Friday, December 08, 2006

Generals Norrie and Gott didn't understand how bad their situation was, perhaps four days into the Crusader Battle

By about four days into the Crusader Battle, General Gott, the 7th Armoured Division commander, and General Norrie, the 30th Corps commander did not understand the dire straits they had reached. They still thought that 7th Armoured Brigade and 22nd Armoured Brigade had more strength left than they actually had. General Cunningham, 8th Army commander, had much better information than the others, and he was extremely nervous, with good reason. Gott and Norrie were still issuing orders as if they had more force left than they did, so that put them in a very bad position in the battle around Sidi Rezegh airfield was fought. That caused some very unnecessary infantry losses, as South African and New Zealand infantry brigades were left exposed to German attack. They did not have much chance against the concentrated panzer divisions, in a classic German sword-shield-battle. They used tanks to attack infantry and anti-tank guns to fight British tanks. Robert Crisp would be eventually severely wounded, in one case, by 50mm PAK38s.

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