Rommel’s counterattack on 25 November reached to within four km of the Eighth Army’s fuel depots just on the other side of the Libyan-Egyptian border wire, literally a single inter-visibility line away. But the Brits and Poles in Tobruk finally launched their attack out of the besieged city on 2 December. The next day, he pulled the 21st Panzer Division out of the dash to the wire to contain them. With only three days of fuel and supplies left for offensive operations, he pulled the rest of the Afrika Korps out of the meat grinder along the wire in a bold move to destroy the garrison now in the open and seize Tobruk. It didn’t work, The Auk waited a day, which he needed to just to reorganize and then pursued. Like three punch drunk WWF wrestlers in a broken tag team match, Rommel traded blows with both the Tobruk garrison and the pursuing Eighth Army until his supplies ran out.
On 7 December 1941, Rommel had to face the reality that Aukchlinek would not be out lasted, and he pulled back ten miles to Gazala where he hoped to refuel and resupply quickly enough to take advantage of the Allied confusion. On 10 December the Siege of Tobruk was lifted and the Eighth Army pursued. For four more days the Afrika Korps remaining forty tanks would plug gap after gap in the Gazala Line due to incessant Allied attacks. But Auchlinek wouldn’t stop, and on 15 December Rommel ordered Cyrenaica abandoned.
The chase was on.