Saturday, January 20, 2007

On the tenth day, Alec Gatehouse briefed the officers

On the tenth day, Alec Gatehouse turned to the maps and talked about the situation to the officers, including Robert Crisp, acting squadron commander. Robert wasn't much interested in what was happening back at the wire. No one there understood what Rommel was trying to accomplish. They all assumed that the critical battle would be fought south of Tobruk, where they were. The expectation was that a corridor would be opened to Tobruk, that would allow the New Zealand brigade to enter. They were at Belhamed, with Italians and Germans between them and Tobruk. They knew that Rommel and the two panzer divisions were headed back toward Tobruk. His intent was a large unknown. Did he intend to take back Sidi Rezegh, now occupied by British forces? The future movements of the 4th Armoured Brigade were yet to be determined. They might sit where they were, ready to engage enemy forces that passed near, or they might head west to Acroma, if Rommel proved to have been defeated. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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