Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday 1st December 1941

NAAFI issue today – 2 cans of beer and 100 cigarettes per man. I could hear the Poles laughing like buggers in their exchange, when I rang 'em to tell them the good news.

“Forward units should keep watch for stragglers approaching our positions tonight who do not know the password”
“6 tanks and 60 MT (ours) came up Bardia road from frontier to Tobruch, we thought they were enemy and shelled them so they turned off on the bye pass track and went to El Duda, where they joined our troops”. First signs of the Bardia road opening!
Large armoured forces of ours are also coming up Bardia road at full speed, to help us. A bit of a battle expected in the morning. 4th and 22nd Armoured Brigades and the South africans!

I always used to say that when Tobruch was relieved it should be done in proper Hollywood style – to the skirling of bagpipes, - as in “The Drum” and other Empire building films. That's the way to end a siege, what? Damn the planes, tanks and lorries!

However, strange to say, Bob Andrews and myself both heard the crying of the pipes tonight as we crossed the wadi. Bright moonlight and starshine; the night was very still and the sound of piping came to us very clearly. If Bob had not also heard it, I'd have ascribed it to my imagination. Bagpipes in Tobruch!

Perhaps it was the Black Watch, though I thought they'd gone from this sector.

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