Monday, April 30, 2007

Back to the Official History: 27 November 1941

We are now back in the Official History, starting at 27 November 1941. The 7th Armoured Division Support Group had been broken up into "Jock columns", after sustaining serious losses. Early on 27 November, General Gott had ordered the 22nd and 4th Armoured Brigades to head for a column moving towards Gasr el Arid. The 22nd Armoured Brigade was to get in front of the enemy column while the 4th Armoured Brigade hit the flank. Sadly, the action lacked coordination between the brigades. The "column" they attacked was actually the 15th Panzer Division with about 50 tanks. Of the attackers, the 22nd Armoured Brigade had 45 Crusaders while the 4th Armoured Brigade had 77 Stuarts. The Germans responded to the attack by putting their anti-tank guns out front, backed by the divisional artillery. Concurrently, RAF medium bombers attacked. The King's Dragoon Guards reported seeing German losses from the bombing. British artillery had effectively been engaged. The 4th Armoured Brigade group had two batteries of the 2nd RHA, and the 102nd Northumberland Hussars Anti-Tank Regiment RHA (without one battery). The 22nd Armoured Brigade had C Battery, 4th RHA and D Battery, 102nd (N.H.) Anti-Tank Regiment, RHA. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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