Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Early on 24 October, the British Desert Air Force attempted to bomb in support of the 9th Australian Division. While later strikes went well, this one misfired and had the British bombers drop 2,000 lb bombs on the 2/13th Battalion. The Australians were fortunate to only have four men hit. There had been elaborate attempts at signaling the aircraft, these signals failed to get the attention of bombing aircraft. A little later, the British "tank-buster" Hurricanes flew in support. They reported knocking out 18 of the 19 tanks in Kiehl Group.

At daylight in the north, they realized that Trig 29 was the key to their defensive operations. The enemy infantry across from the 26th Brigade was less affected by the British artillery fire and was a stronger adversary for the Australians. Enemy artillery was firing in the north, but mostly was hitting behind the forward positions. The enemy started sending out patrols to get more information about the Australian penetration. During the day, sappers were busy expanding clear paths through minefields. The situation was improved enough that hot meals were able to be sent to the forward infantry.

In front of the 51st Highland Division, clear paths through the minefields were extended forward. The situation allowed tanks to be positioned near Double Point 24. This was south of the Australians with the tanks "in action". The Scots were successful in attacking an enemy position that had held out over night. During the "late afternoon", tanks had moved forward and were "clearing other defended localities. They able to have a clear path through minefields to the Oxalic Line. Late in the day, while there was still sun, enemy armor divisions, the 15th Armored and the Italian Littorio Armored Division "attacked out of the sun". The Scots took the brunt of the attacks, and a fierce artillery battle started. The Australians saw the American Priest self-propelled artillery "for the first time". This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Australian Official History.

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