Monday, August 27, 2007

Late on 23 January 1942

The 9th Lancers had the misfortune to arrive at Saunnu about 5pm, when the 21st Panzer Division arrived. They fought a sharp action, during which the 21st Field Battery, South African Artillery was overrun. They did succeed in knocking out several German tanks, however. The 10th Hussars also were caught in the fight, and were fortunate to eventually disengage, but only with great difficulty. Their artillery fought well, but lost many guns. The Queen's Bays were able to reach the track to Msus and the 2nd Armoured Brigade HQ. Only by the morning of the 24th did the rest of the brigade arrive. The 1st Support Group and 200th Guards arrived, as well. By the evening of 23 January, the 9th Lancers had 28 tanks, the 10th Hussars had 8 tanks, all near Saunnu. The 21st Panzer Division lost half of its 20 tanks. The 15th Panzer Division was much stronger, but by 23 January, they had dropped in strength from 80 tanks to 61 tanks. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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