In July 1942, the German and Italian African group army failed to attack the British alaman defense line and reached an impasse.
Rommel and the German Supreme Command were ready to give up the offensive.
However, he was still unwilling and ordered to continue to prepare for the attack on the Nile Delta.
The Italian command also asked Rommel not to retreat anyway.
At their urging, Rommel decided to attack the British alaman defense line again and break through the Suez Canal, regardless of the poor conditions of fatigue, insufficient supply and lack of fuel.
He believes that if we do not march now, there will be an increasing gap in military strength between the two sides, and there will be no chance to march into the Nile Delta.
The alaman defense line borders the Mediterranean Sea in the north and extends 64 kilometers to the salt alkali beach of katala depression in the south.
Due to the complex terrain and tight defense of the defense line, there was no open flank that armored forces could detour, so Rommel could not attack from the front.
Rommel decided to take mount hallefa as a breakthrough, wave north to the east of the place, and then advance towards the coast in the direction of hamam.
After that, the German army defeated the eighth group army of the British army, broke through the alaman line and went out to the Suez Canal area, paving the way for the capture of Egypt.
Rommel planned to use the German 164th division and the Italian division to carry out a containment attack on the British 30th army north of the alaman line.
Then, the German 90th light armored division, the 15th and 21st armored divisions, the Italian motorized army and the reconnaissance brigade carried out the main attack on the British 13th army in ximemart, the southernmost end of the defensive front.
This section is a weak point of defense, and the front of the position is only blocked by minefields.
Rommel’s operational intention is to break through the British defense line from the southern end, push some troops eastward to the ridge of Halfa mountain on the left, and then detour the ridge to encircle and attack the main force of the British army.
According to the reliable information provided by “super secret”, the British eighth group army knew the operational deployment of the German and Italian forces like the back of its hand, so it decided to defend the southern end of the front and the Halfa mountains with heavy troops.
The British defense force is eight divisions.
In the north, the 9th Australian division guarded the outstanding part of Teresa, the 1st South African division guarded the area between the 9th Australian division and the ruwaisat ridge, the 5th Indian brigade defended the ruwaisat ridge, and the 2nd New Zealand division in the south of the ridge took on the defensive tasks of due west and southwest on the dairmunasib highland, The 44th division and the 22nd armored brigade guarded mount Halfa, and the seventh Armored Division was deployed in the southeast, concealed and on standby.
Once the German tanks tried to break through, they were immediately attacked.
In addition, the British army also laid six interconnected minefields and built a solid artillery position.
British infantry divisions are equipped with powerful new anti tank guns.
Among the 700 tanks deployed in the front of the position, more than 160 are American tanks with excellent performance equipped with 75mm guns.
British tanks have obvious advantages over German and Italian forces.
In August, the British Army received 10 times more supplies than the axis army.
In short, the equipment and combat personnel quality of the British army has exceeded that of any time since entering the non combat, while the personnel and equipment supply of the German and Italian armies have been at the lowest point.
At 23:00 p.m. on August 30, the German and Italian troops began to attack the fortress at the southern end of the British defense line, starting the battle of Mount Halfa.
The great depth and intensive minefields of the British army and the fierce bombing of the air force have greatly frustrated the German and Italian troops, and the African Army fell into a death trap.
General Feng · commander of the 21st Armored Division was killed in battle, and general neilin, commander of the African Army, was seriously injured.
At dawn on the 31st, the vanguard troops only broke into the minefield.
At 8 a.m., Rommel was forced to stop fighting.
Half an hour later, in view of the fact that the two German armored divisions had broken through to the end of the minefield, Rommel ordered the attack again.
At the same time, Rommel was forced to revise the plan, postpone the march to and Cairo, take mount Halfa as the direct target, turn all troops North in advance and cross the ridge of Mount Halfa as soon as possible, so as to avoid the threat of the seventh armored division of the right-wing British army.
So the German and Italian troops turned around and went straight to the defensive area of the 22nd armored brigade of the British army.
The 23rd armored brigade was quickly dispatched to reinforce the New Zealand division protecting the minefield and the 22nd armored brigade on the halefa ridge.
By noon, the main armored force of the German African Army had suffered heavy casualties and failed to move forward.
At this time, a storm blew up on the battlefield, obscuring the African troops, and the British air force had to stop bombing.
At 16 p.m., the German army entered the most favorable position on the ridge opposite highland 132.
With the cooperation of bombers, British tanks and artillery assembled in the Highlands immediately opened fire on the German army.
At dawn on September 1, the 15th German armored division tried to surround the 22nd British armored brigade, but was restrained and forced to retreat.
In the afternoon, it launched a new attack and was defeated again by the tanks of the 10th British armored division hidden in the fortification.
