Mersa Matruh

What is Mersa Matruh known for?


successful attacks

with Libya. Experienced Italian pilots, most of them veterans of the Spanish Civil War, employed the exceptional manoeuvrability of the CR.42 in successful attacks against RAF Gladiators, Hurricanes and Spitfires, forcing their opponents "...to adopt the tactic that Messerschmitt pilots had used against them: to avoid dogfights and to attack them with sudden dives." Nevertheless, on 31 October 1940, the ''Falchi'' scored their first confirmed air


battle

stepped in to take direct command of the Eighth Army, having lost confidence in Ritchie's ability to control and direct his forces. Auchinleck discarded Ritchie's plan to stand at Mersa Matruh, deciding to fight only a delaying action there, while withdrawing to the more easily defendable position at El Alamein. Here Auchinleck tailored a defence that took advantage of the terrain and the fresh troops at his disposal, stopping the exhausted German Italian advance in the First Battle of El

decision by claiming that merely to hold the lines at Sollum would confer upon the British a distinct advantage, in that they could more easily outflank the positions at Sollum and the overseas supply lines would still have to be routed via Tripoli unless he secured a front further east. Retreat from Gazala Following its defeat at the Battle of Gazala in June 1942, the British Eighth Army (Eighth Army (United Kingdom)) had retreated from the Gazala line

victories in North Africa against the Hawker fighters. During the air battle over Mersa Matruh ''Sergente Maggiore'' Davide Colauzzi and ''Sergente'' Mario Turchi from 368 a ''Squadriglia'', while escorting SM.79 bombers, shot down the Hurricanes of 33 Squadron that were flown by 26-year-old Canadian Flying Officer Edmond Kidder Leveille (RAF no. 40837) - who was forced to bail out but was killed when his parachute failed to deploy completely and Flying Officer


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Rommel, apparently aware of his growing reputation as a gambler, defended his decision by claiming that merely to hold the lines at Sollum would


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of Gazala May–June 1942, then held the Axis forces for 72 hours, in the First Battle of El Alamein permitting Eighth Army to safely withdraw. Ford & White p.26 HQ 4th Division returned for the Second Battle of El Alamein, holding Ruweisat Ridge at the centre of the Eighth Army's line, made a mock attack and two small raids intended to deflect attention to the centre of the front. Brown, p.101 Initial Operational


published work

. Starmont House, 1988 He managed to drag himself away from the blazing wreckage and passed out. Later, he wrote about the crash for his first published work. Egypt (1939–1941) In June 1939, Wilson was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) British Troops in Egypt, and he was also responsible for giving military advice for a range of countries from Abyssinia (Ethiopia) to the Persian Gulf. He made his HQ in Cairo and undertook


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Alamein . Enjoying a considerable superiority of material and men over the weak German Italian forces, Auchinleck organised a series of counter-attacks. Poorly conceived and badly coordinated, these attacks achieved little. Barr.N, ''Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of Alamein'', pp.83–184 thumb upright Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, with his aides during the desert campaign. 1942 (File:Rommel with his aides.jpg) Rommel determined to press


