Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The situation by 4 July 1942
The fighting on 3 July 1942 had forced the Axis forces to go over to the defensive. The German divisional strength was extremely low, Rommel reporting them as only 1200 to 1500 men. He also complained about the effective British bombing at night, as it made supplying the troops almost impossible. The Italians may have been in even worse shape at that date. Auchinleck was encouraged enough to imagine that they might be pursuing Rommel's forces back from this position. It was not to be, as when the British probed towards the Axis positions, they were stopped by anti-tank gun screens that were hastily assembled. Some more smaller attacks were mounted over the next few days, but there was little success. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.