El Alamein 1942: The Turning of the Tide (Campaign)

El Alamein 1942: The Turning of the Tide (Campaign)

Ken Ford

Language: English

Pages: 96

ISBN: 1841768677

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The battle of El Alamein marked the turning point in Britain's fortunes in the World War II (1939-1945). There were three separate battles between July and November 1942, all of which were fought to halt the advance of Rommel's army towards the Suez Canal. This final battle at El Alamein, fought in October and November, saw the continuous bombardment of the German line that Rommel was instructed to hold at all costs by Hitler himself. The Allies shattered the German defences, and Rommel led a westward retreat in order to salvage what was left of the Afrika Korps. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the battle that turned the tide in favour of the Allies in Africa.

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Ridge to the south of the Australian effort. 27 October Rommel launches a counterattack against 1st Armoured Division with his Afrika Korps, but is checked by the British division's anti-tank guns. Similar enemy attacks against the Australians are also turned back. 2 8 - 3 0 October Montgomery now switches his main effort to the north and uses the Australian Division to carve out a salient towards the coast. Rommel counters this move by shifting more of his armour northwards. 13 Italian

Egyptian border. 8 November Anglo-American forces under Gen Eisenhower land in Morocco and Algeria then move swiftly into Tunisia. Rommel now has an Allied army to his front and rear. 23 November Rommel is back where he started in January 1942 at El Agheila. He plans to make a stand, but then slips away as the British try to outflank his lines. Panzerarmee Afrika is now in full retreat westwards, intending to make a stand on the Mareth Line inside Tunisia. 14 The North African desert was a

achievements to show for all the fighting, b u t British Forces were right back where they started and, m o r e to the point, they were in serious trouble. On the enemy side, the array of senior c o m m a n d e r s changed little in the Desert War. Those replacements that were sent to North Africa were usually as a result of death, injury or sickness. Gen Sir Claude Auchinleck C-in-C Middle East (left), talking to LtGen Neil Ritchie, Commander Eighth Army, during the ill-fated Gazala battle in

rapidly as all three brigades suddenly found themselves dealing with a full-scale German armoured counterattack. Rommel's blow fell most heavily on the Snipe area and was met by the 6-pdr anti-tank guns of 2nd Rifle Brigade and 239th Anti-tank Battery RA. T h e defence p u t up by these units was brave and dogged. T h e battalion, in the words of the official history, 'stood its g r o u n d and did great execution, particularly amongst enemy tanks advancing against 24th Armoured Brigade'. More

anti-tank gun positions. By this time in the Alamein battle the Hussars had received some of the newly arrived Sherman tanks (1) and were using them to good effect. The mainstay of the regiment were the sturdy Grants (2) and their 75mm and 37mm weapons were particularly useful in this close combat. Also present in the action were the near-obsolete Crusaders (3), but their speed counted for little in this type of battle and most quickly became casualties. The enemy PAK 38 5cm anti-tank gun (4) was

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