Saturday, March 03, 2007

The night between the 12th and 13th days of the Crusader Battle

Robert Crisp and his companions had a long drive to the leaguer area in the dark. They had headed south, with the German positions illuminated with bright lights, behind them. The soldiers in the brigade all had their radios tuned to radio stations in Europe and the Middle East. The men needed to stay awake, so staying up and listening to the radio was one way to accomplish that task during the drive. If someone fell asleep, they could take the tanks behind them off into the night, where they would be lost. After driving slowly for three hours, and covering ten miles in the process, they reached their leaguer area,. They arranged their tanks into a defensive formation and then tried to get some sleep. At midnight, the squadron commanders were summoned for a meeting with the 3rd RTR CO. He told them that the remaining tanks in 30th Corps were to be concentrated under Alec Gatehouse's command. With reinforcements, 4th Armoured Brigade strength would rise to 120 tanks, including the last 25 Crusaders from 22nd Armoured Brigade. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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