Thursday, August 12, 2010
Action on 16 July 1942 at El Alamein
The Axis forces were concerned that the British might break open their position with an attack by armour. They decided to preempt such a move with their own attack. Early on 16 July 1942, they attacked the 5th Indian Brigade "near Pt 64". The Axis forces were repulsed, but communications traffic indicated that another attack was likely. In preparation for such an attack, the 2nd Armoured Brigade was augmented by a regiment from the 22nd Armoured Brigade. They were well-supported by artillery. The expected attack started at 7:30pm and was defeated. The Australians had tried to retake ground near Tell el Eisa, but the artillery fire was too heavy to hold the captured territory. The operations on 16 July were well-supported by the air force, as there were 641 sorties by both fighters and fighter-bombers on that day. This was a record number. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.