Sidi Rezegh, 1941

In this hard-fought subsidiary Action, 7th Armoured Brigade, 7th Support Group, 5th South African Brigade and 6th New Zealand Brigade, were all involved in the defence of the airfield against bitter enemy attacks.

Brigadier J. Campbell, commander of the Support Group, won the VC for his gallant leadership here.

The Honour is borne on the Guidon of the 8th Hussars.


The 8th Hussars were very heavily involved in this battle that was an element of the Eighth Army’s ‘Operation Crusader’

In its first clash with the Germans, the Regiment came off second-best losing twenty tanks. The following days of November were grim indeed. On 21st November, near Sidi Rezegh, ‘A’ Squadron was wiped out and the Squadron Leader, Major CER Duff, fatally wounded in a valiant attempt to close with an enemy whose guns effectively out-ranged theirs.

The next day, the 22nd, was disastrous, as the advance toward Sidi Rezegh continued. Fierce fighting went on all day and towards evening the rest of the Regiment, with 4 Brigade HQ, came under concentrated fire from enemy tanks; in spite of being both outnumbered and outgunned they fought desperately until almost completely overwhelmed.

Confused fighting continued that night and the next day only four tanks belonging to the Regiment got away, practically out of petrol, and two others got away with the remnants of the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades.

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