On the morning of June 20th, 1942, General der Panzetruppen Erwin Rommel observed the outer defenses of Tobruk, in Libya from the southeast of the port. Rommel had spent most of 1941 either attacking Tobruk, or laying siege to it. He had been waging a two front war, at Tobruk, and on the Egyptian border for months, but the 9th Australian Division showed no signs of cracking, and the British Eighth Army continued to launch offensives. The one in November, bolstered by a sally by the Aussies, and helped by Rommel's lack of supply and reinforcements, led to the then Afrika Korps, and its Italian allies being driven back to the 1941 start point of El Agheila.
At that point, Rommel got some badly needed fuel and a few tanks, and Winston Churchill, for the second time in less than a year, stuck his nose into operations, and pulled a bunch of his veteran formations out of Africa, sending them to Singapore, so they could surrender to the Japanese. Facing a thin screen oif green or tired troops, Rommel struck. And within four months, he had recaptured Benghazi, and stood at the Gazala line. There, in a series of offensive/defensive battles, Rommel turned the British position, virtually annihilated the British armor [destroying some 800 tanks - far more than Rommel possessed], and drove the Eighth Army into a retreat that carried them into Egypt. Having isolated Tobruk, now manned by the south Africans, Rommel turned to attack.
The Stukas went in at first light. By nine the Panzers were rolling through the outer defenses. By noon, it was basically over. The Panzerarmee captured 33,000 prisoners, and enough fuel, food and equipment to continue the drive into Egypt. And Erwin Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal, the then youngest in the German Army.
It was the high point of an illustrious career, and except for the bluff at Mersa Matruh, and the victory the next Spring against the Americans at Kasserine Pass, Rommel's last battlefield victory. El Alamein loomed before him, as did the retreat from Egypt to Tunisia, the command in Normandy and a forced suicide in October 14th, 1944. But on June 20th, 1942, Rommel enjoyed his greatest day in the sun.