Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More on the 12th Day of the Crusader Battle

Robert overheard a 4th Armoured Brigade staff officer tell the 3rd RTR commander that "Uncle George is all right, and Uncle George's boys are all right". Uncle George referred to George Brink, 1st SA Division commander. They said that they couldn't get Dan Pienaar, Uncle George's nephew and 1st SA Brigade commander, to fight. Robert was sympathetic, since the 5th SA Brigade had been lost a short time before at Sidi Rezegh. Robert says "that Dan Pienaar may have overdone the inpretation of suggestions not to risk any more disasters". The 4th Armoured Brigade, despite being immobilized, was theoretically giving the 1st SA Brigade protection. This gave 4th Armoured Brigade a break when it was very welcome. Robert says that what would have been best was to concentrate the British armour for a fight south of Tobruk to settle the battle. Instead, they wasted time with small actions, widely separated. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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