Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A costly attack
The attack by the New Zealand Division, in the end, achieved little except to cause heavy losses to the units involved. The enemy hardly noticed the attack, being much more affected by the air effort during the attack. The attempt to close the minefield gaps failed miserably. The 132nd Infantry Brigade had 697 killed, wounded, and missing. The New Zealand losses were smaller, but still considerable. The one bright spot was the air operations during 2 and 3 September 1942 over the battlefield. The five hundred Allied aircraft engaged flew an average of five sorties per aircraft. The Americans used their B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and P-40F Kittyhawk IIs in support of the British air effort. The attacks were followed by an Axis wirhdrawal to the most western minefields. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.