Monday, February 12, 2007
Heading off, again for a fight
Robert Crisp's conversation with Alec Gatehouse was interrupted, as they were told that there were tanks headed their way, from the north. Robert got his five tank squadron assembled, and they drove off towards the German tanks. He could see that the enemy were Pzkw II, III, and IV tanks, about a dozen of them. The Pzkw IIs were screening the medium tanks. The Germans had hoped for a more positive response, as Robert and his tanks just sat and waited. Robert's squadron was outnumbered about two-to-one. He hoped that they would leave the brigade alone, but the Germans advanced towards them. At 900 yards, Robert's Stuarts started firing their 37mm guns. Very quickly, two German tanks were knocked out and the crews bailed out. The Pzkw IVs in the rear starting firing their 75mm guns, apparently with HE rounds. As the Germans approached, Robert decided that they needed to withdraw, to keep out of range of the 50mm guns of the Pzkw IIIs. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots. This all happened on the 11th day of the Crusader Battle.