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Bardia to Enfidaville

Other Arms in 6 Brigade

page 315

Other Arms in 6 Brigade

The machine guns supporting 6 Brigade on the right flank fired their tasks without interruption. The 3rd Royal Tanks duly followed the brigade advance, and by 3.50 a.m. was between Djebel el Ogla and Hamaid en Nakrla.

The engineers had mixed fortunes in clearing the tracks for unit support arms. The right gapping party, in 26 Battalion's sector, had practically a clear run, and by 1.20 a.m. the first vehicle for the battalion arrived in the forward area. But the left column, on 24 Battalion front, first ran into machine-gun fire at a crossing over the anti-tank ditch, and then later into a minefield. Some gallant reconnaissance work was done as usual, and the Scorpions started work, but soon both Scorpion commanders were wounded. It was clear that the route would not be ready by daylight, so the OC 8 Field Company (Major Pemberton) gave instructions that all work should cease, intending to divert 24 Battalion transport to the right-hand route although, in fact, this had already been done by the CSM of 8 Field Company, who had realised the situation. The engineers had two men killed and sixteen wounded, nearly all on the left-hand route, which was under fire throughout.