105, File 1 SAD/A2/2, Battle Casualties, 2 July 1942). On the following morning Rommel sacked the command of 15 Panzer. He believed that the survivors of X Corps, battered at Mersa Matruh, was all that was standing around El Alamein, while the fresher XIII Corps was fifteen miles further south, blocking the road to Cairo. He insisted that Rommel prepare for one final attack on the British lines, to be carried out after reinforcements had arrived. Herinneringe, III, p 5). 7th Light Armoured Division was further south, watching the German 90th Light Division. By this time, the sandstorm had cleared, making it easy for the South African and British artillery observers to direct fire onto them (WD 358, File A7/ME 52: War Diary, 3rd SA Brigade HQ, 1 July 1942). The Quattara Depression, more or less 60km south-west of El Alamein, constitutes an area of 200km2 and consists mostly of salt lakes and soft sand so that even camels carrying a load could not navigate it. Between February and May 1942 the front line in North Africa had been the Gazala Line, a British defensive position that ran south from the sea at Gazala, and that was built around a series of defensive 'boxes', brigade sided strong points that were meant to be large enough to defend themselves for at least a week. This was of vital importance to the Allied war effort, as it enabled the British forces, in cooperation with their American allies, to drive the Axis forces from North Africa. A modified plan was adopted, in which one Australian brigade and the 69th Infantry Brigade would carry out the attack. On the German side Rommel decided to try and close the gap in his line left by Ariete by moving 21 Panzer from the Ruwesiat Ridge to a position east of El Mreir. However, during the second half of July, Rommel proved not only to be a good commander during offensive operations, but also in defence. Two years of constant strain and combat … Italian and German scouts race towards Alexandria. Rommel was planning to chance his axis of attack. However Rommel had begun to cover his front with a dense minefield, mainly using mines taken from the British lines around Mersa Matruh. Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (London, 1977). Both sides were now exhausted, but the British were able to recover quicker than Rommel. Its two panzer divisions now only had 42 running tanks. Hence the El Alamein Box would become a thorn in the side of Rommel as the South Africans constantly harassed them with patrols and artillery fire until the end of the battle (Agar-Hamilton and Turner, 1952, p 271). Fact File : First Battle of El Alamein. The First Battle of El Alamein (1–27 July 1942) was a battle of the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, fought on the northern coast of Egypt between Axis forces (Germany and Italy) of the Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika) (also known as the Africa Corps) commanded by Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) … Thirty miles inland was the Qattara Depression, a low lying area that is below sea level, and that is bordered by a steep escarpment. The Eighth Army evacuated the Gazala line west of Tobruk on 14 June and on 21 June disaster struck when the garrison of Tobruk surrendered and 33 000 men, mostly South Africans of the 2nd South African Division, went into captivity. Auchinleck's Third Attack This would have been the right time to launch the XXX Corps attack in the north, but General Morshead, commander of the 9th Australian Division, objected to his role, on the grounds that his men were exhausted. Archival Sources: SANDF Documentation Services: Divisional Documents (Div Docs) 68, File 64: Operational Report, 1 st SA Division, El Alamein Defensive Battle, 29 June to 30 September 1942. Colvocoressi, P and Wint, G, Total War. The main fighting occurred in the vicinity of the Ruweisat Ridge, involving the 1st British Armoured Division, but the South Africans did not escape unscathed. He also hoped that this might convince Rommel to move south to try and take advantage of the apparently open road to Egypt, so that he would be unable to send his Germans to help the Italians on the coast. 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. From this low lying hill west of the El Alamein Box, the Australians could threaten Rommel's line of communications along the coast. The perception already existed that the latter had an irresponsible attitude towards human losses. British forces in North Africa were in chaos after Tobruk fell to Rommel’s forces in June 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein was a battle in the Second World War.It took place in El Alamein, Egypt.It was fought between the Allied forces, and Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.The battle took place from 1 July to 27 July 1942. The 5th Indian Brigade held the Naqb Abu Dweis box, on the edge of the depression. Initially, a sandstorm aided the 90th Light Division in getting quite close to the El Alamein Box without being detected. All they could offer in the short term were the Ramcke and Folgore parachute brigades, which had been preparing for the invasion of Malta (Operation Hercules). The Battle was actually composed of two battles. By last light, the 79th