Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The attacks on 3 September 1942 went badly

The plan on 3 September 1942 was to attack at 10:30am with two brigades, the 132nd Brigade and the 5th New Zealand Brigade. The 6th New Zealand Brigade would attack at 11pm in support of the 132nd Brigade. Each brigade had a supporting Valentine squadron. The 132nd Brigade was new to the Desert and was slow to reach the starting line. The enemy was waiting for the attack and created confusion in the new troops. The 132nd Brigade commander was wounded and the brigade lost 697 killed, wounded, and missing. The 5th New Zealand Brigade achieved success, penetrating the enemy lines and doing much damage behind the front. After the attack stalled, General Freyberg, the New Zealand Division commander, ordered a withdrawal, which happened after the sun went down. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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