Ward’s confidence and Anderson’s preoccupation with the northern sector had undermined reality. The most beautiful sight was the formation of Stack's assault elements crossing the plain, the vehicles maintaining proper distances as though on parade, looking for all the world, despite the anachronism, like a print illustrating Jomini's linear tactics. The planes forced the tanks to take the evasive action of ships wheeling and turning in a slow-motion minuet. When enemy shells came in from the northern flank, half a dozen tanks detached themselves from the main body, lumbered toward the guns, and knocked out four cannons. Less than ten minutes later, observers on the hill near Kern's Crossroads counted fourteen German tanks crawling from concealment behind Djebel Lessouda and moving westward along the main road to strike Alger's left flank.