El Alamein

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houndie
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El Alamein

Post by houndie » 19 Nov 2002 23:54

Hi!
I'm doing a small study on any WWII battle and I thought talking about El Alamein would have been the best choice, because screwing up would not maybe be noticed (unpopular battle... wonder, why, :wink: ), while getting info on the battle will be simple (guessed it is considered by specialists to be an outstanding battle, while it hasn't been getting a lot of positive propaganda).

I don't know practically anything about the battle and thought, although I don't have to do a study, as I've filled my quota, I'll get some info on it.

So, I hear the battle was very similar to Cannae. More accurately put, it was considered as a copying of tactics, showing tanks roles in modern military. Any comments on this, for instance?

And the strategical situation wouldn't bother, either.

Thanks,
Toenis Andreas Hallaste aka "Houndie" aka "Veritas".

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 20 Nov 2002 19:15

If you do a search of the Battle of El Alamien then you will rewarded.

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houndie
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Post by houndie » 20 Nov 2002 21:46

With what? And futhermore, I haven't had any replies except this reply, which I don't understand. DAMN!
War is a matter of vital importance to the state. Hence, it is imperative that it be studied thoroughly - sun tzu
The truth of world war should be documented and it should not be treated as nazi propaganda.

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 20 Nov 2002 22:34

houndie -- I think that Andy was talking about a "Google search" (the search engine of choice), that researchers use to search the internet for information. Here's the Google URL (internet address), followed by a number of El Alamein links. Give the http address a click or two, and it should take you where you want to go.

Google:

http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

Some El Alamein links:

http://plinks.pt-quorum.com/dak/dak/

http://www.comandosupremo.com/1942.php

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quart ... amein.html

http://www.ehabweb.net/alamein.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/ ... ein1.shtml

http://www.regiments.org/milhist/wars/ww2/africa-n.htm

http://www.second-world-war.com/desert_campaign.htm

I hope this helps!

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 21 Nov 2002 00:19

Montgomery knowing he had a large superiority in men and material and that the Germans were at the end of their supply chain with British air superiority waged a battle of attrition. The front line stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Quattara Depression an area virtualy impassable to vehicles so their was not the usual wide expanse of desert for manouver. Even if Montgomeries losses were higher as you would expect of attacking formations he could keep feeding in fresh formations suported by large ammounts of artillery untill eventualy the Africa core started to crack and then the armour pushed through the gaps. With no reserves once the German/Italian line broke the Germans comandeered the Italians vehicles and holding the 8th army up with rearguards fled to Tunisia where they made a stand for six months. German Italian forces numbered about 100,000 men split 50/50 and the British Empire forces nearly 200,000 men. Interestingly when the final surrender came in Tunisia though the German/Italian forces had a ration strength of 170,000 men the Anglo/American forces claimed to have captured 250,000.

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Post by Wolffen » 21 Nov 2002 16:32

Romel had 5-kilometer stretch of mind field between him and Monty. Guess who had to go and clean out that minefield for tanks. This is the funniest thing about El Alamein! Canadians, Australians South Afrikaans New-Zealanders and Indians! Commonwealth fist lol! One of the brilliant thing about El Alamein is Monty's fake army totally true Romel off and he went to the wrong side near the cost thus allowing the British tanks to get true 88 and come form his side just brilliant! I am sure you will fun tons of info on it !

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Battle of El Alemein

Post by Lobscouse » 22 Nov 2002 06:06

Canadians? I do not believe they were a part of Montgomery's Eighth Army.
Nor do I believe that the ANZAC remained in the Western Desert at this time. They were very hurriedly transported back to Australia, in a convoy of some of the largest ships ever assembled, in order to deal with the threat posed by the advancing Imperial Japanese Forces.
The Indian Army soldiers fought on under 8th Army command, until VE Day.

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 22 Nov 2002 11:11

Lobscouse, some divisions of the Australian army still fought in the battle of El Alamain. Most New Zealanders stayed on till the end of European conflicts instead of returning to the Pacific theatre.
As for Canadians?
Wolfen, Commonwealth forces have always fought together in all concerning wars including Boer, WW1,WW2 and Korea, Malaysia, not Vietnam. Thats where the term ANZAC comes from, Australia NewZealand army corps.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 23 Nov 2002 11:53

Allied units taking part in the Battle of El Alamien
30th Corps
23rd Armd Bde
51st Highland Division
4th Indian Division
9th Australian Division
New Zealand Division
1st South African Division

13th Corps
7th Armoured Division (Which inc F.French units0
50th Infantry Division (Which inc Greeks & F.French units)
44th Infantry Division

10th Corps
1st Armoured Division
10th Armoured Division
8th Armoured Division

What is important to understand about the Allied OoB is that though a Division maybe nominally called Indian or NZ etc it did on most occasions contain troops/units from the UK.
So Wolfens quote:
Rommel had 5-kilometer stretch of mind field between him and Monty. Guess who had to go and clean out that minefield for tanks. This is the funniest thing about El Alamein! Canadians, Australians South Afrikaans New-Zealanders and Indians! Commonwealth fist lol
shows a lack of understanding whilst trying to make inappropriate remarks about thinking it was somehow funny and planned that so called Commonwealth forces took the brunt of the fighting whilst the British did nothing-Ignorance is bliss for some.

