Sunday, December 24, 2006

Forces involved at Ruweisat Ridge, starting 14 July 1942

Pardon the jump in time, but I had received a question about the forces involved in the fight in July 1942 near Ruweisat Ridge. General Auchinleck was in command, and he wanted "to break through the enemy's centre and destroy his forces esat of the track El Alamein--Abu Dweis and north of the Ruweisat Ridge". 13th Corps and 30th Corps would be involved. The west end of the ridge would be taken by 13th Corps while 30th Corps would take the east end. They had artillery, but initially, the assault would be done without artillery fire, apparently to achieve surprise. 30th Corps had the 5th Indian Brigade, from the 5th Indian Division. 13th Corps had the 5th NZ Brigade "on the right" and the 4th NZ Brigade "on the left". General Gott decided that they should arrive at their objectives at 4:30am on 15 July. The 1st Armoured Division was to the left of the NZ Division. The division had 2nd and 22nd Armoured Brigades. In addition, "Wall Group" would support 30th Corps. The units involved were:

Wall Group, Brigadier Waller

3rd Regiment, RHA
2 batteries of the 104th Regiment RHA
one battery 11th HAC Regiment RHA
11th Field Regiment RA (less one battery)
Composite Guards Battalion
(from 3rd Coldstream Guards and 2nd Scots Guards)
1/4 Essex Regiment
9th Rifle Brigade
detachments of the 1st Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
and 1st The Buffs

2nd Armoured Brigade
6th RTR with one squadron from the 10th Hussars
3rd/5th composite RTR
9th Lancers with one squadron of the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
(46 Grants, 11 Stuarts, and 59 Crusaders)

22nd Armoured Brigade
3rd County of London Yeomanry
the Royal Scots Greys (only arrived in the afternoon)
(31 Grants, 21 Stuarts, and 23 Crusaders)

This is drawn from pages 347 to 349, including notes, from Volume III of The Mediterranean and Middle East (September 1941 to September 1942) "British Fortunes reach their Lowest Ebb" (1960).

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