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Bir Hacheim


Bir Hacheim 1942

Between May 27 and June 11, 1942, the French foreign legion played a crucial role in the defence of Bir Hacheim at the tip of the British Gazala line, in the North African campaign. The Legion spent a great deal of time digging in, preparing gun pits and minefields and then waited for the enivitable attack.
First, General Rommel sent in the Italian armour, but all the preperations paid off for the Legionnaires, and the attack failed. Then the Afrika Corps attacked. The Legionnaires were outnumbered over 10-to-1, but it took Rommel over 15 days to overcome Bir Hacheim, he threw everything at the defenders but they held on until the British command finally ordered a breakout.
Many lost their lives in the pullout, and the last stragglers reached British lines three days later.


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