The British Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers again carried out a major raid on Genoa
by night. Savona and Turin were also bombed.
Russian Front. Renewed
German attacks beaten off at Stalingrad.
In Africa. 9:30 p.m. the second
battle of Alamein begins with massive barrage of artillery fire from a thousand
guns onto the Italian and Afrika Corps positions. The attack totally surprises
the Afrika Corps. To make matters worse. Field Marshal Erwin
has been in Germany for a few weeks and has been temporarily superseded
by general Georg Stumme. The Afrika Corps forces have been ordered not to respond
to the British artillery fire, to save ammunition. This is a very difficult moment
for the British. A few days earlier, Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill cabled
Alexander, the generalissimo of British armed forces in the middle East, that
all our hopes rested on the outcome of the battle. The British are markedly superior
to the Afrika Corps in manpower and materials. They can deploy 195,000 men versus
the Afrika Corps 105, 000, 1, 029 tanks, including the American Sherman tank,
against the Afrika Corps 490 Panzers, more than 1, 000 guns versus their enemies
480, 530 aircraft versus 350, and 1400 anti-tank guns versus only 744. Field Marshal
Bernard Law Montgomery has under him the XXX, X and XIII Corps, deployed respectively
at the North, centre and south of the line. On the other side the Afrika Corps
15. Panzer-Dvision and the 164th division have taken position at the North of
the line with the Italian Littorio division, the Italian Trento, Bologna and Brescia
divisions in their centre and the Afrika Corps 21. Panzer-Division and two more
Italian divisions, the Ariete and Folgore, in the South. The Italians undertaking
is to hold their positions while any possible attack will be executed by the Afrika
Corps armour which is disabled by having to be spread widely along the front and
so losing its striking power. The British plan is for the conclusive attack to
be delivered in the north by the infantry of the XXX Corps and the armoured divisions
of X Corps and the XIII Corps is to accomplish indirect actions. 10 p.m. the three
British Corps launch their attacks against the Afrika Corps forces are taken by
complete surprise at this unforeseen offensive, but respond swiftly.
In Australasia. Allied air force bombers sank or damaged ten Japanese surface
ships at Rabaul.
United States of America. United States Liberator bombers
raided Japanese submarine base at Kiska.
Mrs. Roosevelt arrived in London.
United States Army, Middle East Air Forces (USAMEAF). United States
Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and B-24 Liberator heavy
bombers sent to attack Candia and Bengasi turn back short of target due to bad
weather. El Alamein offensive by British Eighth Army begins at 2140 with artillery
barrage by more than 1,000 guns aimed at enemy batteries. At 2200 barrage switches
to enemy forward positions as British troops move forward. Heavy fighting continues
Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) A-20 Havoc light bombers
bomb and strafe Deniki and Deniki-Kokoda trail. B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers
thoroughly pound shipping at Rabaul.
South Pacific (SOPAC). Henderson
Field is again made operational by Seabees, and Marine and Army Air Forces fighters
begin to inflict heavy losses on naval aircraft. Japanese ground forces assault
defence lines around the airfields but are thrown back.
Force. Armed reconnaissance by 7 bombers, escorted by 6 P-38 Lightning fighters,
is flown over Kiska installations, chiefly the submarine base and Main Camp. Visibility
is excellent and direct hits are scored, including 1 on submarine base.
Go To: 24th October
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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