Monday, December 18, 2006

The sixth day of the Crusader Battle: "Totensonntag"

The Deutsche Afrika Korps called Sunday, the sixth day of the Crusader Battle, Totensonntag, after the day "in the German church calendar". The day was fated to be a "bad day" for South African troops. During the night, more Stuarts arrived so that by morning, the 3rd RTR had seven tanks. The battalion remnants was sent off on a compass heading to nowhere. As day broke, they could see columns of smoke in the distance. Robert Crisp was riding on the battalion adjutant's tank, wishing he had his own tank. He didn't want to be a spectator to the Battle of Sidi Rezegh, which he didn't expect to last long. The came upon a densely packed unit which proved to be "the H.Q. area of the 5th South African Brigade". Robert jumped down and immediately saw some of his fellow South African crickateer friends. He had a chance for a quick shave and then his adjutant called to him that ehy needed to roll. They were to keep on the compass heading, to join up with the 4th Armoured Brigade HQ. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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