Examines Eighth Army's 1,000-strong tank force – rebuilt, reorganized, and equipped with brand-new Sherman and Churchill tanks – that secured victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein.
When Eighth Army retired into the defensive line at El Alamein on 30 June 1942, it was tired, dispirited and had lost almost all its tanks during a string of defeats at Gazala, Tobruk and Mersa Matruh. After savage defensive fighting at First Alamein, the reinforced Desert Rats defeated Rommel's last offensive in a tank-to-tank clash at Alam Halfa in September. The next month, a completely rebuilt and reorganized Eighth Army, equipped with over 1,000 tanks including the American M4 Sherman, launched the offensive that would finally drive Rommel out of Africa.
Montgomery shaped the Eighth Army according to his own military ideas, and on 23 October was able to attack the Axis defenses with the largest force of armoured divisions in its history, with the 1st, 8th and 10th united in a new 'corps de chasse' intended to defeat the Afrika Korps at its own game, and the 7th and two infantry support tank brigades assigned to support the XXX and XIII Corps. With the exception of the A9, 10 and 13 cruisers of 1940-41, as the offensive began, the Eighth Army contained every type of tank employed during the North Africa campaign.
Using detailed illustrations of the tanks involved with an analysis of the tactics employed for battle, this is a focused examination of the tank forces that won the Second Battle of El Alamein - the most famous British Army victory of World War II, and one of the turning points of the war.
Read an extract of Allied Tanks at El Alamein 1942
Table of Contents
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION - Armoured force evolution, organization and doctrine - October 1942: The Eighth Army Order of Battle TECHNICAL FACTORS - Cruisers and Crusaders - Stuarts, Grants and Shermans - Infantry support tanks THE CAMPAIGN - The assault: 23rd October 1942 - Reset and 'dog fight' - Operation Supercharge ASSESSMENT AND IMPLICATIONS FURTHER READING INDEX
Jul 18 2023
Illustrated throughout with 40 photos and 8 pages of colour illustrations