Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The situation on 18 July 1942
General Auchinleck believed that after the previous three days of battle, the Axis forces were in a greatly reduced state by 18 July 1942. He believed that by striking the Italians again, they would collapse. Certainly, by 21 July 1942, the Germans had only 42 tanks as runners with another 100 to repair. Their operational tanks included 6 Pzkw IIs, 27 Pzkw IIIs (probably 5cm L42), 6 Pzkw IIIs (5cm L60), 1 Pzkw IV (75mm L24), and 1 Pzkw IV (probably 75mm L46). The British greatly outnumbered the German tanks, as they had in excess of 172 tanks, including 61 Grant tanks with the 75mm medium velocity, dual-purpose gun in a sponson. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.