Monday, February 26, 2007
Robert Crisp on the start of the 12th day of the Crusader Battle
On the night between the 11th and 12th days of the Crusader Battle, the 3rd RTR was not resupplied as they had expected. They were almost out of fuel by the start of the day, but still had to disperse to reduce the target for air attack. Robert thought that they were extremely vulnerable at that point. Robert says, however, he eventually learned that the Germans were in worse shape than they were. Robert blames the British poor performance on lack of experience, as well as the lack of "proper equipment, mental as well as material". The 3rd RTR sent out a patrol to see if they could find the supply column. Since the troops were idle, while waiting to be resupplied, they "brewed up". The battalion had shrunk since the day before. They were down to 14 Stuarts at this point. They had lost "half of 'A' Squadron" while heading for camp. C Squadron was down to four Stuarts, with Robert, "Harry Maegraith, a sergeant and a corporal". This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.