Return to Journal Index OR Society's 23rd Armoured Brigade was also available. The depression was impassable to large military formations, and especially to armour. The main attack was to be carried out by the New Zealand division, which would attack the western end of the ridge from the south, and the 5th Indian Brigade, which would advance west along the ridge from its positions around Point 64. Prasad, B (ed), Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War, 1939-1945. British officers did not always understand this. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group Help - F.A.Q. Montgomery inherited Auchinleck's defensive plans at Alam Halfa, although did make some modifications of his own, and Rommel's attack was very quickly repelled. At the same time, British reinforcements were arriving at such a slow rate that a large-scale offensive before September was out of the question. It was part of the Western Desert Campaign of World War 2 was fought between the British Eighth Army led by General Claude Auchinleck and the Axis forces consisting of German and Italian units of Panzerarmee Afrika (Panzer Army Africa) led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. The Battle was actually composed of two battles. The fate of the New Zealanders was still unclear, and so work on clearing gaps in the minefield continued. The one thing that Moorehead missed was the Battle of El Alamein. On 15 August he resigned as C-in-C Middle East and commander of the Eighth Army, and returned to the Indian Army (Alexander and Montgomery were already in Egypt by that date). Eventually the Eighth Army would be able to fortify the entire gap, but that wasn't the case in July 1942. The advance would be supported by XIII Corps coming from the south. First Battle of El Alamein. The German move was detected by 1st Armoured Division at around 1400hours. Rommel then turned east and invaded Egypt. It marked the beginning of the end for the Axis in North Africa. He is married to Sanet and they have two daughters, Tania (20) and Mari (18). Furthermore, the surrender at Tobruk had been a painful experience that nobody wanted to repeat. On their right the 5th Indian Division (XXX Corps) was to attack the central part of the ridge, and aim at Point 64, close to a track that crossed the ridge. Young, D, Rommel (Glasgow, 1975). These attacks cost Rommel 24 tanks, six armoured cars, six 88mms and ten anti-tank guns. It was then Montgomery's turn to prepare for an offensive, but unlike his predeciessors he was able to convince Churchill of the need to wait until the Eighth Army was fully prepared, and the Second battle of El Alamein didn’t begin until 23 October 1942, a full month after the date Auchinleck had been removed for insisting on. The attack on 14 July was against the new Australian salient on the coast, and was no more successful. During the First Battle of El Alamein, the British tank force clearly had a numerical advantage over German armored forces. 90th Light Division would advance on the Korps left flank. This was the victory of the British Eighth Army under command of General Bernard Montgomery. Also, by 1 July, the Australian 9th Infantry Division had not yet reached the Nile Delta from Syria. On the same day General Norrie was replaced as commander of XXX Corps (in order to give him a rest) by General Ramsden, commander of the 50th Division. of the 1st South African Division at El Alamein, Maj Gen D H Pienaar. 30 were lost in the minefield, and others as they advanced past it. The British forces in the Middle East had to defend on two fronts. Rommel's only chance of defeating the Eighth Army and capturing Alexandria and Cairo was to break through this thin defensive line and to destroy the British Armoured formations before they could recuperate. No South Africans were killed on 1 July (Div Docs 105, File 1 SAD/A2/2: Battle Casualties, June-July 1942). Auchinleck's third attack was timed to take advantage of the arrival of a new Armoured Brigade, equipped with the Valentine infantry. A modified plan was adopted, in which one Australian brigade and the 69th Infantry Brigade would carry out the attack. Thus the position could not be enveloped from the south. 1st Armoured Division was on the left flank of the New Zealanders, and the 22nd Armoured Brigade was provide support for the attack. This appointment spelled disaster for relations with the corps headquarters. The infantry attacks began at 2300 hours on 14 July, and at first all went well. WD 358, File A6/ME 49: War Diary 1 st South African Brigade Headquarters. Bernard Montgomery was born in London in 1887 and trained at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. The Axis attacks from 11 to 13 July exhausted Rommel's forces. Elsewhere the XIII Corps attack quickly fizzled out. The Italian XX Corps, to the south, had 50 tanks, but they were generally rather outdated. The 21st Panzer Division was instructed to attack the El Alamein Box from a south-westerly position, supported by the 2nd Panzer Grenadier Regiment 104. The danger to the … Only 20 tanks managed to reach their objective, but only to run into the Afrika Korp's only battery of 88mm guns. By holding on to the El Alamein Box, the pivot of the El Alamein line was kept intact at a critical stage when the British armour was still on its way from Mersa Matruh to El Alamein. By now Rommel realised that his force was running out of steam. 15 Panzer, on the German right, clashed with 1st Armoured Division, and neither side could advance. Ariete was hit by the New Zealanders, and by noon had lost 350 men and 44 guns, and only have five tanks left. 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