Thursday, December 28, 2006

Robert rejoined his unit, still on the sixth day

Later on the sixth day, Robert rejoined his unit, the 3rd RTR, or its remains. In the South African leaguer, he saw Stuarts and then found his Colonel. He found that A and B Squadrons were out of touch. Robert was told that both the other 4th Armoured Brigade battalions, the 5th RTR and 8th Hussars, were in similar straits. They believed that there were strong enemy forces to the south and southwest. They had been ordered to stay with the South Africans and to support them against attack. General Gott, 7th Armoured Division commander, seems to have started to understand how desperate and perilous the situation was. Robert told his battalion commander how he had lost his tank. He told him that he would like to go and recover the tank he had just abandoned. He Colonel told him to use one of his HQ troop tanks. While they were eating and brewing up, Robert heard that the armoured cars had seen the enemy approaching. The Stuarts were distributed "between the antitank guns". There orders were to fight the enemy to keep them out of the leaguer. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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