Thursday, October 19, 2006
Rommel finally responds to the initial British moves
The DAK commander correctly realized that what they were seeing was the start of a major British offensive. As that was contrary to what Rommel wanted to see, he refused to make a major response. He did allow the 15th Panzer Division to move near Gambut and the 21st Panzer Division to provide support to its reconnaissance unit that "were being chased by the King's Dragoon Guards" (KDG). The battlegroup sent was called the "Stephan Group", and had 80-90 tanks and artillery. They were sent towards Gabr Saleh, but along the way, they "ran headlong into the 4th Armoured Brigade Group". This happened about 4pm. Robert Crisp's 3rd/RTR was supporting the KDG, so the two remaining regiments were about equal to the Germans. The Germans came off better than the British, as the 4th Armoured Brigade lost 23 Stuarts, compared to very few German losses. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.