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4th and 6th Reserve Mechanical Transport Companies

Wednesday, 26 November

Wednesday, 26 November

The RAF's Marylands and Blenheims heavily bomb the enemy about Belhamed (and the Essex Regiment on Ed Duda, causing 35 casualties), where 4 Brigade holds on, with the Tobruk garrison almost within reach. Sixth Brigade, exposed, is under heavy fire. The escarpment as far as the mosque, a solitary and weird landmark ahead, must be taken. All troops are steadily tiring and the long lists of dead, wounded, and missing mount steadily.

All day 4 RMT Company, dispersed, waits for orders in its park south of Zaafran. Some trucks move prisoners; drivers of others guard captives, bury the dead of both sides, and help move slender rations and ammunition towards the battalions. Then in the night 19 Battalion, which has been in reserve for most of the campaign, is on the move. Escorted by tanks clean through surprised and demoralised groups of enemy, it goes on foot over the four miles west to link at last with the Tobruk garrison. The meeting is at Ed Duda just after midnight, with only one man killed——a cook run over by a Bren carrier. Tobruk's long isolation is over——momentarily. (A famous message by the 13 Corps' Commander, Lieutenant-General Godwin-Austen runs: ‘Tobruk is as relieved as I am.’)