Cipher message

Scope and Content

Cipher message no. CS/1255 from Auchinleck to Field Marshal Smuts, referring to AUC/920 above; explaining that, during the heavy offensive on the French at Bir Hacheim, a strong counter-attack was made against the enemy on 5/6 June, but that this was counter-attacked in its turn by strong enemy forces and driven back with heavy loss; declaring that, in his opinion, Bir Hacheim had largely fulfilled its purpose, and that [Lt.-Gen. Neil] Ritchie was right to evacuate it when he did; and reporting that the situation in Libya is grave but not irretrievable, that the superior enemy anti-tank gun gives him a great advantage, and that Allied tank losses are serious. Typescript.