Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Robert Crisp's tank is knocked out
Robert Crisp finally got in contact with his battalion CO. He told him about the 70 German tanks and that the battalion should line up on the eastern side of Sidi Rezegh airfield, facing the German tanks. When some tanks arrived, two immediately fell into the "anti-tank ditch". The battalion CO eventually told the battalion to gather on the escarpment. Robert's tank started taking fire, and then he could tell that something was wrong. His tank was on fire. He and his crew bailed out, taking what they gather up off the hot metal. Suddenly, he saw his friend Harry Maegraith. He and his crew were also climbing up the escarpment. Harry told Robert how the battalion had encountered the 5th RTR, and in all they dust, no one could see. They finally circled. Robert and Harry finally saw a few Stuarts ("Honeys") drive up. It was their battalion CO. As they were talking, Alec Gatehouse drove up in his Stuart. He told them that his brigade HQ (the 4th Armoured Brigade) had been overrun by Germans. As there were only four Stuarts in the 3rd RTR, he went looking for the 5th RTR. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.