Sunday, April 08, 2007
The 9pm BBC broadcast
During the evening of one of the days between the 23rd and 28th day of the Crusader Battle, in December 1941, Robert Crisp asked his radio operator to tune into the 9pm BBC broadcast. The radio operator turned the volume up and let his headphones hang over the side of the tank. Everyone who was awake gathered around and heard the announcement that Robert had been awarded an immediate Distinguished Server Order (DSO). Robert was said to be a lieutenant and acting captain. The announcer mentioned that he was a former South African Test cricketeer. To Robert, the British love of cricket explained why he was mentioned in the broadcast. In the morning, they heard that there orders were to move almost due north to the south end of the Indian division's position before Gazala. Robert immediately assumed that they intended to use the 4th Armoured Brigade Stuarts as if they were infantry tanks, which they weren't, as they lacked the necessary armour. They were joined by the Gloucester Hussars and then they drove north. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.