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A lot of people talk about Rommels tatical aggressiveness in the desert, part of it was his natural brillance , a large part was his intelligence gathering supreriority - SIGNIT. He knew British units strengths, dispositions and plans for most of his time in the desert and exploited it brillantly.
There is a thread here on Bonner Feller, the US Military attache attached to the 8th Army, whose intelligence reports were regularly intercepted by Rommel courtsey of the much maligned Italians in March 1941. Rommel enjoyed reqular updates from Feller to July 1942 when the US realised their State Department codes had been penertrated and Feller was returned to the US.
The second coincedence was the capture of Rommels 621 wireless listening unit by the Australian 2/24 Battalion on July 10 1942 http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/21 ... gypt05.htm
In the space of a two weeks (early July 1942) all Rommel's intelligence disappeared, as did his tactical brillance. His attacks at the first battle of El Alamien were clumsy and he sat passively until Montgomery attacked (two of my uncles were there attacking along the Coast Rd with the Australian 9th Divison, drawing the Afrika Korp down upon them)
Just as an aside, I had an elderly italian neighbor when I grew up, he was captured at El Alamein and came to Australia as a POW, then came back post war to settle with his family. He said Ramcke's Unit stole Italian trucks to make their escape. The bit about them capturing british trucks was made up to try and keep the Italians onside. Just a little oral history, it may be right or wrong.
Europe 1944, I wrote way back that pre D-Day Montgomery planned to be on the Seine River on D+90 and that is exactly where he was with most of the German Forces in France destroyed or captured and the rest fleeing to Germany as fast as they could go.
The breakout from the D-Day Beach head was an exact mirror of 2nd El Alamein, an initial attack in the North blocked "Goodwood" but a crumbling attack continued to draw the bulk of the German forces North on to it. A massive blow south a few days later with US forces breaking out.
Still botom line is Montgomery 2 Rommel 0 and Rommel's abilities after he lost his signit in Egypt diminished markedly
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Not quite. There was also the Battle of Alam Halfa, an Axis attack.alf wrote:...he sat passively until Montgomery attacked...
For "north" read 'east'; for "south" read 'west'.The breakout from the D-Day Beach head was an exact mirror of 2nd El Alamein, an initial attack in the North blocked "Goodwood" but a crumbling attack continued to draw the bulk of the German forces North on to it. A massive blow south a few days later with US forces breaking out.