Grandad’s WWII Diary – Friday 3rd July – Wednesday 8th July 1942

July 3 - 8

Click here for entry for Saturday 27th June (cont) – Thursday 2nd July 1942

 Friday July 3rd

Day 452

Experiencing extremely heavy shelling.  Stukas and Junkers bombed brigade Head Quarters.  Weather scorching.

Saturday July 4th

Day 453

Still receiving heavy shelling – on raiding party at night.  Our artillery put over terrific barrage at 9 o’clock – our battalion suppose to advance under it but was late and arriving at Jerry lines he was waiting for us.  Lost many man breaking through his fire but succeeded and got amongst them with bayonet & hand grenades.  Inflicted heavy casualties on him – bought several prisoners back.  While getting out he turned everything onto us – artillery – mortars – ack-ack guns at point-blank range.  At times never thought we would get back.  Again lost our platoon sergeant.  About half way out met the brigadier waiting for wounded.  Although we were told that the stint was successful, I doubt it as we suffered heavily.  Reached our own lines about 2AM.

Sunday July 5th

Day 454

I think Jerry very annoyed about last nights doings as he gave us hell with shelling all day.  Increased air activity – he sent over several raids – over 40 planes each day.

Monday July 6th

Day 456 (he has skipped Day 455 so I will continue with his numbering)

Still under heavy shelling.  All of us getting very jumpy & nervy – our artillery less than 300 yards in our rear – receiving the full blast.  Whenever a gun fires whether ours or his we dive into our holes – the position is not looking good – one of our flanks are open to him.

Tuesday July 7th

Day 457

Shelling terrific – has got our exact range.  Got out at night as he attacked our open flank.

Wednesday July 8th

Day 458

Dug new positions along edge of escarpment – fairly quiet day although terrific battle going on in distance.

The following extract from World War 2 Timelines website in order to put the above into perspective.  

http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-the-desert/war-in-the-desert-index-1942.htm

03/07/1942 Due to exhaustion and lack of supplies, especially fuel for the armoured divisions, Rommel orders his German and Italian forces to suspend all offensive operations before El Alamein and begin constructing defensive positions. troops to after being reduced to 13 tanks in a final effort to break through.
05/07/1942 Axis troops start laying minefields in front of their positions at El Alamein.
06/07/1942 Despite continuous attacks by the British Eighth Army, Panzer Army Afrika manages to hold on to its positions before El Alamein.

Click here for entry for Thursday 9th July – Tuesday 14th July 1942

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