Sunday, December 31, 2006
Out of ammunition, still on the sixth day
While the remnants of the 3rd RTR were fighting with the South Africans, they could see the crossing Germans taking casualties and losses. Occasionally, a soft vehicle would be hit, and the passengers would bail out, as the vehicle would burn. Once, Robert could see a Pzkw III explode. The turret was popped off with the force of the explosion. Suddenly, Robert's pantleg was pulled, and he heard that they were out of ammunition. Very quickly, the entire group of Stuarts was in the same situation. They were ordered to stay in position, with the guns. They sat for ten minutes, while the battle passed them. The 3rd RTR commander then ordered them to pull back to where he was, 100 yards behind the line. They were ordered to slowly reverse, and not make any sudden motions, so as to not demoralize the troops who were holding the position. Despite the gradual movement, the infantry was still dismayed at their departure. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.