Saturday, 18 March 2017

Arm-chair General - A command stand for the Western Desert

On the night of 22nd November 1941 the HQ of 4th Armoured Brigade had a surprise visit from Afrika Korps and virtually the whole kit and kaboodle was captured. Fortunately, the CO, Brigadier General Alexander Gatehouse was away at a meeting of senior commanders and escaped being put into the bag.

Without his HQ vehicles Gatehouse was forced to adopt a more unusual mode of transport. The regimental history of the Transvaal Scottish records:

" ...in sailed Alex Gatehouse, the gay cavalier of the armour..........with a rug belted around his waist like a kilt, riding into battle seated in an arm-chair strapped to the top of a tank. Gatehouse.....was a man after Pienaar's heart.."

That is too much to resist.






14 comments:

Clive w said...

What a unique conversion!

warpaintjj said...

Brilliant!

William Stewart said...

Yes, absolutely brilliant.

First thing that came to mind after viewing this most imaginative conversion was the quote from the Iron Duke: "I don't know if they (he) frighten(s) the enemy, but they (he) scare(s) the hell out of me."

David said...

Wonderfully mad! A great piece!

TamsinP said...

What a fascinating story and what a typical Brit officer. A fine example of how we won the war through inspired nuttiness :)

Martin said...

Truth is stranger than fiction! What a great back story to tell when your opponent finally notices him and his unique mode of transportation!

Phil said...

Wonderful vignette!!

ian drury said...

Thanks for recommending THE SIDI REZEG BATTLES 1941, which I hadn't read: what a superb source!

James said...

Outstanding!

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Awesome.

Gonsalvo said...

Gives a whole new meaning to "Comfy Chair"!
Splendid!

Paul O'G said...

That is fantastic!

Jay White said...

Beautifully done!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Superb... yee gods they were hard men... and thank goodness..