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Battle of El Alamein: It routed the Germans from Africa

There were two battles of El Alamein, both during 1942 (First Battle of El-Alamein, July 1-27, 1942. Second Battle of El-Alamein, October 23-November 3, 1942).
El Alamein is a town in N Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea. It was the site of a decisive British victory in World War II. In preparation for an attack by German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel from Libya (begun May 26, 1942) the British forces retreated into Egypt and by June 30 had set up a defense line extending 35 mi (56 km) from Alamein S to the Qattara Depression, a badland which could neither be crossed nor flanked. If this position had fallen, the British might have lost Alexandria and been forced to withdraw from North Africa. In August, Gen. Bernard L. Montgomery took command of the 8th Army. The British offensive opened on Oct. 23 with tremendous air and artillery bombardments. Montgomery's forces cleared the German minefields and on Nov. 1 and 2 burst through the German lines near the sea and forced a swift Axis retreat out of Egypt, across Libya, and into E Tunisia. Egypt was definitely saved, and with the landing on Nov. 7 and 8 of American troops in Algeria the Axis soon suffered (May, 1943) total defeat in North Africa. For his victory Montgomery was made a viscount with the title Montgomery of Alamein.


"To every man of us, Tobruk was a symbol of British resistance, and we were now going to finish with it for good."
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel - June 1942
The German hero, Erwin Rommel. In Africa in 1942


"The battle is going very heavily against us. We're being crushed by the enemy weight...We are facing very difficult days, perhaps the most difficult that a man can undergo."
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel - 3rd November 1942
The British general Montgomery


"The defeat of the enemy in the Battle of El Alamein, the pursuit of his beaten army and the final capture of Tripoli...has all been accomplished in three months. This is probably without parallel in history."
Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery - 23rd January 1943

A German Panzer 3 tank rolls


German machine-gunners take up positions


Italian anti-tank gunners

German soldiers of the Afrika Korps slog it out in the sun in 1942

British tanks in the desert - 1942

The British attack

A German panzer destroyed

An Australian soldier sweats it out. July 1942. The forward troops had to endure cramped conditions in slit trenches during the heat of the day, as movement above ground was impossible due to enemy fire.

British soldiers advance as a German Panzer III crewman surrenders during the battle of El Alamein, 1942

Australian soldiers crawl

The British charge

Those who fought and died in the battle are commemorated in several locations in Egypt today

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Points To Ponder


It is difficult to distinguish between the quality of both the German and Russian soldiers. Both were motivated by their love for their motherland. But there were others factors that drove the two sides to such desperate fighting.

One, both sides knew that this was a no-holds bar war. Not fighting was thus not an option.

Second, both Hitler and Stalin had squads that killed any deserter. Turning away from fighting was just not possible.

Thus was seen some of the most bitter, brutal and desperate fighting on the WW2 eastern (Russian) Front.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue.'
--Mao Zedong


"The main thing is to make history, not to write it."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
--Winston Churchill


"In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers."
--August Bebel

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."

Quotes about War....

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
---Otto von Bismarck


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
--Hermann Goering


"To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy."
--Tzu Sun

"All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?"
--Emperor Hirohito