Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

The Break-out

The Break-out

While the Division was resting, 9 Australian Division, fighting magnificently, succeeded in penetrating far into the enemy's defences. This threat to cut off his coastal forces drew the enemy's main concentration to the north, while farther south Eighth Army resumed its attack. For this attack 2 NZ Division, with two British infantry brigades4 under command, was brought back into action on 1 November to conduct a further assault and enable the mobile 10 Corps to break through.

A Company, 6 Field Ambulance, dug in its ADS that night in the salient driven into the German lines. Its position was almost on the railway line, some distance beyond the El Alamein station. Nearby were come uncleared minefields, and a little to the north was the main road, north of which the Australians had been fighting. With the help of bulldozers borrowed from the Engineers, areas for the tents had been dug out during the afternoon, and the men set up and sandbagged their tentage, completing the erection of at least a partially protected dressing station. 6 ADS was opened at last light.

It was five o'clock next morning (2 November) before casualties reached the dressing station from the attack, most of them from 152 Brigade and armoured units. Wounded flowed in steadily, and the ADS continued working through the day, on through the night, and during the following day. As the wounded were sent back, 5 MDS, the CCS, and the hospitals were busy in turn.

This attack, relentlessly pressed by 9 British Armoured Brigade, burst through the enemy's anti-tank gun screen which had so far successfully barred the way to the armour. In the morning of 4 November it was found that this screen of guns had withdrawn to the north-west. The way was clear. Rommel was retreating and the chase was on.