Sunday, December 17, 2006

Robert Crisp on the fight at Sidi Rezegh

Robert Crisp had long wondered about why the Germans had not rolled over the Sidi Rezegh airfield and kept on going. There was nothing in their way but knocked out British tanks. Eventually, Robert was able to read the German war diaries, where he found the answer: they had run out of fuel and ammunition. In Britain, on the morning of the sixth day, newpapers blared Australian General Blamey's comment that "Britain has won the tank battle in Libya". Too bad it was not true. Robert Crisp remembered that wild day. He only felt fear twice: once when he saw the line of German tanks approaching and the second was when he looked back, and did not see the rest of his battalion. Finally, he was annoyed as the mismanagement of the battle that left that small band on the airfield without the support that should have been there. The night between the fifth and sixth days of the Crusader Battle, Robert slept "alongside the adjutant's tank". He felt lucky to still be alive. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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