Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Robert Crisp early on the first day of the Crusader Battle
This is Robert Crisp's account of the first day of the Crusader Battle. After the 4th Armoured Brigade had brewed their morning tea, they started to move. The time was right after 7am. By the time they had crossed The Wire, they reached the first of the petrol dumps which had been placed for refueling. Each "Honey" (Stuart) filled up and then the unit proceeded. Robert Crisp says that they moved in "battalion open-order formation". The tanks were still concealed beneath their 3-ton truck camouflage. They were ordered to "drop sunshields" at 3:30pm. That allowed their radio antennas to be raised. Near the end were the "twin yellow pennants" that were for identification for British tanks. One unanticipated feature of the battle was that British tanks often lowered their antennas to allow them to better hide behind a rise, and Robert Crisp speculated that this probably led to British tanks shooting at each other. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots.