31 May 1942

  • 50 trucks reached Bir Hakeim in Libya, bringing badly-needed fresh water and evacuating Indian troops and Italian prisoners of war. After sundown, Axis tanks attacked westward from within the Cauldron on the southern end of the Gazala Line, assaulting positions held by British 150th Brigade. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Bir Hakeim | CPC]
2 Jun 1942

  • Troops of German 90th Light Division and Italian Trieste Division mounted a new attack on the French-held fort of Bir Hakeim, Libya; French General KÅ“nig refused to surrender. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Bir Hakeim | CPC]
7 Jun 1942

  • German engineers penetrated the minefield outside of Bir Hakeim, Libya, but the attack was repulsed by Free French fighters with British air support. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Bir Hakeim | CPC]
8 Jun 1942

  • Thick fog allowed an Allied supply convoy to supply French troops at Bir Hakeim, Libya; meanwhile, the same fog also allowed the Axis build-up to be completed without being detected, which led to the start of what would be the final assault on the fort; this final assault would be personally led by Erwin Rommel. In the evening, French General Pierre KÅ“nig decided the fort would be abandoned on 11 Jun 1942. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Bir Hakeim | CPC]
9 Jun 1942

  • German 15th Panzer Division launched an attack on the Free French troops at Bir Hakeim, Libya at 1300 hours, supported by artillery pieces and dive bombers. The French Legionaires (now reduced to half a cup of water per man per day) were cut off from the rest of the brigade, but by dusk the tenacious defenders were still hanging on desperately to their positions. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Bir Hakeim | AC, CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal