Agedabia.

The Axis forces were all dug in behind sand bagged emplacements, they had made maximum use of the time available to them. Their primary offensive capability (the Support Company) were deployed on top of the hill to the eastern end of the Axis defence line. The two Pioneer Company's were dug in, in support of the Support Company at the foot of the hill.

In the town itself, the main body of the Axis infantry were positioned in and around the houses; only the 3rd Company was dug in on the outskirts of the village, at the extreme western end of the Axis line.

The Axis commanders plan was to lure the Allied armour on to the anti-tank guns where he could then close assault with his flame thrower armed Pioneer company's - but what actually happened was far different!

The Allied commanders plan of attack was straightforward; deploying his 25-pdr Battery in the centre on a dominating rise, he sent his armour on a flank attack to the east, supported by the Portee.
Picture - Allied armour on a flank attack to the east, supported by the Portee
Allied armour on a flank attack to the east, supported by the Portee...


This gave the Axis commander a real quandary, the 25-pdr battery was out of effective range of his anti tank guns, and when the Allied tanks deployed they too were some considerable distance out.. added to this the British had somehow managed to rustle up some air support, a passing flight of Kittyhawk ground attack aircraft had added their attentions to those of the armour.

Picture - The RAF manage to rustle up some air cover... Agedabia in the distance, the 25pdr battery in the foreground
The RAF manage to rustle up some air cover... Agedabia in the distance, the 25-pdr battery in the right middle distance...


With indications that the British commander was sneaking his units away to the north it was time for the Axis commander to launch his offensive as best he could.

Accordingly he ordered the heavy mortar to open fire on the 25-pdr battery, supported by those light mortars with line of sight. Far from expectations, the damage caused was gratifyingly significant, causing definite damage to the Allies. Shortly after the guns are seen to hastily limber up and head eastwards after the armour - all the indications are that the Allied unit has suffered a major morale failure (2 points of damage, and suppressed result - followed by a failed morale test). At the same time the Pak 37 strikes, and hits the Portee.

The Axis commander orders the 2nd and 3rd MG Company's on their motorcycles to go after the Allied 25-pdr's as they are now out of site of his mortars. Unfortunately the Allied revenge is quick as they in turn are jumped and then strafed by the low flying Kittyhawks of the RAF.

The Axis commander orders the 2nd and 3rd MG Company's back, and an uneasy silence closes on the battlefield. With a final barrage on the Pak 37's on the hill, the Allies pull off to the north leaving the battlefield to the Axis forces. Not a win - more a hard fought draw..