Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Robert Crisp decided to volunteer for the LRDG in July 1941

In July 1941, Robert Crisp had tired of enforced idleness and had talked with some New Zealanders about the Long Range Desert Group. That seemed like the perfect place for some excitement and danger. Robert spoke with Colonel Prendergrast, the LRDG commander, who promised to ask for his transfer to the unit. In a few days, the battalion adjutant for the 3rd RTR informed Robert Crisp that he wasn't going anywhere. They needed trained tank crews for the coming offensive, and that would keep him with the 3rd RTR. Gradually, his situation improved. Many new men joined the unit, to make up the losses from Greece. They learned that they would be equipped with American M3 light tanks, nicknamed the Stuart. Until the Stuarts arrived, they were training with A10s and A13s, along with a very few surviving A9s. The main problem with these vehicles was their mechanical fragility. Most of the tanks lost in Greece were due to "broken tracks or other mechanical breakdowns". This is base on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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