Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Dan Pienaar was just following his government's orders
After the various disasters caused by either careless or incompetent British commanders, the Commonwealth countries had become very wary. I would say that they had every right to be concerned about what might happen to their troops, when the British commanders seemed to have lost their senses. Dan Pienaar's seeming intransigence or even disobedience must be put into perspective. On 23 November, the 5th South African Brigade had been expended to little result. The 22nd Armoured Brigade, also in the fight, had been reduced to something like 20 Crusaders. By late November, the British were very sensitive to Commonwealth concerns, and they had wanted to support the New Zealand Division by sending the 1st South African Brigade to Point 175. Much of the fighting in late November was to prevent another disaster, this time to the New Zealanders. As it was, they had lost a field hospital and an infantry brigade, which had been bagged by the Ariete Division.