Sunday, December 03, 2006
Robert Crisp says that the BBC gave away vital military secrets to the Germans
About 9pm on the third day, the British troops in the desert heard the BBC announce "The Eighth Army with about 75,000 men excellently armed and equipped, has started a general offensive in the Western Desert with the aim of destroying the German-Italian forces in Africa". Robert Crisp says that the Germans also heard the broadcast. Until then, he says, they had not known that there was a "reconnaissance-in-force". Rommel now knew that this was the feared offensive that he could not believe could be mounted. Rommel had his forces essentially sit for two days while he tried to gather intelligence on what the British were doing. The worst aspect of British operations in the first three days is that they had dispersed their armoured formations into the separated brigades that were inferior to the concetrated German armour, with its supporting anti-tank artillery, mobile field and medium artillery, and motorized infantry. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.