October 24, 1942 – In Egypt outside of El Alamein, British aircraft dropped 122 tons of bombs on Axis airfields and tank concentrations as Allied troops continued to engage in heavy combat. When the sun rose on 24 Oct, British engineers continued to struggle with their mine clearing mission, but the feint attacks were successful enough so that they were only drawing local fire. Indeed, the German believed that the attack was being conducted on a broad front, thus all front line defensive units were ordered to remain in position. During this day, Axis General Georg Stumme suffered a heart attack during an inspection of the front lines and passed away unexpectedly; Generalleutnant Wilhelm von Thoma stepped in as the acting commanding officer quickly, successfully preventing most of the confusion that occurred in the transition. During that day, as British engineers continued to work the way through the minefield, the main British tank assault force waited at Oxalic. Fighting continued across the entire front, while Allied aircraft conducted numerous sorties at defensive positions. At dusk, German tanks of the 15th Panzer Division and Italian tanks of the Littorio Division mounted an attack eastward out of the Kidney depression with the sun on their backs, engaging the tanks of the British 1st Armoured Division. By the end of the day, the Allied forces were far behind the planned positions, but the operation seemed to be moving forward nevertheless. During the night, Allied aircraft dropped 122 tons of bombs on Axis airfields and known tank gathering points.