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Non Vi Sed Arte

Non Vi Sed Arte — Latin for "Not by strength but by guile". Seems tame today but at the time, the word guile just wasn't proper sport. As such the motto was never officially adopted by the LRDG. Some circles say "Providence Their Guide" was the official motto, however that is the name of a book written by David Lloyd Owen. As with the cap badge, the LRDG had no officially adopted motto. The two suggested mottos were Not by Strength, by guile or By guile, not strength or similar phrases.. It has been translated to the Latin and there was thought of translating it into Maori but it was never done.

Non Vi Sed Arte — 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 20 men.

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.

Non Vi Sed Arte

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Updated on Mon, 02/07/2022 - 11:00.