World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE DESERT: Surprise Attack

Imperial troops west of Tobruk were almost certain that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel would resume the offensive. R.A.F. reconnaissance planes reported German tanks and infantry moving up the coast to the front at Ain-et-Tmimi. Patrols met the stiffest resistance in weeks.

Then suddenly the attack came. But it was not German. And it was not British.

The force which struck both sides equally hard last week was a hot, enervating, 35-m.p.h., dust-laden, southerly wind. Arabs have named the maddening wind khamsin (which means 50) because it seems to last for 50 days....

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