Monday, November 06, 2006

The beginning of Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots

In July 1941, Robert Crisp was playing cricket in Cairo. He was very well-known in the sport and enjoyed the attention that a good player received. He was a South African, and had been a professional cricket player before the war. In July, there were many soldiers in Cairo. The abortive Operation Battleaxe had failed, and that left the army in the position of rebuilding and training. Only in May 1941, Robert Crisp and the remnants of the 3rd RTR had returned from the disaster in Greece. The battalion had been reduced to a few hundred men. After a short rest, the battalion was pulled into providing protection to the airfield at Heliopolis. They were reduced to the petty occupations of an idle unit. They were fortunate, however, to enjoy the amenities of the rear area in Egypt. Robert Crisp was newly promoted to Captain, a rank he had previously held, three months after being commissioned in June 1940. Robert Crisp put his promotion to his playing cricket for South Africa, while his battalion commander had played cricket for Hampshire. After the Greek disaster, and the losses in officers, Robert Crisp had regained his rank. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots.

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