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United Kingdom. The battle revived the morale of the Allies, being the first big success against the Axis since Operation Crusader in late The depression was impassable and meant that any attack had to be frontal; Axis attacks in the First Battle of El Alamein 1—27 July were defeated. Eighth Army counter-attacks in July also failed, as the Axis forces dug in and regrouped.
Auchinleck called off the attacks at the end of July to rebuild the army. Lieutenant-General William Gott was made commander of the Eighth Army but was killed when his transport aircraft was shot down by Luftwaffe fighters; Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery was flown from Britain to replace him.
Lacking reinforcements and depending on small, underdeveloped ports for supplies, aware of a huge Allied reinforcement operation for the Eighth Army, Rommel decided to attack first. The two armoured divisions of the Afrika Korps and the reconnaissance units of Panzerarmee Afrika led the attack but were repulsed at the Alam el Halfa ridge and Point on 30 August during the Battle of Alam el Halfa and the Axis forces retired to their start lines.
The short front line and secure flanks favoured the Axis defence and Rommel had time to develop the Axis defences, sowing extensive minefields with c. Earlier in the Western Desert Campaign , neither side had been able to exploit a local victory sufficiently to defeat its opponent before it had withdrawn and transferred the problem of over-extended supply lines to the victor. The British had an intelligence advantage because Ultra and local sources exposed the Axis order of battle, its supply position and intentions.
A reorganisation of military intelligence in Africa in July had also improved the integration of information received from all sources and the speed of its dissemination. Diversions at Ruweisat Ridge in the centre and also the south of the line would keep the rest of the Axis forces from moving northwards. Montgomery expected a day battle in three stages: the break-in, the dogfight and the final breaking of the enemy.