DELAYING ACTION IN VICINITY OF SALLUM, EGYPT
TO: All Forces, 7th Armoured Division
FROM: Major-General (acting) William Gott, Commanding
Platoon and Section Leaders will report to their Company Commanders for specific taskings. Ensure hydration of troops. Prepare for possible sustained action and unintended separation of forces during staggered withdrawals. Forward units will be assigned each a Wireless Set No.38 for communication with supporting units.
Low plain desert with limited cover provided by sparse vegetation, low-lying dunes, and dry wadi.
Select mobile units will be chosen to assist in a delaying action against lead elements of the Italian 62nd Infantry Division. Be advised that the 62nd Division is neither motorized, nor mechanized, and advance units will likely have little in the way of support. Motorcycle troops and Tankette support may be present along the line if opposition against their advance becomes heavy.
This is a delaying action only to allow for the consolidation of troops for counter-offensive at a later date.
Participating line units will establish layered and interlocking holding lines with the intent for temporary stalling of advancing Italian forces. Under no circumstances should engagements be allowed to grow beyond scattered firefights. Units are recommended to engage only enemy infantry and light vehicles and initiate withdrawal through the next furthest holding line upon presence of heavy vehicles or targeted air or artillery support.
While ideally withdrawing units will initiate rendezvous with parent commands upon passing through the lines, given the nature of the planned battle this may not be possible. Survival and cohesion of units has priority over prolonged engagement or reconnecting with higher headquarters. If a unit becomes separated it is recommended to maintain an Easterly heading, barring necessary movements to avoid contact,, until sighting of the river Nile. Progress to Headquarters, XIII Corps in Cairo can be made from there.
Artillery support provided by M Battery, 3rd Regiment RHA and C Battery, 4th Regiment RHA may be available as required. RAF support is unlikely due to harassment sorties being flown against advancing Italian forces for the duration of the action.
COMMAND AND SIGNAL:
Patchwork Zero: Higher Headquarters
Patchwork Two-One: Intelligence Section
Mandrake One-One: M Battery Artillery
Clockwork One-Three: C Battery Artillery
Renegade: All RAF Callsigns
Due to the fluid and ongoing nature of the engagement, no sign, password, countersign will be enacted. While it is not expected for the Italians to have infiltrators this early in the campaign, be wary, be aware, and be vigilant.