Allied Tanks at El Alamein 1942 (New Vanguard #321) (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
William E. Hiestand was born in 1957 and has worked for over 30 years as a US Department of Defense analyst focusing on military issues. He has served in a wide variety of analytic, leadership and representational roles. He holds an MA in History from Cornell University and has a lifelong interest in military history with a particular focus on 20th-century armoured and mechanized operations. He lives in Virginia, near Washington DC.