Saturday, December 30, 2006

Still on the sixth day: ready to be attacked

Still later on the sixth day of the Crusader Battle, Robert Crisp was back in a Stuart. The Germans seemed to be preparing to attack the South African Brigade, where the remnants of the 3rd RTR had sought shelter. The battalion commander had the few remaining Stuarts take position, facing out, positioned between 2pdr antitank guns. The antitank guns were still on their portees, firing over the back end. They were facing south, towards the impending attack. A gunner explained to Robert that they had been constantly on the move, during the day, and that they kept their guns on the portees, as the ground was too hard to dig in, anyway. They could see a German combined arms force approaching, with about 20 tanks in the lead. They realized that the Germans would cross some distance away, headed northwest towards Sidi Rezegh. They started firing, as the range closed, and they took fire. The 2pdr to the right was hit on the shield, which broke apart, and the gunner at the sight was brutally killed by the pieces. They removed his remains and commenced firing, again. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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