Thursday, July 22, 2010
An assessment of the New Zealand Division on 15 July 1942
The New Zealand Division had commenced its attack at about 11pm on 14 July 1942. The night was dark, as there was no moon. FAA Albacores were out dropping flares to provide illumination for the advancing troops. They also dropped bombs on Axis transport behind the lines. Both the 4th NZ Brigade and the 5th NZ Brigade were short-handed, so they both advanced on very narrow fronts. They reached the Axis minefields and then received MG fire. The troops gradually became dispersed as they reached their objectives. In the process of moving forward, Axis troops were bypassed and were left untouched. When the 5th NZ Brigade reached its objective, they had lost track of their anti-tank guns. They were advancing more slowly and were to the rear. They were having the usual British problems with unreliable communications, which had dogged them through the great battles. At least the 4th NZ Brigade was able to keep their anti-tank guns forward and was able to place them forward in the German style. The 5th brigade had also bypassed many Axis strong points, which were now in their rear. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.