Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Honored Allies Wednesday: John C. Campbell (United Kingdom)

          John Charles "Jock" Campbell

"On the 21st November Brigadier Campbell was commanding the troops, including one regiment of tanks, in the area of Sidi Rezegh ridge and the aerodrome.  His small force holding this important ground was repeatedly attacked by large numbers of tanks and infantry.  Wherever the situation was most difficult and the fighting hardest he was to be seen with his forward troops, either on his feet or in his open car.  In this car he carried out several reconnaissances for counter-attacks by his tanks, whose senior officers had all become casualties early in the day.  Standing in his car with a blue flag, this officer personally formed up tanks under close and intense fire from all natures of enemy weapons.  On the following day the enemy attacks were intensified and again Brigadier Campbell was always in the forefront of the heaviest fighting, encouraging his troops, staging counter-attacks with his remaining tanks and personally controlling the fire of his guns.  On two occasions he himself manned a gun to replace casualties.  During the final enemy attack on the 22nd November he was wounded, but continued most actively in the foremost positions, controlling the fire of batteries which inflicted heavy losses on enemy tanks at point blank range and finally acted as loader to one of the guns himself.  Throughout these two days his magnificent example and his utter disregard of personal danger were an inspiration to his men and to all who saw him.  His brilliant leadership was the direct cause of the very heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy.  In spite of his wound he refused to be evacuated and remained with his command, where his outstanding bravery and consistent determination had a marked effect in maintaining the splendid fighting spirit of those under him."

From Brig. Campbell's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on January 30, 1942.

A true "leading from the front" commander who even was praised for his valiant defense by his enemy counterpart.

A nod to ol' "Jock" in miniature.

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