At 20h00 on 20 May, the column began backtracking on its own route. Due west of Savate, the force turned east - relying on a compass rather than Senhor Lobbs - and found the road, which turned out not to be an intersection after all, 15 km from the town. The troops would cover the last eight kilometres to the town on foot, while the vehicles were to wait ten kilometres away and move up once the mortar bombardment began.
Each troop was given an 81-mm mortar bomb to carry over the last stretch to the assembly point. From there, the mortar crews themselves would have to move the tubes and some 200 bombs to the launch position.
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