Lou Coatney's THE GAZALA GALLOP - Basic Version: A [FREE] World War II Boardgame [War Game] Kit - Basic Version

Gazala Gallop History and Advice on Playing the Game

Gazala Gallop History and Advice on Playing the Game

A History of the Battle for Gazala and the Fall of Tobruk/Tobruch.

The Battle of Gazala and Fall of Tobruk, 26May-21June 1942, was Erwin Johann Rommel's greatest victory and the obstensible reason Hitler made him a field marshal. The British had far more tanks than he did, and he didn't know that when he started the battle. However, Rommel made effective use of deception - putting propellored airplane engines on the back of trucks to stir up massive volumes of dust in the north, where he was NOT going to attack, for example - and concentrated his forces.

Rommel tried a sweep through the open desert around the Gazala Line's southern tip, Bir Hakeim/Hacheim. Things did not go steadily well, and when General Koenig's Free French held on so long to Bir Hakeim/Hacheim and the tracks - supply routes - running through it, Rommel melodramatically declared that he was considering surrendering.

Moving up behind the Gazala Line, Rommel then turned back west, to try to punch a supply line through from the rear, through the 150th Brigade's fortified box. The 150th held on heroically under Brigadier Haydon's leadership, even while Ritchie - the 8th Army's commander - fiddled away any chance he had left for a coordinated armored counterattack to relieve the siege. The British armored attacks were uncoordinated and slaughtered by Rommel's 88mm and other antitank guns. Finally, out of ammunition and overrun, with the brave Haydon dead, the brigade surrendered, and Rommel had the direct supply route he needed to push on to attack Tobruk.

In the meantime, there occurred "The Gazala Gallop" - the desperate eastward evacuation of Allied infantry units from the rest of the Gazala Line to the north.

Advice on Playing the Game:

The Axis Player should take care not to overextend his line, which would enable units of his to be surrounded and/or isolated. Rcce Grppe is indispensible. As powerful as the German panzer divisions are, I have been repeatedly taught by my opponents that even a 1:1 attack can indeed eliminate them.

The Allied Player also must not spread himself too thinly and should counterattack at at least 1:1 odds whenever possible without making his units attacking themselves vulnerable. And those two Crusader tank brigades cannot be depended upon any more than the Desert Air Force.