Monday, August 14, 2006

The role of XXXth Corps

General Norrie, XXXth Corp commander, did not like the concept of his corps being required to protect the flank of XIIIth Corps. He wanted freedom of maneuver to be able to engage the German armoured divisions. A striking feature of this discussion was that the British intended to use armoured to fight armour, while the Germans preferred to use armour to fight infantry, and would use their anti-tank guns, hidden and protected, to fight armour. In Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots, he describes being hit by a hidden and protected 50mm PAK38, and having his Stuart knocked out. General Godwin-Austen wanted to have the 4th Armoured Brigade as flank protection. The 4th Armoured Brigade was equipped with Stuarts and included Robert Crisp's battalion, the 3/RTR. General Cunningham decreed, probably in October 1941, that the 4th Armoured Brigade would remain under the XXXth Corps command. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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