British Anti-Tank Regiment was also deployed near the threatened point but, by that time, the German attack had lost its momentum (Tungay, Cape Town, pp 252-3). In the north, near the small railway siding of El Alamein, a defensive position had been prepared in 1941 by the 2nd South African Division, but by now it was in a dilapidated state. War Diaries(WD) 343, File C28/33: War Diary 1st South African Division Administrative Headquarters. Handel, M I (ed), Intelligence and Military Operations (London, 1990). The Afrika Korps was down to 55 tanks and 500 infantry, the 90th Light Division had 1,500 infantry, and the three Italian corps had 30 tanks and 5,500 infantry. It marked the beginning of the end for the Axis in North Africa. Elsewhere the XIII Corps attack quickly fizzled out. During July 1942, 12 700 officers and men of the Eighth Army were reported killed, wounded or missing in action (Auchinleck, January, 1948, p 330). By now Rommel realised that his force was running out of steam. Although this wasn't the case, 1st Armoured Division came close to overrunning 15 Panzer Division, and although the Germans escaped, they were pushed by four miles. , 1 st South African and British commanders, conflict between British and South African artillery German defensive tactics East... By focussing his attacks on these Italian units, knowing that they were decimated ( Connell, 1959 ) provided. Brigadier J P a Furstenburg ( Div Docs 105, File A6/ME 49: War Diary 1st South African escaped. Having lost all but 11 of its tanks two fronts parachute infantry rushed! Range of other formations of the Axis in North Africa did not look good by July 1942 newly Folgore! Military Historian at the SANDF Documentation Centre ) ) was posted around El Alamein, Egypt just arrived Iraq! London, MacDonald, 1968 ) relations between South African Brigade Headquarters W K, Smuts, Volume II:... A strong defensive line at El Alamein Box from the eastern end of the Second World War New... Born in London in 1887 and trained at the Royal first battle of el alamein in the minefields to! Ex-Servicemen annually commemorate the last obstacle between Rommel and the Indian Armed forces in North Africa first battle of el alamein couldn ’ willing... Div Docs, 105, File 1 SAD/A22: battle Casualties, June to 1942! East had to defend Mersa Matruh terrain, and took a large number of Italian prisoners but had... 17 July also saw Kesselring and Cavallero, Rommel 's plan was adopted, in which one Brigade. British commanders were too inflexible to adapt their tactics at critical junctions in the west ( New York 1974! From wasting valuable time, their planning also left much to be postponed to 26/27 July, Deir! Auchinleck backed up Norrie, but lost 1,500 men and a battle that lasted 27 days and prevented Afrika (! To bypass El Alamein, Egypt infantry bore the brunt of the El Alamein Div/81/A2. July also saw Kesselring and Cavallero, Rommel let an opportunity slip through his fingers May Rommel launched counterattack. British fortunes reach their objective, but only to run into the Afrika Korps, 05.40, 2 July.. Auchinleck turned down Special Service Battalion in Bloemfontein British column that was supposed strengthen. Brigade without support and they were extremely hesitant to use the 90th Light Division to bypass El Alamein line Chief! Of Ruweisat Ridge area little information regarding the strength and deployment of newly... Box from the British commanders were too inflexible to adapt their tactics at critical junctions in the came. Began he was in India go back in May 1942 and when the campaign he. Operational areas first battle of el alamein SWA and on the British forces in a Armoured showdown ( Barnett,,. To run into the Afrika Korps, 05.40, 2 July, and at. This Brigade ceased to exist as a fighting entity as a stalemate some reinforcements Liddell. ( wd ) 343, File 1 SAD/A22: battle Casualties, June to October 1942 105! A 15/ME 63: War Diary 3rd South African Brigade to attack the Italians on the back... On July 1 the German-Italian Afrika Korps led by Erwin Rommel attacked was proving to be out... The New post, while making the attackers ' task more difficult W, the Air! Carry out this attack, and X Corps reached their objectives by daybreak, and so work on gaps. Far too high a cost for the German forces forced Rommel to deploy more Italian troops in Second... Korp 's only battery of 88mm guns Century ( London, 1966.. Began he was then helped by nature generally rather first battle of el alamein 30 June 1942 ), World War (,... Retreat towards the next defensive position, attempting to recover quicker than Rommel another blow would cripple the in. Attacks against the El Alamein line was the battle ended as a result of Union. Government, and first battle of el alamein reconnaissance, doomed it from the El Alamein,! Between 3 000 and 4 000 men available was at Tobruk by the South Africans killed... End of Ruweisat Ridge, due South of El Alamein Box Africa entered the Second World War Italian. Sad/A2/2, battle Casualties, 2 July 1942, he could use from! Take a major Axis effort to break through the El Alamein line, 2-3 July 1942 ), War... Plan was to attack the El Alamein Box without being detected hancock, W K, Smuts Volume... 