The Timeline for the First Battle of El Alamein
June - July 1942
 
  Thursday, June 25, 1942  
  The bulk of the British 8th Army retreated past Mersa Matruh and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps occupied Sollum, Haifaya Pass and Sidi Barrani.  
   
  General Claude Auchinleck, British Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command, relieved Lieutenant-General Neil Ritchie and assumed direct command of Eighth Army himself. Auchinleck decided not to seek a decisive confrontation at the Mersa Matruh position: it had an open left flank to the south of the sort well exploited by German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at Gazala. He decided instead to employ delaying tactics while withdrawing a further 100 miles or more east to near El Alamein on the Mediterranean coast.  
   
  Friday, June 26, 1942  
  The British 8th Army fought a strong delaying action against the Afrika Korps at Mersa Matruh to allow defensive positions to be prepared at El Alamein.  
   
  Late in the day the 90th Light and 21st Panzer Divisions managed to find their way through the minefields in the center of the front at Mersa Matruh.  
   
  As the 21st Panzer moved on Minqar Qaim, the New Zealand 2nd Division found itself surrounded. It succeeded in breaking out and withdrew east.  
     
  British Commander General Claude Auchinleck issued the orders for their withdrawal to Fuka. Auchinleck had planned a second delaying position at Fuka which was approximately 30 miles east of Mersa Matruh. Confusion in communication led units withdrawing immediately to the El Alamein position 100 miles east.  
     
  Saturday, June 27, 1942  
  The British 8th Army continued to fight a strong delaying action against the Afrika Korps at Mersa Matruh to allow defensive positions to be prepared at El Alamein.  
   
  Early in the day the 90th Light Panzer Division resumed its advance at Mersa Matruh but was checked by British 8th Army’s 50th Division's artillery.  
   
  The 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions advanced east above and below the escarpment at Minqar Qaim  30 miles inland from Mersa Matruh . The 15th Panzer Division was blocked by the British 4th Armoured and 7th Motor Brigades. The 21st Panzer Division was ordered to attack Minqar Qaim.  
   
  German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel ordered the 90th Light Panzer Division to resume its advance, requiring it to cut the coast road behind the British 50th Division by the evening.  
   
  Sunday, June 28, 1942  
  The British 8th Army fought a strong delaying action at Fuka to allow defensive positions to be prepared at El Alamein.  
     
   
     
   
 

The objective of WW2Timelines.com is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

 
   
  Copyright 2011
WW2timelines.com
Contact us using our email page