Ruin Ridge, 26–27 July 1942

Documents from the collection:

Report on operations during the fighting on "Ruin Ridge"

During July 1942 fighting raged in the Egyptian desert near El Alamein. After being driven into headlong retreat, the Allies closely pursued by Rommel "The Desert Fox" knew they must hold here, or Cairo and the Suez Canal would be in grave danger.

A series of battles that continued with little respite saw mixed results for the Allies. In one surprise attack, Australian troops were successful in seizing and holding the vital high ground at Tel el Eisa. Things went badly wrong however for 2/28 Battalion in their attack on "Ruin Ridge" later in the month.

After taking their objective on the ridge, 2/28 Battalion soon found themselves surrounded by German tanks and cut off from help. After putting up a stubborn and courageous fight, they were finally overrun before help could arrive, losing 554 casualties, many of whom went into German captivity.

The documents below are part of a report on operations. They include radio messages between 2/28 Battalion and the Brigade Headquarters during the fighting on "Ruin Ridge". These transcripts reveal the drama and desperation of the battalion's situation, as well as the intensity of the action that all but wiped out this fine unit.

AWM54, 526/6/5
AWM54, 526/6/5
(1.39mb PDF) HQ 9th Division - Report on operations - 24th Brigade - 3 to 29 July and to 6 November 1942.