Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The planned attack on 21 July 1942

Grand plans were made on 19 July 1942 to attack on 21 July. Very elaborate instructions were given to 13th Corps to break through and to push to the west. The main attack would come at Deir el Shein and Deir el Abyad with a secondary attack in the south. General Auchinleck fully expected to bust the Axis front open and to be able to exploit to the west. The 13th and 30th Corps had reversed their previous roles, as 30th Corps was given a static task with the 13th Corps being in the mobile role. The air attack would being with Wellingtons and Albacores during the night of 21st to 22nd July. In the morning, a there would be a very large attack with light bombers and fighter-bombers. The fatal flaw was to give important assignments to inexperienced units and that insufficient time was allowed for the initial operations. There was also an over-optimistic assessment of British ability to overcome Axis minefields. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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