Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The New Zealanders regroup

During the first part of 15 July 1942, the New Zealanders became scattered and had pockets of enemy troops in their rear. After the 22nd NZ Battalion had been overrun by German tanks, Sergeant Elliot and some men from his battalion, as well as the 21st and 23rd Battalions moved north, only to find themselves within an Italian position. Sergeant Elliot organized and led the attack that took 200 Italians prisoner before they New Zealanders withdrew. Sergeant Elliot had been wounded three times in the battle. He received the Victoria Cross for his efforts and bravery. The isolated pockets of Axis troops in the rear continued to be a problem. They prevented forward movement of vehicles and tied down the British forces with their fire. Artillery fire was what finally weakened resistance to the point where positions could be taken. Only by 4pm were vehicles able to move forward to Ruweisat Ridge. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official history.

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