On 13 August 1940, Churchill informed the Cabinet that ‘now that we were so much stronger, we could spare an armoured brigade from this country’.
Given that the British Army was still recovering from Dunkirk and faced with invasion, General Dill opposed the idea, but Churchill simply ignored him.
Consequently, three tank regiments
with at total of 156 tanks were designated for immediate transfer to the Middle East.
would go to reinforce Wavell.
At Churchill’s instigation, Operation Apology began a series of convoys from England, around the Cape of Good Hope, to reinforce Wavell's forces in the Middle East.
The first convoy (AP.1) left Liverpool on 22 August 1940 and the main convoy (AP 3) left on 10 September and arrived in Suez on 22 October.
Operation Apology gave Wavell the equipment to mount a powerful counteroffensive in December 1940 known as Operation Compass, which inflicted a severe defeat upon the Italian 10th Army.
The scene described here
shows the disembarkation of the 8983 GRT steamer DENBIGHSHIRE at the Alexandria docks on October 05, 1940.
The DENBIGHSHIRE, together with the 11090 GRT steamer WAIOTIRA and the 20213 GRT liner DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, formed convoy AP.1, departing from Liverpool on August 22/23, sailing around Africa and arriving at Suez/Port Tewfik on September 23, 1940, escorted thru the Red Sea by the Heavy Cruiser HMS YORK.
While the troop transporter DUCHESS OF BEDFORD and probably WAIOTIRA as well unloaded at Suez/Port Tewfik, DENBIGHSHIRE sailed on thru the Suez Canal and arrived at Alexandria on Friday, October 4th.
The event is well documented in a series of photos by Captain Keeting, dated October 05, as well as by a Pathe Gazette's newsreel film of the same date.
The photos are entirely courtesy of the IWM and British Pathe, showing some real rarities not necessarily expected in the Middle East.
Note white on black "rhino" of 1AD, white on green "61" AoS of 2RTR, white "0046" Mobilization No. and yellow "B" squadron square on Turret front