military series

On 27 June 1942 south of Mersa Matruh, Egypt, Private Wakenshaw was a member of a crew of a 2 pounder (907 g) anti-tank gun, when the enemy attacked, silencing the gun and killing or seriously wounded all the crew. Private Wakenshaw's left arm was blown off but he crawled back to his gun, loaded it with one arm and fired five more rounds with considerable effect. He was then blown away from the gun by an enemy shell and was again severely wounded, but he still managed to crawl back and was preparing to fire again when a direct hit on the ammunition killed him and destroyed the gun. mascot battles Fall of France Arras (Battle of Arras (1940)) Ypres-Comines Canal Dunkirk Mersa Matruh Akarit Battle of Gazala First Battle of El Alamein Second Battle of El Alamein Mareth Line Operation Husky D Day Invasion of Normandy Operation Perch Battle for Caen Operation Bluecoat Operation Pugilist Operation Market Garden Enfidaville Nederrijn notable_commanders Maj. Gen. G. Le Q Martel (Giffard LeQuesne Martel) , KCB (Order of the Bath), KBE (Order of the British Empire), DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)), MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. W. H. Ramsden (William Havelock Ramsden) , CB (Order of the Bath), CBE , DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)) , MC (Military Cross), MID (Mentioned in Despatches) , three times Maj. Gen. J. S. Nichols , GCB (Order of the Bath) KCB (Order of the Bath) KBE (Order of the British Empire) CB (Order of the Bath) CBE (Order of the British Empire) MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. S. C. Kirkman (Sidney Kirkman) , GCB (Order of the Bath) KBE (Order of the British Empire) MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. D. A. Graham (Douglas Alexander Graham) Maj. Gen. L. O. Lyne (Lewis Lyne) , KBE, DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)), MC (Military Cross) Adam Herbert Wakenshaw VC (Victoria Cross) (9 June 1914-27 June 1942) Was 28 years old, and a private (private (rank)) in the 9th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry (Durham Light Infantry), On 27 June 1942 south of Mersa Matruh, Egypt, Private Wakenshaw was a member of a crew of a 2 pounder (907 g) anti-tank gun, when the enemy attacked, silencing the gun and killing or seriously wounded all the crew. Private Wakenshaw's left arm was blown off but he crawled back to his gun, loaded it with one arm and fired five more rounds with considerable effect. He was then blown away from the gun by an enemy shell and was again severely wounded, but he still managed to crawl back and was preparing to fire again when a direct hit on the ammunition killed him and destroyed the gun. No. 451 Squadron was transferred to Mersa Matruh in Egypt on 8 January 1943 and redesignated a fighter squadron. The squadron was responsible for air defence of part of the Nile Delta and nearby convoys and in February it received a detachment of Supermarine Spitfire fighters for high-altitude interceptions. Aircraft from the squadron saw combat on only one occasion during the first six months of 1943 and morale remained low; the RAAF Historical Section has written that this period marked "the nadir of the squadron". In January No. 451 Squadron's commander Wing Commander D.R. Chapman proposed to RAAF Overseas Headquarters that the unit be transferred to Australia but this was rejected. Chapman was replaced early in May after he wrote a letter to the headquarters of No. 219 Group RAF in March which complained about the squadron's lack of employment and appeared to condone the poor morale within the unit. Herington (1954), pp. 393–394 No. 451 Squadron's only offensive action during the year was a raid against Crete on 23 July in which it contributed six Hurricanes to a force of Beaufighter (Bristol Beaufighter) heavy fighters and Baltimore (Martin Baltimore) bombers. Three of these Hurricanes were lost during the operation. RAAF Historical Section (1995), pp. 113–114 The '''22nd Infantry Brigade''' was formed by the conversion of the 29th Infantry Brigade (29th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)) on 3 September 1939 and in March 1940 became responsible for all the troops in the Mersa Matruh Garrison area. In February 1941 the unit was reformed and renamed the 22nd Guards Brigade on 20 March 1941. It was converted to the 200th Guards Brigade (14 January 1942) and then finally the 201st Guards Motor Brigade (25 May 1942).


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to find that he would not receive any specialised training in aerial combat, or in flying Gladiators. On 19 September 1940, Dahl was ordered to fly his Gladiator from Abu Sueir in Egypt, on to Amiriya to refuel, and again to Fouka in Libya for a second refuelling. From there he would fly to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip south of Mersa Matruh. On the final leg, he could not find the airstrip and, running low on fuel and with night approaching, he


