Sunday, November 12, 2006
The 4th Armoured Brigade
Robert Crisp says that the 4th Armoured Brigade was continuously involved in the Crusader Battle for five weeks. He says that Alec Gatehouse kept records that showed that they were continuosly engaged for two weeks, "with an average of two battles a day". They they went "without rest or maintenance" during this period. The brigade had traveled 1,700 miles, with individual tanks covering as much as 3,000 miles. They lost 172 tanks knocked out, from a total strength of 163 tanks, all Stuarts. Robert Crisp says that he alone lost six tanks. By the end of two weeks, they must have been exhausted, running on adrenaline alone, as Robert Crisp says that commanders got about 1-1/2 hours sleep per day. By the end of the Crusader Battle, Rommel's tank strength had been reduced to 58, from a starting number of about 400. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots.