Thursday, January 04, 2007

On the seventh day, Alec Gatehouse had complete confidence

Robert Crisp expected that Alec Gatehouse, the 4th Armoured Brigade commander, knew how roughly the British armoured forces had been handled by the Germans. Brigadier Gatehouse, however, was unflappable and had "complete confidence" in his ability to handle any situation. The 3rd RTR commander had attended a meeting of senior officers, and all he could tell the men, when he returned, was to put out "a protective screen aroundBrigade H.Q." They were told to watch for an attack from the north, as there was intelligence that the Germans had considerable forces in that direction. The 4th Armoured Brigade troops spent the majority of the seventh day of the Crusader Battle in their current position. Suddenly, "in midafternoon", they were ordered to support the 5th RTR attack enemy transport, about 4 miles away, which was moving to the southeast. They drove 5 miles, without any contact, when they were abruptly ordered back to the brigade HQ. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots.

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