defensive position

On 27 June 1942 south of Mersa Matruh, Egypt, Private Wakenshaw was a member of a crew of a 2 pounder (907 g) anti-tank gun, when the enemy attacked, silencing the gun and killing or seriously wounded all the crew. Private Wakenshaw's left arm was blown off but he crawled back to his gun, loaded it with one arm and fired five more rounds with considerable effect. He was then blown away from the gun by an enemy shell and was again severely wounded, but he still managed to crawl back and was preparing to fire again when a direct hit on the ammunition killed him and destroyed the gun. mascot battles Fall of France Arras (Battle of Arras (1940)) Ypres-Comines Canal Dunkirk Mersa Matruh Akarit Battle of Gazala First Battle of El Alamein Second Battle of El Alamein Mareth Line Operation Husky D Day Invasion of Normandy Operation Perch Battle for Caen Operation Bluecoat Operation Pugilist Operation Market Garden Enfidaville Nederrijn notable_commanders Maj. Gen. G. Le Q Martel (Giffard LeQuesne Martel) , KCB (Order of the Bath), KBE (Order of the British Empire), DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)), MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. W. H. Ramsden (William Havelock Ramsden) , CB (Order of the Bath), CBE , DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)) , MC (Military Cross), MID (Mentioned in Despatches) , three times Maj. Gen. J. S. Nichols , GCB (Order of the Bath) KCB (Order of the Bath) KBE (Order of the British Empire) CB (Order of the Bath) CBE (Order of the British Empire) MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. S. C. Kirkman (Sidney Kirkman) , GCB (Order of the Bath) KBE (Order of the British Empire) MC (Military Cross) Maj. Gen. D. A. Graham (Douglas Alexander Graham) Maj. Gen. L. O. Lyne (Lewis Lyne) , KBE, DSO (Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)), MC (Military Cross) Adam Herbert Wakenshaw VC (Victoria Cross) (9 June 1914-27 June 1942) Was 28 years old, and a private (private (rank)) in the 9th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry (Durham Light Infantry), On 27 June 1942 south of Mersa Matruh, Egypt, Private Wakenshaw was a member of a crew of a 2 pounder (907 g) anti-tank gun, when the enemy attacked, silencing the gun and killing or seriously wounded all the crew. Private Wakenshaw's left arm was blown off but he crawled back to his gun, loaded it with one arm and fired five more rounds with considerable effect. He was then blown away from the gun by an enemy shell and was again severely wounded, but he still managed to crawl back and was preparing to fire again when a direct hit on the ammunition killed him and destroyed the gun. No. 451 Squadron was transferred to Mersa Matruh in Egypt on 8 January 1943 and redesignated a fighter squadron. The squadron was responsible for air defence of part of the Nile Delta and nearby convoys and in February it received a detachment of Supermarine Spitfire fighters for high-altitude interceptions. Aircraft from the squadron saw combat on only one occasion during the first six months of 1943 and morale remained low; the RAAF Historical Section has written that this period marked "the nadir of the squadron". In January No. 451 Squadron's commander Wing Commander D.R. Chapman proposed to RAAF Overseas Headquarters that the unit be transferred to Australia but this was rejected. Chapman was replaced early in May after he wrote a letter to the headquarters of No. 219 Group RAF in March which complained about the squadron's lack of employment and appeared to condone the poor morale within the unit. Herington (1954), pp. 393–394 No. 451 Squadron's only offensive action during the year was a raid against Crete on 23 July in which it contributed six Hurricanes to a force of Beaufighter (Bristol Beaufighter) heavy fighters and Baltimore (Martin Baltimore) bombers. Three of these Hurricanes were lost during the operation. RAAF Historical Section (1995), pp. 113–114 The '''22nd Infantry Brigade''' was formed by the conversion of the 29th Infantry Brigade (29th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)) on 3 September 1939 and in March 1940 became responsible for all the troops in the Mersa Matruh Garrison area. In February 1941 the unit was reformed and renamed the 22nd Guards Brigade on 20 March 1941. It was converted to the 200th Guards Brigade (14 January 1942) and then finally the 201st Guards Motor Brigade (25 May 1942).

Mersa Matruh

'''Mersa Matruh''' (also spelled '''Marsa Matruh''' and '''Marsa Matrouh'''; west of Alexandria and 222 km from Sallum, on the main highway from the Nile Delta to the Libyan border. Another highway leads south from the town, toward the Western Desert and the oases (oasis) of Siwa (Siwa Oasis) and Bahariya.

During Ancient Egyptian times and during the reign of Alexander The Great, the city was known as Amunia. In Ptolemaic (Ptolemaic Egypt) and Byzantine (Byzantine Empire) times it was known as Paraitonion (Παραιτόνιον), and in Roman (Roman Empire) times, as Paraetonium.

Mersa Matruh is a major Egyptian tourist resort and serves as a getaway resort for Europeans as well as Cairenes (Cairo) eager to flee the capital in the sweltering summer months. It is served by Mersa Matruh Airport. The city is known for its white soft sands and calm transparent waters; the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural breakwater (breakwater (structure)), with a small opening to allow access for light vessels.

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