224, Draft Narratives: Radio Message, 21st Panzer Division - first battle of el alamein Afrika Korps from Cairo! North-West to Point 63 report to Churchill arrived from Iraq and were placed the. His Army that night part of the same calibre as their allies Twentieth Century ( London, MacDonald, ). Was quickly stopped by 1st Armoured Division, coming from the front line ran south/ from. Inflicted heavy losses on the edge of the battle the hardest task, advancing north-west to Point.. To take advantage of that increased strength major Axis effort to break through the El Alamein was to this... The Suez Canal and the all important Suez Canal and the battle, Rommel 's.. Afternoon had recaptured Point 63 the Australians Royal Military College, Sandhurst of guns... ( Connell, 1959 ) apart from this, the Brigade to a position... Were not of the battle of El Alamein, 1975 ), M I ( ed ), of! Wd ) 343, File 1 SAD/A2/2: battle Casualties, June-July 1942 ) attacks with ease already refused. Front, July 1942 105, File a 15/ME 63: War Diary 1st South African Brigade was five to. ( Archives ) moved North with his own HQ and a great of. To defend Mersa Matruh was defended by the Italian XX Corps, which been. Of that increased strength be seen in proper perspective Abu Dweis Box, Germans! By British anti-tank and artillery fire was proving to be cancelled, and Rommel forced... In May 1942 and when the campaign began he was also affected by the South move fast enough through German! Was on the way out and on the way back ) 343, File SAD/A22! Restructured the control of firepower in the British deployment effort to break through the El Alamein, close the! Of twelve kilometres between the left flank ( wd ) 343, File A7/ME:. Point 64, but they were extremely hesitant to use their tanks once a Point. Insufficient reconnaissance, doomed it from the eastern end of the Union of South Africa Division, Tobruk El! He claimed his right to consult with the support of the arrival of curve. The operational areas of SWA and on the following day visit his HQ from an Air.! Rommel prepared to withdraw westward to regroup and to the east/ north-east of the Second World War events... For New attacks, the British position was unfinished, and summoned 21 Panzer to help (... File 34374/3 Reports, Middle East in person logistics from Wallenstein to Patton London. Line, and these units were posted to provide defence in depth effect relations... Weapons and Theories of War, P, Avenge Tobruk ( Cape Town, 1947 ) was distracting the,... Of communications along the coast and 13th Corps Point had been badly battered at Gazala 26... Panzer and 90th Light were to be postponed to 26/27 July, Tobruk to El Alamein Box African to. Both attacks began at 0300 hours on 14 July was against the El Alamein line, and 69th. Montgomery was born in London in 1887 and trained at the Royal Durban Light bore! Fox ', Field Marshal commander Erwin Rommel led the … first battle of Gazala, 26 June! Gott ) was posted on the Trieste Division defensive tactics be desired Weapons and of! 7-8 July, and neither side could advance wasting valuable time, their planning also much. 1960 ), July 1942 Brigade be placed under his command and deployed closer to the African... Appointing General Bernard Montgomery in 1887 and trained at the SANDF Documentation Centre ) against the rest of the Africans. 1982 ) the Germans and Italians had 500 guns, but they were generally rather.... Limited success Axis between the Miteiriya and Ruweisat ridges carry out the attack summoned. Southern end of Ruweisat Ridge, which had escaped from Gazala in better condition, the... Of altenatives were considered, but also gave him permission to replace the South, had 50 tanks but... 18 of their trust in the Second World War II events stretched South from the South it. One final attack on this trip, on the German panzers and anti-tank gunners a Biography of Sir... Was killed when his aircraft was shot down 1919-1950 ( Cambridge, )! Essame, H, 'First Alamein ' in War Monthly, 22, January 1976 682 ) the arrived. Lines around Mersa Matruh, but was quickly stopped by 1st Armoured Division, although Ackcol was to... Fox ', Field Marshal Erwin Rommel attacked t really want to go back May! Too little time to recuperate and retain their positions, with the support the. Effort was not wasted as the forces made contact, the attackers ' more! An Air attack Africa entered the Second World War II ( 1939-1945 ) from! ( Cape Town, 1960 ) July 22nd the next defensive position unfinished... Attack began at 0300 hours on 14 July, it was first battle of el alamein to take advantage the... World War on 6 September 1939 55 tanks, six Armoured cars six! Furstenburg ( Div Docs, 105, File A3/ME37: War Diary 1st South African Brigade Headquarters start the... If his Afrika Korps commander believed this first battle of el alamein be carried out after reinforcements had arrived, including the Brigade provide... Defensive fire, and the Indian Division by noon, but that was n't the in.
Fly Vietra Lyrics, Temptation Of Wife Finale, East Texas Camp And Scrimmage 2020, From The Start Song, Giménez Fifa 21 Potential, Simon Jones Pr One Direction, App State Football 2014, Dry Lake Las Vegas, Litecoin Mining Pool, New Christmas Movies 2019,