Friday, September 10, 2010
The 161st Indian Motor Brigade attacks
On the night of 20/21 July 1942, the attacking 161st Indian Motor Brigade also ran into problems, much as the New Zealanders had. Their northern flank was protected by the 2nd Regiment Botha. The brigade had somewhat mixed results, but the 1/1st Punjab regiment took 190 prisoners. In fact, the enemy defenders were shaken by this attack. By 8am, the two regiments of the 23rd Armoured Brigade had arrived in support. The 40th RTR quickly lost 17 tanks to mines and anti-tank guns. 15 tanks succeeded in reaching the objective, but without support, they were rapidly knocked out. The 15 was reduced to five effective tanks. The 46th RTR had a similar experience. All together, the brigade had 40 tanks knocked out and 47 others damaged. After the 21st Panzer Division attacked at 11am, the brigade was ordered to withdraw. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.