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Bardia to Enfidaville

Flanking Units

Flanking Units

The 21st Battalion on Point 184 continued to be shelled throughout the Corps' attack, but as the advance progressed the shelling came from the east only. Any movement from the hastily constructed slit trenches was almost impossible, and for the moment the battalion was held down to its defensive role.

The 28th Battalion had sent two sections of its carriers to operate up to two miles on the east of the battalion, with the task of stopping interference from that area. Both sections drew a considerable amount of fire, but they ranged far and wide and engaged anything that showed signs of movement.

On the left flank of the Corps 25 Battalion made a diversionary attack to draw enemy fire away from the left of 24 Battalion, distant about 2000 yards. No definite objective was given the battalion, the governing factor being the amount of opposition encountered. There was some progress on the right, an enemy position was captured, and after dark about fifty Italians surrendered. On the left the companies ran into heavy opposition from tanks, and were in the end pinned down and surrounded. The situation was saved by the battalion anti-tank platoon under Lieutenant Williams.1 It destroyed one tank, and then in turn pinned down the others, until finally they withdrew. After dark, page 227 when it was known that the main attack had been successful, all companies were withdrawn.

Divisional Cavalry patrolled all day in the foothills of Djebel Tebaga without any serious engagement. KDG and ‘L’ Force remained on Zemlet el Madjel and Djebel Melab, where ‘L’ Force worked towards Point 242.

Throughout the action there was practically no enemy counter-battery activity or air interference. Only one unit mentions the appearance of enemy aircraft and it refers to one ‘very slight fighter-bomber raid’. The only trouble came from a Kittyhawk fighter-bomber which attacked a Divisional Cavalry carrier and caused two casualties, and also strafed 6 Brigade Headquarters three times. The pilot was apparently badly briefed for this was the only case where our aircraft made a mistake, a tribute to the system of marking ground positions which had been evolved.

1 Maj J. L. Williams, MC; Auckland; born Auckland, 25 Jun 1908; school teacher.