Sunday, June 26, 2005

British Armour on December 9th and 10th, 1940

The Matildas of the 7th RTR were a critical piece of the assault on Nibeiwa. Sadly, on leaving Nibeiwa, after the victory, 6 Matildas ran into a minefield and were lost. There 6 Matildas to assault Tummar East. While the 4/6th Rajputana Rifles were held up by Italian tanks , the Matildas got into the camp. Meanwhile, the 4th Armoured Brigade was providing cover for the 4th Indian Division. The 11th Hussars spread out to the west, as a screen. The 7th Hussars, with light tanks (perhaps Lt.Mk.VIBs) moved across the road between Sidi Barrani and Bug Buq. The 7th Armoured Division Support Group covered the south, while the 7th Armoured Brigade was kept in reserve, awaiting developments. On December 10th, 10 Matildas from the 7th RTR supported the 16th Infantry Brigade's advance on the road network to the west. They blocked the exits from Sidi Barrani from the south and west. General Beresford-Peirse ordered to them to attack Sidi Barrani before dark. He sent armoured support from the 7th RTR and the 2nd RTR to operate to the west (the left flank?). This is based on the account in Vol.I of the Official History.

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