By Rebecca Drew
THE FASCINATING story detailing how one of Nazi Germany’s most talented WW2 generals was stopped by British troops, leading to the Allies’ eventual victory has been revealed in a new book by a man who fought in the battle.
The book follows the First Battle of Alamein which took place from July 1, to July 27, 1942 at Ruweisat Ridge. On July 1, 1942, Erwin Rommel broke the centre of British defences at Alamein where his tanks overwhelmed the defence of the 18th Indian Infantry Brigade – for the next twelve hours there was no organised defence and only a small number of men stood in Rommel’s way to reach the Suez Canal and saw him withdraw his forces for the first time since January that year at El Aghelia.
The incredible story has been unveiled in the book, The Day Rommel Was Stopped: The Battle of Ruweisat Ridge, 2 July 1942 by Major F.R. Jephson MC TD, who fought in the battle and Chris Jephson. It is published by Casemate Publishers.
“My father was inspired to start work on the research for this book by a number of events, not least the 25th anniversary of the First Battle of Alamein in 1967. On the 2 July 2017 it will be 75 years since the battle and that only reinforces the desire to see my father’s work finally published,” said Chris Jephson in the book’s preamble.
“My father worked on the research well into the 1990s as his health started to deteriorate. He had been there, on Ruweisat, on 2 July 1942 and in fact remained there until November that year, but was aware that his own view of the events was only one view.
“He developed and maintained an extensive correspondence with many others who had been there.
“He made a series of undated working drafts, but, due to ill health was never able to complete the work.”
Erwin Rommel was a German general and military theorist also known as the Desert Fox. He was eventually defeated by Bernard Montgomery’s British troops in the Second Battle of Alamein in November 1942.
“His concern was not to glorify the war. It was providing missing knowledge about the day when Rommel was finally stopped and the tide of the Second World War started to turn in the Allies’ favour,” Mr Jephson added.
“Even more importantly, it was to provide some better recognition to the men of the very divers small force that came together as Robcol that day and which was described a few days later by the commander, Brigadier Rob Waller as ‘being nobody’s child’. His ambition was to trace as many as possible of those who had been there.”
Published by Casemate Publishers, The Day Rommel Was Stopped: The Battle of Ruweisat Ridge, 2 July 1942 by Major F.R. Jephson MC TD and Chris Jephson is now available to buy on Amazon for RRP £20
For more information see www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Rommel-Was-Stopped-Ruweisat/dp/1612005586ENDS