AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
RECCE SWEEP by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
Lieutenant Danderfinch’s unit was dispatched as a part of the reconnaissance action in response to reports that a German Wehrmacht force had landed in North Africa and was moving to contact with Commonwealth forces in an attempt to push them back out of Libya and towards Egypt.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The Section was intended to observe and report position and composition of advancing German forces. While this was achieved, one such unit moved into contact with No. 1337 Section preventing them from evasive maneuver and forced combat. The unit, with assistance from both the British Navy and Royal Air Force, was defeated and resulted in the capture of a high ranking SS officer.
ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
While the entirety of the LRDG was successful in their mission it was too little, too late as the Afrika Korps hit El Agheila before reconnaissance could be assessed and battle prepared for. While the front moves eastward, the LRDG will need to be utilized again as a mobile recce and screening force.
ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
While casualties amongst No. 1337 Section were high, Lieutenant Danderfinch, nor his Noncommissioned Officers are considered at fault. In fact, it was only due to their quick thinking, resourcefulness, and expertise that they were able to save the lives of the men they were able to.
In consideration, especially due to combat being engaged with a superior force, the Section’s performance should be considered exemplary. While an individual Panzer III and accompanying forces being defeated does not seem strategic in nature, this task being accomplished by a single infantry section should do much to demoralize the enemy.
No. 1337 successfully engaged with, and defeated, a superior German force while accomplishing their task of reconnaissance in support of the Western Desert Force. The additional capture of an SS officer should provide valuable intelligence for use in the campaign.
No. 1337 Section will be stood down for the remainder of the war, it’s casualties being to high to make reinforcement tenible. Remaining personnel of the Section will be reassigned according to their specialty and experience. This should not be considered a failure of the Section Officer and in fact, Lieutenant Danderfinch is recommended for another command as it becomes available.
Staff Sergeant Dupris, showing special heroism and devotion to his fellow soldiers, in an attempt to prevent casualties and cover their withdrawal under heavy fire is recommended for, and awarded, Her Majesty’s Highest Honour, the Victoria Cross. It is with remorse that Headquarters cannot, at this time, accompany this decoration with a promotion due to the uncertain nature of his future assignment and unit composition.
Lieutenant Danderfinch is to stand awarded a Military Cross, with Bar in lieu of second award. His leadership and command potential continues to bloom and he stands as a noble example to his peers among the British Army.
Additionally, the attached military canine “Indy” is recommended to be awarded an honourary Military Cross for his service and actions during the engagement with the Afrika Korps. A Wound Stripe is also awarded to the dog. These awards, while to be considered honourary, shall be allowed to be worn on the dog’s harness in instances that accompanying personnel would be in Dress in any manner keeping with the respect and form due the awards.
Due to wounds received in combat Corporal Edge is awarded her first Wound Stripe, as well as Staff Sergeant Weise being recommended for his second Purple Heart.