Montgomery concentrated its forces and tightened the siege.
Before dark, the German army tried to break through three times without success.
The fierce battle lasted until the morning of September 2.
The German army suffered heavy losses and a serious shortage of fuel, so it was unable to move forward.
Rommel was forced to give up the attack and ordered his armored forces to withdraw gradually to the starting position on August 30 at night.
The battle of Mount Halfa ended in the defeat of German and Italian troops.
In this war, the German and Italian troops lost nearly 3000 people, including 570 dead, 1800 wounded and 570 captured.
50 tanks, 15 field guns, 35 anti tank guns and 400 trucks were lost.
The British army lost 1751 people, 68 tanks and 18 anti tank guns.
From then on, Rommel’s last hope of entering the Nile line was dashed.
They completely lost the initiative and were no longer able to launch an offensive.
This doomed them to failure in the battle of alaman.
After the battle of Mount Halfa, the morale of the British army was greatly boosted.
This is the first time that they have won such a brilliant victory since they entered the battle in North Africa.
The British Army summed up the experience of the battle and laid the foundation for the victory of the next alaman battle.
For example, the troops of the group army are coordinated in combat.
Effective coordination between the army and the air force.
In particular, the Royal Air Force, fully mastering the air control, continued to fiercely attack the German and Italian forces and nailed them to the ground, making them unable to act as planned.
In addition, the “super secret” intelligence, as well as the false intelligence and deception tactics used in the war, also played a role that can not be ignored.
This deceptive tactic was continued by Montgomery, commander of the eighth group army, in the battle of alaman.
After the defeat of World War I in Mount Halfa, Rommel led his troops to retreat to the defense line of katala depression west of alaman.
The front of the defense line is 60 kilometers wide and 15 to 20 kilometers deep.
It is adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea in the north and Tanzania in the southKatara depression, which is inaccessible to Ke, has no threat to its two wings.
At this time, after a long period of continuous combat in the desert, the consumption of physical strength, soldiers and equipment of the German and Italian troops has reached the peak, and they have not been supplemented for a long time.
With the help of the “super intelligence” supply plan of the North African air force, it has a serious impact on the implementation of the “super intelligence” supply plan of the British air force.
It became increasingly clear to the axis powers that it was a great mistake not to seize the island of Malta.
Rommel estimated that in the first eight months of 1942, he received only 40% of the minimum supply required.
In terms of military strength comparison, the Allied forces are in a clear advantage.
First of all, it is manifested in mobile combat forces such as armored vehicles and tanks.
Since July 1942, the British eighth group army has supplemented a large number of armored forces to form the elite tenth armored army.
Although the German and Italian African Group armies also have a small amount of supplement, most of them are non motorized troops, and even two airborne troops are added instead of ground combat forces.
Since the mobility and attack power of the armored forces are suitable for desert operations, these forces supplemented by the axis forces are almost worthless.
The second is the comparison of air forces.
The British army has absolute air control and has accumulated some experience in cooperating with infantry ground operations.
Finally, the oil supply of the axis forces has been insufficient.
In several operations and pursuit operations, the German and Italian troops withdrew from the battle due to lack of oil, and their previous achievements were wasted.
Since the invasion of Egypt by the axis forces, the supply lines have been lengthened, and the supply of tubluk is far from meeting the needs.
Axis transport fleets were constantly attacked by the allies in the air and at sea, and often sank to the seabed before reaching North African ports.
In the desert war, there is no oil enough to kill people.
Before the war, the German army had only four days of oil and nine days of ammunition.
Lack of fuel, Rommel did not dare to fight the mobile warfare he was good at.
Tanks fighting in exposed areas are also vulnerable to British aircraft.
In view of various unfavorable factors, Rommel decided to fight a positional War: using infantry to stick to the defense line and prevent the British army from breaking through at any cost.
Once the British Army wedges into the defense line, it shall immediately take counterattack measures to eliminate it, so as to avoid the British army from expanding the breakthrough.
To this end, Rommel established a defense system more than 10 kilometers wide along the whole defense line.
First of all, let the troops occupy a solid position, and a large-area minefield has been set at the forefront of the position.
The first minefield is about 900 to 1800 meters deep, followed by no man’s land, with only a few outposts to monitor.
Then 1800 meters away is the main defense line, which is defended by German and Italian infantry, equipped with high explosive bombs, artillery and anti tank guns.
Armored troops are deployed behind the main line of defense.
The greatest threat to the entire minefield is the northern minefield, which is 4500 to 8200 meters deep and shares 500000 mines.
Among them, there are staggered “defense points” with considerable forces, which are called “the devil’s garden”.
Although the minefield in the south is not as large as that in the north, the location is appropriate and very favorable.
