2nd November 1942: The British sustain heavy casualties in a renewed assault but they succeed in destroying large numbers of panzers
After ten days of battle the Axis forces at El Alamein were still clinging on. Both sides had sustained heavy casualties and lost much materiel. But the British had plenty in reserve - whereas the Germans and Italians had nothing to replace their tank losses and were running short of fuel and ammunition.
Now Montgomery launched Operation Supercharge - a new attack designed to make the final breakthrough.
[W]e heard a German NCO shout: ‘English swine right, fire!’ Fortunately the machine-gun fired just over our heads as it could not be lowered to fire into the slight depression in which we were lying.
Sergeant Main of the 7th Rifle Brigade took part in the opening attack1:
At midnight we fixed bayonets and proceeded in the moonlight towards the Rahman track. D (Lloyd’s) Company were leading with two platoons forward and one (mine) immediately behind. All was quiet until we were about fifty yards from the enemy positions, when the Germans opened up enfilade fire from tracer-firing machine-guns on both flanks, together with flares and mortar bombs. The leading left-hand platoon was hit to a man and the right-hand platoon immediately went to ground. I ran forward to get a Bren to fire at the flashes from the enemy machine-guns but it jammed with sand after a couple of bursts.
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