Monday, March 12, 2007
After reaching the rallying point on the 14th day of the Crusader Battle
Robert Crisp, and his friend Harry Maigraeth reached the rallying point for the 3rd RTR without incident. They kept expecting to hear about enemy tanks, but they never did. It was the New Zealand official historian and General Howard Kippenberger who later told Robert that the Germans seemed close to breaking. After the battalion had reached the rallying point, the situation was calm enough that they were able to top off with fuel. They had not fired their guns at all. They spent the rest of the day watching the air battle, where German Stukas (Ju-87s) tried to bomb, but were intercepted by British fighters. Many were shot down. After the Greek catastrophe, they enjoyed seeing the Stukas in distress. In Greece, the Germans had air superiority, and the Stukas had made their lives miserable. Robert and Harry knew that the British pilots would return to a secure place, where they had many amenities, and might taste the pleasures of urban Egypt, such as the Hotel Metropolitan or Shepheard's. In the desert, the Germans and Italians were back in possession of Sidi Rezegh. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.