The German and Italian African group army has four German divisions and eight Italian divisions, including four Armored Divisions and two motorized divisions.
Equipped with more than 480 tanks, nearly 1300 guns and more than 680 aircraft, a total of about 100000 people.
The deployment of its troops is as follows: Six infantry divisions composed of German and Italian troops stick to the main line of defense.
The 21st armored division and the 15th armored division, the main force of the German armored forces, each led an Italian division to defend the South and North ends of the front respectively.
The 90th German light division was deployed as a reserve near the rear coast of the north section.
The British eighth group army has three armies, 11 divisions and 6 independent brigades, including 4 Armored Divisions and 2 armored brigades.
Equipped with 1200 tanks, 2311 guns and 750 aircraft, the total force reached 195000.
The operational intention of the British army is: after breaking through the defense area of the German and Italian army, quickly advance to the west, occupy the whole territory of Cyrenaica and tripolitania, and cooperate with the US British coalition forces that will land in French North Africa to drive all the German and Italian army out of North Africa.
Montgomery’s battle plan was to attack in three ways at the same time.
The 30th army is responsible for the main attack task in the north.
It is responsible for breaking through the defense north of the center of the German and Italian defense line, and opening up two roads in the minefield, one leading to Yaozi ridge and the other crossing miteria ridge.
After that, the armored forces of the tenth army took up positions in the open area on the other side of the front through the passage to meet the counterattack of the German armored forces.
The 13th army feigned in the South and attacked in two ways: one was east of Jaber karah and karet hadim.
On the other hand, he attacked himimat and Taka further south, enticing Rommel to believe that the main attack direction of the British army was in the south, so he maintained a strong armored force there.
While containing the German armored forces, the eighth group army will first smash its infantry, and then vigorously pursue the remnants of the German African Army with dense armored groups and completely eliminate them.
This is a new desert warfare tactic of Montgomery.
Instead of destroying the enemy’s armored forces with a dense armored group and then rushing to the exposed infantry, he first destroyed the German non armored forces and separated the German armored forces from them.
This bold and unconventional tactic was opposed by the British armored division and infantry commander, but Montgomery stood out from the crowd and insisted on his own practice.
He predicted that as long as the German non armored forces holding the position were attacked from the wing and rear and eliminated by “crushing” attack, Rommel’s armored forces would not be able to hold the captured territory.
In this case, Rommel will always be in danger due to insufficient supplies, and the only way out is to retreat.
In order to ensure the success of the campaign, Montgomery’s attack plan is based on two contents: the plan of deceiving the enemy and the battle plan.
First of all, it carried out deceptive tactics against the axis forces to make them believe that the main attack direction of the British army was in the south, and then it used its strong firepower advantage to carry out a large-scale attack on the northern defense line.
The plan of deceiving the enemy should achieve two purposes: to conceal the intention of the British army to launch the offensive as long as possible.
If it cannot be concealed, it will make it impossible for the German army to determine the date of attack and the main attack zone.
The specific approach is to cover up the real intention and actual actions of the British army in the north, while in the south, it is necessary to consciously show the illusion that the British army is moving, so as to induce the German and Italian troops to gather in the southMedium strength.
In the rear area of the southern end of the alaman defense line, the British Army arranged fake baggage trucks and fake ammunition depots, laid a fake oil pipeline of 32 kilometers, and deliberately delayed the completion, creating the illusion that the British army would not attack until after November.
Radio stations are also increasingly used.
In the north, where the real attack was launched, combat vehicles and artillery were transported in at night and carefully camouflaged.
Hundreds of tanks were hidden under various simulated vehicles, and trucks were parked on artillery positions.
After the tanks and artillery parked in the rear were transported to the front, camouflages were placed where they were empty.
In late September, in the open land of the desert, the front narrow cover trench used by infantry before attack was dug and camouflaged at night.
The day of war is scheduled to be October 23, the night of full moon.
In this way, the British army can safely and effectively remove mines with the help of moonlight, open up gaps in the German and Italian defense lines and open up access to mined areas as soon as possible.
The operation code is “jiezu”.
At 21:40 on October 23, 1200 British guns attacked the whole German and Italian positions violently, and finally concentrated in the northern region.
Soon, the communication networks of the German and Italian armies were destroyed, and their headquarters were immediately closed.
Under the suppression of the strong firepower of the British army, some troops of the 62nd infantry regiment of the Italian army left the defense line without authorization and retreated one after another.
At 2200 hours, the British 30th army began to attack in the north of the front.
At the same time, the British launched an attack in the south to contain the main German armored forces.
After the 9th Australian division and the 51st Scottish division of the 30th army went into battle, they were ready to open a passage through the minefield.
