Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy
In the desert, towards the end of July, it was clear that Egypt had been saved by what General Auchinleck described as ‘sheer guts and hard fighting’. It was evident that neither side was sufficiently strong to deliver a knockout blow to the other, and each required a breathing spell in order to accumulate the men, material, and supplies necessary for the resumption of full-scale operations. The full resources of the Eighth Army had been employed in holding the extended front, and it had been impossible to form a real reserve in which troops could be rested, reformed, and trained for fresh assaults on the enemy. New formations were beginning to arrive in Egypt, but these had to be trained and would not be ready for some time. It was decided, therefore, to discontinue further offensive operations and to prepare for a new and decisive effort later.