:x Andy from the Shire

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houndie
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Post by houndie » 26 Nov 2002 17:04

Yes, sorry about that.
Dave, I once did take a look, but found nothing. I'll look up on the links you gave. Thanks.
War is a matter of vital importance to the state. Hence, it is imperative that it be studied thoroughly - sun tzu
The truth of world war should be documented and it should not be treated as nazi propaganda.

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Post by Kokoda » 01 Mar 2006 14:05

I am heartened to read above confirmation that the Australian 9th Infantry Division (who had held Tobruk for 6 months in 1941) participated in the Battle of El Alamein.
The reference to Rommel diverting considerable troops to the coastal sector concerns the "feint" made by the 9th Division in that sector.
Such was the high regard Rommel held for the 9th Division (after it had defeated his attempt to take Tobruk) he considered any advance by that division had to be countered by overwhelming forces. The Australians suffered greatly (620 kia, 1944 wia and 130 taken prisoner), but the weakening of the German "centre" sector opened the gate for Montgomery's principal infantry advance.
After the battle, Montgomery conceded that the outcome of the battle might have been "significantly different" were it not for the Australian 9th Division.

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Kingfish
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Re: El Alamein

Post by Kingfish » 01 Mar 2006 17:01

houndie wrote:So, I hear the battle was very similar to Cannae. More accurately put, it was considered as a copying of tactics, showing tanks roles in modern military. Any comments on this, for instance?


I don't see how. For starters, there wasn't any brilliant encircling moves by an outnumbered opponent. If anything, the allied attack lacked much in the way of flexibilty and manuever, but instead relied on sheer numbers to hammer their way through the Axis defense.

Granted, Monty tried to get around the main defensive belt a few times, the 9th Australian's attack along the coast road being one of them, but for the most part these move were concentrated in one area, making Rommel's task of shifting reserves to the threatened portions of the line much easier.

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Post by Imad » 13 Mar 2006 20:16

Alemein was anythibng but a Cannae. Actually everybody's uncle has been wanting to replicate Cannae for centuries with very little success. IIRC the battle that came closest to Cannae was Tannenberg in the Great War, and that too was more thanks to Hoffmann than Hindenburg and Ludendorff, the actual commanders. But, that is another story.
Imad

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Re: El Alamein

Post by fredleander » 18 Mar 2006 20:42

Kingfish wrote:
houndie wrote:So, I hear the battle was very similar to Cannae. More accurately put, it was considered as a copying of tactics, showing tanks roles in modern military. Any comments on this, for instance?


I don't see how. For starters, there wasn't any brilliant encircling moves by an outnumbered opponent. If anything, the allied attack lacked much in the way of flexibilty and manuever, but instead relied on sheer numbers to hammer their way through the Axis defense.

Granted, Monty tried to get around the main defensive belt a few times, the 9th Australian's attack along the coast road being one of them, but for the most part these move were concentrated in one area, making Rommel's task of shifting reserves to the threatened portions of the line much easier.

Monty's tactics at Alamein was more subtle than this - at least according to himself. He had studied the previous battles in the Desert carefully and came up with something different. That he was able to outsmart the Germans regarding where the main attack would take place is one thing. When he finally came through the minefields, after several feints, his intention was to bleed the German armour by NOT advancing, but to dig in. Thereafter he let his armour loose. By going through the center, instead of the usual "left hook", he also maintained the flexibility to turn either right or left after the breakthrough. Another major item in his strategy was to damage the "stacking" of Rommel's units, i.e. intermix between the Italian and German units. After that the Italian part of the front was much easier to penetrate.

What Monty also did, as soon as he took over the 8th army, was to establish a proper armoured striking force, much like Rommel had had for a long time. He also saw to that he had a proper maneuver reserve. Of course, the fact that the battle of Alam Halfa was a success for him did much to improve the morale in the Allied units before their attack. He made a proper plan - and stuck to it! The new, major item, was that instead of wasting his armour on the German defenses - he let the Germans waste theirs.

His strategy was much the same in Normandy where the British pulled the major part of the German on themselves - to better make it possible for the Americans to make their successful right hook.

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Post by Pips » 18 Mar 2006 22:42

Excellent appreciation leandros.

It's always been quite a popular thing to debunk Montgomery and his skill on the battlefield - the origins of which were laid by several american generals and historians. I agree that he was an insufferable bore and braggart, but he was without doubt one of the most able generals that the Allies possessed.

El Alamein was a classic example of a set peice battle; using your strengths to beat the enemy. Firstly he built up his Amry's morale, a crucial thing for the battered 8th. Secondly he fended off Churchill's constant harangue for a battle until he (Montgomery) was ready. He let Rommel slowly blead himself against the British lines, he used to great effect his overwhelming superiority in air power, he refused to fight Rommels style of warfare (of manoeuver), and he showed great skill with the use of his armour and artillery (the main factor in Alamein's victory); and most importantly he was of stronmg enough personality to utilise his best weapon - time.

One just has to read Rommel's papers to know that he (Rommel) knew that he was going to get beaten soundly as early as September, but could do little to stop it.

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