Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
War Diary of Raggruppamento Aresca, 5th August 1940
1000 I Medium Tank Battalion (I MTB) moves east on Hill 32
1030 I MTB engages 8th Hussars battlegroup (8HBG) at long range. 8HBG then charges up Hill 32, sustaining heavy casualties but overrunning I MTB.
1100 8HBG advances east, takes up position on Hill 32. British armoured cars move along road to the north. Kings Royal Rifle Corps and 1st(?) RTR enter battle area on Hill 38.
1130 IX Light Tank Battalion and artillery battalion (AB) enters battle area east of Hill 31. Artillery deploys. II Medium Tank Battalion enters from NE. British armoured cars flee to south. 8HBG bogs down attempting to climb Hill 31.
1200 1st RTR moves NE. IX LTB advances NW along Hill 31. AB shells RTR. II MTB fires on RTR then assaults, resulting in a swirling bloody melee. IX LTB assaulted by 8HBG and hangs on gamely.
1230 II MTB fights on. Both sides lose touch with brigade HQs. IX LTB fights off Brit armoured cars.
1300 IX LTB escapes from melee. Ab fires on Hill 31. KRRC digs in at farm. II MTB continues scrap with RTR.
1330 II MTB finally overruns RTR. Brit armoured cars move NW on road. IX LTB reorganises. AB fires on 8HBG and is in turn ineffectually shelled by British artillery.
1400 II MTB shoots up some enemy armoured cars then assaults 8HBG. Both sides are eliminated! IX LTB moved south over Hill 31 onto road. AB prepares to move out.
1430 IX LTB drives towards Fort Capuzzo, is shelled by enemy guns. AB pulls out.
2230 Tank recovery crews discover Col Aresca and the Brig slumped atop a sand dune, singing bawdy songs and finishing off the Colonel’s travelling case of Chianti.