Non Vi Sed
The Attack on El Ezzeiat
Nothing quite explains the unofficial motto of the LRDG as
does the raid on the Italian fort at El Ezzeiat
Captain Lloyd Owen's patrol had come upon three Italians
in a truck and convinced them to surrender without a fight.
One of the Italians was cooperative and explained the fort
they had come from was low on food and water and held by around
Lloyd Owen decided to take his patrol to the fort and scout
it out. It appeared as the prisoner had said. Leaving the
vehicles a safe distance from the fort, he prepared for an
attack. Unfortunately a machinegunner in the tower managed
to keep his patrol pinned down. After a truce in which he
tried to bluff the Italians to surrender, he realized he was
stuck. He would not be able to pull out without an Italian
pursuit. He also feared his time was running out as the Italians
were probably calling for air-support or reinforcements.
His patrol had failed to dislodge the enemy with machine
gun and rifle fire and their options were running out. Finally
a trooper named Brian Springford "had a go" with
an EY Rifle. This was an SMLE adapted to fire rifle grenades.
The men were not real familiar with the gun but as luck would
have it, the first shot took out the Italian machinegunner.
Lloyd Owen gave the command for the patrol to attack but almost
as soon as they leapt to their feet, the Italians ran from
the fort to surrender. In all 17 Italians surrendered at the
fort and two were killed. The LRDG suffered no casualties.