Monday, July 26, 2010

The Axis forces respond on 15 July 1942

As survivors of the Brescia and Pavia divisions moved towards the rear, they told stories about the British attack that hurt Axis morale. The one setback to the Allied cause was made by a small detachment from the 8th Panzer Regiment. They had about 8 to 10 tanks and had moved past the advancing British forces and encountered the unfortunate 22nd NZ Battalion. The New Zealanders had just four anti-tank guns on portees and these were quickly disabled. The New Zealand infantry was caught without cover or the ability to fight tanks, so about 350 men surrendered. They were rapidly sent towards the Axis rear. Brigadier Kippenberger had seen some of these events at a distance and hurried to report to his division commander, General Inglis, about what had happened. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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