First Battle of El Alamein - Aftermath

Aftermath

The battle was a stalemate, but it had halted the Axis advance on Alexandria (and then Cairo and ultimately the Suez Canal). The Eighth Army had suffered over 13,000 casualties in July including 4,000 in the New Zealand Division, 3,000 in the Indian 5th Infantry Division and 2,552 battle casualties in the 9th Australian Division) but had taken 7,000 prisoners and inflicted heavy damage on Axis men and machines.

In early August, Winston Churchill and General Alan Brooke—the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff—visited Cairo on their way to meet Joseph Stalin in Moscow. They decided to replace Auchinleck, appointing XIII Corps commander William Gott to the Eighth Army command and General Sir Harold Alexander as C-in-C Middle East Command. Persia and Iraq were to be split from Middle East Command as a separate Persia and Iraq Command and Auchinleck offered the post of C-in-C (which he refused). However, Gott was killed on the way to take up his command when a Messerschmitt intercepted his air transport and its fire shot Gott through the heart. Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery was appointed in his place.

A second attempt by Rommel to bypass or break the Commonwealth position was repulsed in the Battle of Alam Halfa in August, and in October the Eighth Army decisively defeated the Axis forces in the Second Battle of El Alamein.

Read more about this topic:  First Battle Of El Alamein

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