Illustrated with 6 maps and numerous photos.
The Battle that ended Rommel’s offensive in the Desert of North Africa, and the Axis hopes of Victory against the Allied forces by the Generals who commanded the two sides.
“The Battle of Alam el Halfa took place between 30 Aug. and 5 Sep. 1942 south of El Alamein during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. Panzerarmee Afrika-a German-Italian force commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel-attempted an envelopment of the British 8th Army, commanded by Bernard Montgomery. In the last major Axis offensive (Operation Brandung) of the Western Desert campaign, Rommel had planned to defeat the British 8th Army before Allied reinforcements made an Axis victory in Africa impossible.
Montgomery, who had been forewarned of Rommel’s intentions by Ultra intelligence intercepts, left a gap in the southern sector of the front, knowing that Rommel planned to attack there, and deployed the bulk of his armour and artillery around Alam el Halfa ridge, 20 mi (32 km) behind the front. In a new tactic, the tanks were used in an anti-tank role, remaining in their positions on the ridge. Montgomery intended to hold the armour back, refusing to allow them to sortie out as they had in the past.
With the attacks on the ridge failing and his supply situation precarious, Rommel ordered a withdrawal. Montgomery failed to exploit his defensive victory, preferring to continue to build his strength for the his fall offensive, the Second Battle of El Alamein...
The price of the defeat to the Axis was not just a tactical defeat and retreat. With the Alam Halfa failure, Rommel was deprived not only of the operational ability to initiate offensives, he lost the operational and tactical ability to defend the German base in Africa. Axis strategic aims in the African theatre were no longer possible.”