Monday, December 13, 2010
The end of the first day, 31 August 1942
General Montgomery was pleased with how the first day of battle had gone. This was 31 August 1942. Once the two German panzer divisions were known, Montgomery placed the 23rd Armoured Brigade, with 100 Valentine tanks, under 10th Armoured Division command. They were positioned between the New Zealand Division and the 22nd Armoured Brigade. The dust storm during the day had kept the Desert Air Force from intervening in the battle. The dust storm died down at dusk, and this allowed the air force to operate. Night bombers hit the Axis transport, doing great damage. The action resumed on the ground early on 1 September. The 15th Panzer Division tried to bypass the 22nd Armoured Brigade to the right. The British responded by sending the 8th Armoured Brigade against them, but they were stopped by the German anti-tank screen. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.