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Baptism of Fire (Hardback)

Operation Crusader

Military > After the Battle Military > By Century Military > Reference World History

By Daniel Taylor
Imprint: After the Battle
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 350 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036103538
Published: 30th November 2024

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The Voyage Out
By liner from Liverpool to Freetown (including a ‘crossing the line’ ceremony), then on to shore leave in Cape Town, crossing the Horn and cruising up the east coast of Africa via Aden to Suez.

On arrival, they have just a matter of weeks before the next big push - Operation Crusader. They spent their time acclimatising and adjusting to desert conditions, flies, navigation and a host of other desert novelties. All their vehicles were sent off to be modified for the desert leaving the bare minimum of time for squadron and regimental training.

Operation Crusader
Soon they are Crossing the Wire to take part in the first full scale tank battle of the war. Their first actions are a nightmare from ill prepared ‘cavalry charges’, supply issues and a litany of mechanical issues with their tanks. In a month of confused fighting, they learn their trade but at a terrible cost. Nonetheless at the end of the battle the Germans quit the field of battle and the shakiest of victories is declared. Wrecked by their experiences the Regiments are pulled out of the line to recuperate.

Refit
With some time at last to draw breath, the troops explore Cairo & Alex. They take the opportunity to evaluate what has happened and work out what they need going forwards. Whilst they are in Egypt, Rommel makes his next thrust and the Sharpshooters are pulled back into the line.

Back into the Blue
In order to improve their understanding of the desert they take part in Arthur Columns – mixed forces sent out to harry the Axis forces. They moved up to the Gazala line, west of Tobruk, well aware that Rommel is gearing up for another attack.

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