Thursday, April 05, 2007
Blocked at Gazala
Rommel was able to make a stand at Gazala, and the attacking Indian division was unable to overcome the Axis forces. The Afrika Korps troops and artillery, backed by the remnants of the armoured forces, including the two panzer divisions, were able to hold their position. That situation got the attention of the 8th Army, and they changed the orders for the 4th Armoured Brigade. They no longer were to be withdrawn to Egypt, but would help with the assault on the force at Gazala. The 4th Armoured Brigade was ordered to advance to the west-southwest about 15 miles. Robert Crisp says that would position the brigade between Gazala and Bir Hakeim (or Bir Hacheim). Robert's opinion was that they were being positioned to turn the Axis position and attack their rear. While Alec Gatehouse was away, the 3rd RTR commander was in charge of the brigade. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots. By the way, this is a nice picture of an A9 CS tank from earlier in 1941. THis is from the Desert Rats site. This is the rear of a 3rd RTR A10 CS tank from the same site.