This was the first Battle of the campaign in North Africa. 7th Armoured Division, 4th Indian Division and the Matruh Garrison, under General O’Connor’s direction, gained a brilliant victory, capturing 38,300 prisoners, 237 guns and 73 tanks, and annihilating eight Italian Divisions.
The Honour is borne on the Guidon of the 3rd Hussars.
This subsidiary Action was emblazoned by the 3rd Hussars.
The 3rd King’s Own Hussars and the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars were both in the 7th Armoured Brigade at the time of the British assault against the Italians in the Western Desert.
Initially, the Brigade was in reserve for the first few days, coming into the battle after Sidi Barrani had been taken. The 8th Hussars were detached to ensure the enemy from the south did not come to the aid of those being attacked in the north, whilst the 3rd Hussars with the rest of the Brigade attacked and overran the enemy camp at Buq Buq.
In the ensuing pursuit the lead Squadron suddenly became bogged in a salt marsh within close range of the Italian anti-tank guns, and within ten minutes had lost thirteen tanks to heavy fire.
The 8th Hussars were detailed to destroy these guns and coming in from behind them, charged them at full speed. A lucky shot at the enemy’s ammunition truck knocked out their will to fight and they promptly surrendered.
The Brigade captured 14,000 Italians and managed to seal off the enemy’s escape from Sidi Barrani.