The following report on German tactics in Libya gives in sketch form the small unit
tactics as referred to in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 16, p. 25.
Sketch No. 1 illustrates Rommel's method of advancing to the attack. The field artillery in
the box is usually not deployed, but remains in the box. The armored cars have presumably
formed a screen and cleared the front, and are working around the flanks of the defense area.
Sketch No. 2 depicts the movement of Rommel's units when he decides not to attack, but to
withdraw to a more favorable position. As shown in the sketch, when attacked frontally, the
German armor (A) which has been leading the advance falls back to the flanks, and the forward
guns, which had been close behind the leading tank, fall back and form the front face of the
box. The guns on the rear face of the box are not deployed, but move in column until the
battle actually commences. In the event that the British attack the box frontally, the
German armor, which had been withdrawn to the flanks, can be employed in a double envelopment.
Sketch No. 3 shows the action of the German units when the British attack on the flank rather
than frontally. The movements are the same as in Sketch No. 2 until the British definitely
commit themselves to an attack on a flank. Then the German units proceed as illustrated, with
the result that the British find themselves attacked on three sides and possibly four: from the
front, by the armor which has withdrawn in the face of their attack; from the flank, by fire from
the box; and from the rear and far flank by the German armor from the opposite side of the box
which initially withdrew, and then, after the British had definitely committed themselves to
flank attack, swings around to the rear and far side of the attacking British.