Sunday, March 18, 2007
The Axis retreat begins
By 3pm on the 17th Day of the Crusader Battle, Robert Crisp and his fellows learned that there was major German withdrawal from near Bardia. Robert says that Rommel had given up on the hope that he could rescue his troops trapped on the frontier. In response, the 4th Armoured Brigade was ordered to advance to the north. The 3rd RTR was on the left, during the drive northward. The 3rd RTR was in a vulnerable position, as the Ariete Division was in a position to attack, if they had wanted to do so. Usually, they were not concerned about artillery fire, but on this occasion, the shellfire was so heavy that they were constantly on the move to try and evade the enemy artillery. C Squadron, 3rd RTR, was sent out "on the left" to find and attack the enemy artillery. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.