On its south side, the New Zealand division and the South African Division also launched an attack to open up a Nantong road.
At the same time, the fourth Indian Division launched a fierce offensive from the threatening prominent position on the ruwaisat ridge and wedged into the German position.
At the northern end of the British front, an Australian brigade launched a containment attack between Teresa and the Mediterranean.
At 1 a.m. on October 24, the British Army crossed the German outpost and wedged into its main defense line, with a breach width of more than 9600 meters.
By 5:30 a.m., half of the troops of the 30th army had reached the predetermined goal, and two important minefield roads had been opened.
The divisions of the 30th army and the 1st and 10th armored divisions of the 10th army followed the infantry and drove into the Beitong road and Nantong road respectively.
The British troops were in a dilemma because of the fierce advance of tanks and artillery.
On the afternoon of October 24, the Scottish infantry division and the first armored division reorganized their attack and rushed through the minefield.
The ninth armored brigade of the New Zealand Division also crossed the miteria ridge.
However, the 10th armored division attacking on its south side was doggedly blocked by German and Italian troops, and was still unable to advance until the next morning.
British tanks were forced to stay behind the miteria ridge and exchange fire with the Germans at the maximum range.
They could be blocked behind by slow-moving infantry at any time and trapped in a narrow passage.
However, the British Army repulsed many small-scale counterattacks by the 15th armored division of the German army.
By evening, only 14 tanks of the 15th German armored division were left to fight.
The assist of the 13th army in the South was also not smooth.
Neither the 7th armored division nor the 44th division could pass through the minefield north of himmart and were forced to stop in front of the main position.
Between the minefields, the infantry of the 13th army launched a bloody battle according to Montgomery’s “crushing” tactics, which failed to work.
In order to preserve the strength of the seventh armored division, Montgomery ordered the south to give up the attack and the north to continue the strong attack as planned.
On the night of October 25, with the strong firepower support of artillery and bombers, the British Army continuously attacked the German and Italian forces.
At midnight, the British army conquered the important stronghold in the North – Highland 28.
Then they concentrated their forces here and prepared to continue the attack in order to expand their bridgehead position to the west of the thunder array.
During this period, general stenm, who succeeded Rommel as acting commander of the African group army, died of a sudden heart attack less than a day after the battle, and the headquarters was once in chaos.
At Hitler’s request, Rommel, who returned home for medical treatment on September 23, hurried back to the alaman front line on the evening of October 25 to command the battle.
He gave up the original plan to hold the position with infantry and ordered the 15th armored division and an Italian division to launch a counterattack to highland 28 in the early morning of the 26th.
Under the tenacious resistance of the British army, the German army made slow progress.
At night, two Italian battalions occupied the East and west sides of the highland.
However, the highland is still controlled by the British army and has become an important combat support.
Since then, Rommel used the 90th light division of the reserve team and dispatched the 21st armored division of the south section to lead some Italian troops and artillery to reinforce the north section on the night of the 26th.
He understood that due to the lack of fuel, the 21st armored division could not return once the British attacked the south again.
However, the German army did everything possible to resist the British attack in the north, and Rommel had to put all his eggs in one basket.
On the morning of October 27, he ordered the troops to use all available artillery to block the British attack.
Then, the German armored forces launched a series of attacks on the British army, but all failed.
After three days of fierce fighting, the British army suffered great losses, more than 6000 casualties and more than 300 tanks.
Montgomery “began to realize the need for caution”.
He decided to suspend the large-scale attack and redeploy on October 27 and 28: the 30th army and the 10th army will rest and supplement personnel and equipment.
The seventh armored division on the southern line was transferred to the northern front to prepare for a decisive attack along the coastal highway with the Australian division.
Yaozi ridge and mitelia ridge were transferred to defense and defended by the 13th army.
New Zealand division as reserve team.
On October 28, Rommel found that the British army had gathered a large number of armored forces in front of the first minefield.
It was expected that a decisive battle would take place.
Therefore, Rommel transferred all the remaining German troops and heavy weapons in the southern section to the north.
The British reconnaissance plane spotted the German build-up.
At noon on October 28, the British air force dispatched bombers to bomb the German and Italian troops, smashing Rommel’s second counter offensive attempt.
This defeat was a turning point in the battle of Alamein.
Rommel had no more troops to use for counter attack.
On October 29, the German army had all gathered in the north of the front, and only the Italian army was left in the south.
In this way, the elite German army will no longer cross deploy with the Italian army.
Accordingly, MongoliaWest, until the occupation of the Libyan capital Tripoli on January 23, 1943, forced the axis forces to retreat to the Libyan Tunisian border.
On February 16, 1943, Rommel’s army stopped retreating and occupied the Tunis mares line, ready to make a final resistance in Africa.