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Battle of Bir Hakeim

The Battle of Bir Hakeim (May 26, 1942 - June 11, 1942) was fought, during World War II, between the German/Italian Afrika Korps and the Free French Foreign Legion, with support from the British 7th Armored Division. The German commander was Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel and the French commander was General Pierre Koenig.

The Germans attacked Bir Hakeim on May 26. Over the next two weeks, the Luftwaffe flew 1,400 sorties against the defenses, whilst 4 German/Italian divisions attacked. On June 2, 3, and 5, the German forces requested that Koenig surrender, he refused and launched counterattacks with his Bren gun carriersss. Despite the explosion of the defence's ammo dump, the French continued to fight using ammo brought in by British armored cars during the night. Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force dropped water and other supplies.

On June 9, the Eighth Army authorized a retreat and during the night of June 10/June 11 the defenders of Bir Hakeim escaped.

Notable Personalities of the Battle of Bir Hakeim