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Cassandra's Curse (Fourth Problem)
A Decision-Forcing Case
This is the fourth problem in a decision-forcing case study. Before engaging it, you will probably want to read the pieces that set the scene and work through the first three problems. These can be found by means of the links posted below.
Historical Solution to the Third Problem
The activity of British armored cars in front of the two reconnaissance battalions worries you. Nonetheless, you take comfort in reports from the radio intercept service that there is no sign of the movement of British forces out of their bases in Egypt.
The Fourth Problem
It is now 1750 on the afternoon of 18 November 1941.
Both reconnaissance battalions report that, beginning at noon, they have encountered large numbers of British tanks. After exchanging fire with this tanks, both reconnaissance battalions withdrew five kilometers to the north.
The British tanks in front of the 33rd Reconnaissance Battalion are moving to the northwest. Those in front of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion are moving north.
The 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion also reports that, at 1700 on 18 November 1941, it counted two hundred British tanks moving north. In response to this sighting, it also made a second withdrawal to the north, this one of seven kilometers.
The Savona Infantry Division, which is in charge of the border forts, reports that, soon after dawn on 18 November 1941, British artillery bombarded, and British infantry approached, the forts on each end of the line.
The commanding general of the 21st Armored Division informs you of his desire attack the British tanks from the west, using a battle group built around his two tank battalions. (At this point, the 21st Armored Division has been detached from the Africa Corps. Thus, rather than reporting to you, the commanding general of that formation reports directly to General Rommel.)
What, General Crüwell, do you do?