The 2nd New Zealand Division had two brigades available and the 6th Infantry Division in Egypt had no artillery and was training for operations in the Dodecanese Islands. The Germans were expected to use Sirte and Nofilia as bases but before April; Rommel was identified on 8 March but local intelligence was hard to find. The Fliegerkorps took over Luftwaffe operations in southern Italy, Sicily, part of Sardinia and later took over in North Africa, with orders to secure the sea route from Italy to North Africa by neutralising Malta.

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About twenty tanks had been returned earlier to Tobruk for repairs and another three unserviceable tanks were salvaged during the retreat; — German tanks were knocked out but many were recovered later and repaired. The Germans were expected to use Sirte and Nofilia as bases but before April; Rommel was identified on 8 March but local intelligence was hard to find.