Monday, January 15, 2007

Offering moral support to Dan Pienaar's brigade seemed a rather odd employment on the ninth day of the Crusader Battle

Robert Crisp and his companions were amazed at their orders to move up next to the 1st South African Brigade, commanded by Dan Pienaar. They were able to do more extensive maintenance to their Stuarts as they sat there. Everywhere, there were rising columns of smoke from burning gasoline, as the soldiers "brewed up" and cooked breakfast. They also took advantage of the sun to take off their 8-day old clothes and freshen up. They were also able to shave, although all they had was very mineral-laden water pumped out of the desert. Still, they were able to organize to wash clothes and men, to be ready for another long period of fighting. They spread their clothes to dry on the desert bushes. The tank drivers seldom got much rest. They always were up late checking the tracks and engines. They finally got a chance to clean up and remove oil and dust. They finished their washing by midday, and were ready for something new to do. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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