Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The LRDG in the summer and fall of 1941

After April 1941, the Long Range Desert Group had expanded to two squadrons of three patrols each. They had acquired men from the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Souther Rhodesians, and the 1st Cavalry Division. They picked up a 4.5in howitzer and light tank, to give them a little more "punch". On their own, they managed to purchase "two Waco aircraft". After Colonel Bagnold was "recalled to Cairo in August to advise on long range matters", Lt-Colonel Prendergast took command. He was a pilot, and flew one of the aircraft. By July the LRDG had started reconnaissance deep in the desert to "learn about tracks, water, and sites for landing grounds". They penetrated deep into southern Tripolitania. By September 1941, the LRDG operated under 8th Army orders and "set a watch on the coast road to the west of El Agheila". This is based on the account in Vol.III in the Official History.

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