General Montgomery’s Offensive was several days old and beginning to bog down among the minefields as the British forces met the guns and tanks of the German main line of resistance. The British were determined to break through the German lines and continue their offensive. However, the British were beginning to suffer from command and control difficulties with orders becoming confused and units getting lost because of faulty map readings. On the night of October 26/27, the 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade, along with a battery of the 76th AT Regiment and a handful of sappers from the 7th Field Squadron was ordered forward to capture and hold a German position called “Snipe”. The Battalion missed their objective by around half a mile and found itself in an oval shaped depression. The British commander knew it would be pointless to try and find “Snipe” so he decided to hold where he was. Struggling through soft sand, the British guns and Bren Carriers were moved into position in an all-around defense. Digging in had barely been completed when shortly after three thirty a.m., the deep-throated rumble of tanks in motion was heard from the west.
Attacker: German/Italian (Elements of the 21st and 15th Panzer Divisions, 115th Panzer Grenadiers, 33rd Panzerjagers and elements of 12th Battalion, 133rd Tank Regiment, Littorio Division)
Defender: British (Elements of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade and the 76th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery and the 7th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers and elements of the 24th Armoured Brigade)