Outpost Snipe

Outpost Snipe

Outpost Snipe was the location of a famous Second World War defensive action during the desert campaign in Egypt. The defense of Outpost Snipe took place during the Second Battle of El Alamein. It is particularly noteworthy due to the tenacity of the troops involved and is an excellent example of a last stand.

On the night of 26/27th October 1942, the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade with support troops including 19 6-pounder anti-tank guns was ordered to take possession of a desert feature known as "Snipe" - a small depression in the otherwise featureless landscape suitable for setting up a defensible base. Once completed this point would be used to launch a further advance by a larger body of troops: the 24th Armoured Brigade.

The initial advance took the battalion to what they thought was the feature "Snipe". It was, in fact, a similar depression some 900 yards south of the intended target. Having established a base, scouts were sent out who discovered that a large group of mixed Italian and German tanks and infantry had laagered nearby. In fact, the Battalion were in the middle of a number of enemy armoured formations. Isolated firefights and skirmishes continued through the night.

In the early morning of 27 October two tank columns passed Outpost Snipe apparently unaware of the force that lay hidden there. The troops opened fire with their 6-pounder anti-tank guns, aiming at the thin side armour of the tanks, destroying 16 tanks with no loss. However, their position was now marked, and they started to receive artillery fire.

During the remainder of that day and the next, Outpost Snipe continued to receive fire and tank attacks, including a brief incident of friendly fire, the mistake being realized when observers note that the "enemy" were actually firing on the Germans. 24th Armoured Brigade attempted to advance and relieve the battalion but were repulsed.

Between 13:00 and 17:00 on 28 October the defenders of Snipe faced several attacks by enemy armour. By this time, the gunners were running short of ammunition and Lieutenant J. E. B. Toms made a mad jeep dash under fire to collect some more. He survived and brought in the ammunition but his vehicle was destroyed.

The order to withdraw was received at 23:00 that night. Only one working gun was brought back out of the outpost: the remainder were disabled before the troops withdrew.

The Battalion had suffered 72 casualties but had managed to destroy some 60 enemy vehicles. Lieutenant Colonel Victor Turner was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the battle.

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Outpost — may refer to: Places: Outpost (military) Outpost (civilian) Outpost (Border) Outpost (human) Outpost Estates, Los Angeles, California, a canyon neighborhood Outpost Islands, Nunavut, Canada In entertainment: Outpost (1981 computer game), an… …   Wikipedia

  • List of World War II topics (O) — # O I # OA vz.27 # Oak Ridge Associated Universities # Oak Ridge City Center # Oak Ridge High School (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) # Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education # Oak Ridge National Laboratory # Oak Ridge, Tennessee # Oakley Hall #… …   Wikipedia

  • Zweite Schlacht von El Alamein — 8 Rad Panzerspähwagen mit 2 cm Kanone (Sd.Kfz.231) der Panzerjäger Abteilung 39 in der Wüste. Rechts ein Mittlerer Einheits PKW Die Zweite Schlacht von El Alamein war eine Schlacht am afrikanischen Kriegsschauplatz des Zweiten Weltkrieges… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ordnance QF 6 pounder — 7 cwt QF 6 pdr au musée de Batey ha Osef (Israël). Présentation Pays Royaume Uni Type canon anti cha …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sniper — For other uses, see Sniper (disambiguation). Sniper US Army sniper team shooting from within a room in Afghanistan with M24 SWS, 19 October 2006. Occupation Names Sniper Activity …   Wikipedia

  • Lineage II — Desarrolladora(s) NCsoft Distribuidora(s) NCsoft AsianMedia para el Sureste Asiático Motor Unreal Engine 2.0 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shetland — For other uses, see Shetland (disambiguation). Shetland Sealtainn …   Wikipedia

  • Sylt — Infobox Islands name = Sylt image caption = Satellite map image size = locator map custom = no native name = Söl, Sild native name link = nickname = location = Wadden Sea coordinates = coord|54|43|N|8|30|E|region:DE type:isle archipelago = North… …   Wikipedia

  • Trench warfare — is a form of warfare where both combatants have fortified positions and fighting lines are static. Trench warfare arose when a revolution in firepower was not matched by similar advances in mobility. The result was a slow and grueling form of… …   Wikipedia

  • First Boer War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=First Anglo Boer War partof= caption= date=20 December 1880 23 March 1881 place=South Africa result=Boer Victory, Pretoria Convention combatant1= combatant2=flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom commander1=… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”