Monday, November 29, 2010

Montgomery's plans prior to Alam el Halfa

Right before the Battle of Alam el Halfa, Montgomery talked about his planned offensive. He would attack in October, and he would form a corps that mimicked the DAK. The new 10th Corps would be strong in armour. In keeping with that plan, Montgomery urged General Brian Horrocks to preserve his armour, so as to be ready for the attack in October.

For the immediate battle, Montgomery intended to use the Desert Air Force to continuously attack the Axis forces. He would also keep the Luftwaffe from interfering in the battle. The convoy battles in August 1942 were largely fought by the Italian air force, which allowed the German air forces to be repositioned to better support Rommel. The Axis air force in North Africa was now 720 aircraft strong, although about 450 were actually serviceable. To oppose them, the British had about 400 serviceable aircraft. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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