Jack Caple - The Benghazi Handicap

Running time
2 min 43 sec
Date made
Copyright
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Transcript

Anyway we weren’t at Bonegilla very long. Then we started on the Strathmore over to, up the Nile, into Palestine and a camp called Derna.

We were doing our 25 miles a day and the band used meet us on the way home and march us into camp after 25 miles.

We weren’t there that long and we were sent up to Benghazi and [at] Benghazi we relieved the 6th Division to go to Greece which was a disaster for the 6th Division and we weren’t that long at Benghazi and we saw this great big dust bowl, dust storm, dust and at the bottom of it tanks, tanks coming to Benghazi and that became the Benghazi handicap.

Now Rommel was very cunning, he chose a couple of his men as MPs, military police, and he guided a lot of the units down a dead road, including two generals but we, when we saw the tanks coming toward us at Benghazi, the order was to get into a vehicle and get going to Tobruk.

Well there were four of us finished up in front of a utility and it’s a long way from Benghazi to Tobruk and their aircraft was pounding us a bit and we’re getting out and taking shelter, then back in the vehicle.

Anyway we eventually reached Tobruk and we were given orders to guard the entrance into Tobruk.

We were lying down with our rifles and then we were told to forget about it and we went to cock our rifles and they were jammed.

There was a fine dust blowing in the desert and we had to use petrol to release the bolts on the rifle.

So we would have been pretty helpless but Rommel went around us and cut us off.

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