Weird War II: Fate of the European Theatre

Benghazi Cages AAR

AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
COMBAT OPERATION TO LIBERATE ALLIED POWS by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
BENGHAZI, LIBYA

OVERVIEW:
The Command Staff and Elements of No. 1337 Section participated in the liberation of several POWs held at Banghazi in cooperation with the newly formed Special Air Service.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The overall objective was to infiltrate the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya where the presence of several British, French, Polish, and Dutch soldiers, who were members of the 8th Army, had been confirmed by intelligence assets within the Libyan provisional forces. In specific: No. 1337 Section was to be responsible for the transport of the SAS Squadron, and safety of the POWs, after recovery, until the return to friendly lines.

ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
Despite an attack by two Italian Air Force attack aircraft while en route to the target, No. 1337 Section successfully completed their insertion, assisted with the SAS operation, and then evaded enemy patrols until returning to Egypt.

ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
Due to the death of Lieutenant Botterfeld, Lieutenant Dunderfinch assumed total command of the operation and his leadership carried through both his unit, and the SAS. Sergeants Gabriel, of the SAS, and Weise, the American attache, were both instrumental in the successful conclusion of the mission. Lance Corporal Edge also preformed meritoriously in her her attentive and constant care of the POWs after their release from captivity.

SUMMARY:
No. 1337 Section, LRDG successfully facilitated the ingress and egress of the attached SAS squadron assisting the liberation of almost 30 POWs.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Regardless of the meritorious and heroic actions of all personnel involved, Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt has decided to forgo any and all recommendations for award due to the previous unauthorized actions of No. 1337 Section. While not all personnel of the Section were involved in the previous incident it is believed that Lieutenant Danderfinch’s leadership, if not corrected, could be passed on to those under his command.

Should further actions by No. 1337 Section stay within the standards expected by those serving with the British Army, this hold on awards and promotions will be lifted.

Despite this hold on any official decoration, the unit should be commended for its actions and will be Mentioned in Dispatches for its part in the rescue. Major Tornwood, in particular, has taken note of Lieutenant Danderfinch and his staff and has, on several occasions, made his disapproval with Headquarter’s decision known.

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