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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

148 — Headquarters 2nd NZEF to the Minister of Defence

Headquarters 2nd NZEF to the Minister of Defence

5 July 1942

The following is a brief report on the situation as at 3 p.m. on 4 July:

The New Zealand Division is operating in the south about twenty miles from the coast in the Alamein position, the 6th Brigade holding the Box and the 4th and 5th Brigades forming a mobile striking force with an offensive role against the enemy flank. We have clear air superiority and the indications are that we now have clear tank superiority. The enemy was severely mauled by our armour in the centre, the salient was straightened, and the enemy withdrew. Several hundred prisoners were taken. Enemy morale is reported to be low, his men being tired and hungry and discouraged, while our morale is very high. The position improves hourly with the arrival of reinforcements. It is too early to get a clear picture, but the above shows a change for the better which should be maintained. A report from Army Headquarters this morning states that the attack by our 5th Infantry Brigade during the night was completely successful, creating havoc (their actual word) among the enemy. Our losses to date are not heavy. Definite figures will follow as soon as they are available.