In May of 1942 the British Eighth Army comprised 100,000 Commonwealth soldiers, well equipped, and deployed in depth west of Tobruk along a thirty-five mile frontage. U.S. Lend-Lease aid to Britain had played a prominent role in well equipping Eighth Army. For instance, the British 1st and 7th Armored Divisions included 316 American built tanks. Although 149 were the light Stuart tanks, Eighth Army also fielded more powerful tanks than did Germany, such as 167 of the American M3 "Grant" tanks. The "Grant" featured a hull mounted 75mm gun, and turret mounted 37 mm high velocity gun.
In October 1942 yet another tipping point had arrived in the two year battle fought between Axis armies led by German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and the British Eighth Army. Although at one time or another each combatant army had won an advantage over its foe, this time Lieutenant General Bernard Law Montgomery's British Eighth Army stood ready to hammer Rommel's PanzerArmee - woefully overextended at the end of a deeply frayed line of supply across the North African desert.
The turn of events that would lead to El Alamein had begun late in the spring of 1942, when Rommel's army badly