Monday, April 16, 2007

Robert and his men headed out at 6am on "the last day"

On Robert Crisp's last day, fighting in the Crusader Battle, he and the rest of C Squadron moved out at about 6am. Once clear of the camp, they formed into their formation: in the lead were "three troops of Honeys (Stuarts) were in line abreast" ahead of Robert. To his left was one squadron of the Royal Dragoons, with armoured cars. Behind Robert was Alec Gatehouse's brigade major, David Silvertop, in his armoured car. Behind him were the 2pdr anti-tank guns on their portees. Leading up the rear was a 3 ton lorry. That vehicle was loaded with highly inflamable fuel. They were finally under way towards their objective at 6:30am. Soon, they lost the ability to communicate by radio. As the morning progressed, they passed Bir Temrad, which had been reduced to rubble. By 10am, they could see shapes in the distance. They slowed, but kept moving forward, and the silhouettes of tanks and guns became discernable. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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