Friday, May 04, 2007

We saw the attempt to rectify the situation near Sidi Rezegh on 28 November 1941

The situation near Sidi Rezegh, on 28 November 1941, was rapidly deteriorating. The army commander had tried to aid the New Zealand division by sending the 1st SA Brigade, under Brigadiier Pienaar, to their aid. Instead, the South Africans, for reasons we don't understand, stopped halfway to their objective for the night. The Support Group was supposed to try to stop the Ariete Armoured Division from closing to the area, but the 15th Panzer Division commander desired their presence at the battle. The situation had deteriorated to the point that the 13th Corps HQ and "the rear H.Q." of the New Zealand Division entered Tobruk for protection. General Freyberg, was still outside, where Robert Crisp had met him. The support group had been greatly reduced in strength. By this date, they only had a single motorized infantry battalion, the 4th RHA, without C Battery, with just 12 25pdr guns, the 60th Field Regiment, with 14 25pdr guns, and the 203rd Field Battery, with just 7 guns. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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