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  • Date: 23 October - 4 November 1942
  • Location: Northern Egypt
  • Campaign: Second World War (1939-45)
  • Combatants: The British Empire against Germany and Italy
  • Protagonists: Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery; Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
  • Outcome: Decisive British Empire victory

10 comments

Nigel Smales
15 June 2013, 10.25am

Belief is all important. Up

Belief is all important.
Up to Alamein, belief in GB, the Dominions and even in the USA was gradually slipping away that the Nazis could ever be beaten.
Of course it shouldn't be seen only in isolation, but the victory at Alamein gave cause to believe again. And sight should not be lost of how important the film 'Desert Victory' was. Having struggled for so long that 'propaganda' just wasn't the British way, politicians and military top brass suddenly loved 'Desert Victory' for how it lifted morale when it was released on 6 March '43.
Two men deserve most credit - Mr David Macdonald in North Africa and Cpt Roy Boulting at Pinewood - but never forget the contributions of those who shot the footage in the heat of the bloody battle. My Dad was one of them - Sgt Eddy 'Smiler' Smales of the Army Film & Photographic Unit, which had 26 cameramen in the fray.
Finally, I'd like to correct a repeated factual error. The AFPU lost 7 men in action (and another to illness) during the whole North African campaign, but none during the 2nd Battle of Alamein.

yeomanshady
18 March 2013, 8.57pm

Alexander and Montgomery

Alexander and Montgomery turned back Rommel's forces at El Alamein, thus winning what Churchill called "The Battle of Egypt." I have never promised anything but blood, tears, toil, and sweat. Now, however, The bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers, and warmed and cheered all our hearts. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Shem Law
14 March 2013, 4.49pm

Strictly speaking the only

Strictly speaking the only land battle of the Second World War that British and Commenwealth forces won without American or Russian help...

Bernhard Klapdor
2 March 2013, 12.57am

Please allow to see El

Please allow to see El Alamein a little bit different. Doubtless was Rommels defeat. The victory is owed to british stubborness and braveness on the one hand, which is absolutely the matchwinner. The other hand holds, in fact, overstretched supplylines, a bad lack of artillery ammunition, lack of diesel, at times leading by subordinates owed to Rommel's health, outnumbered troops and a ragged tank equipment providing a fifty pieces to the field. Before the first day was done the fatally exposed intelligence company was smashed by British vanguarding assault troops. The level of this intelligence company was awfully shocking to Montgomery. Those actual achived knowledges meant the turning point of the battle. A silky twist, if you allow this way of discription.

Please allow to proove, the first 51st Highland wasn't out to draw Rommel from Dunkirk. They were sent away from Dunkirk on direct order of Churchill as a sign to hold the French on the field as an ally. As the order was given every officer of the 51st knew they wouldn't return. It was a political sacrifice by Churchills hand. As the 2nd 51st headed into Germany later on they were told to regain honour on battlefield and to annihilate disgrace.

The first 51st never lost honour or did fail, they had lost the stand under an useless horrible political order in full duty which earned them high respect. But, it was once more sacrificing the Scots...

Please allow to proove details concerning Dunkirk. For what reason would you let go a 330.000 men? You did bag them before into the narrowest available sack in rapid and pelting time excluding coincidence. Surround them mortally by subs, tanks and superior arms.

Please consider for a moment, Britain would have stand at El Alamein alone on the battlefield theatres. Without US supplies (as Roosevelt considered in Feb. 1940 by proof) or without a russian front since June 1941, being heavily US-backed since August 1941. Backing up the 8th army came to work when the 15th Div. under Ladislav Anders went thru Persia after being released from russian POW-barracks. With Vichy-troops have been fought in Syria and an open insecurity about the Irgun flew in from Palestine.

Please don't ever give chance to compare El Alamein with the outcome of a battle like Kursk in July 1943. Regard El Alamein as that what it was, a harsh fought battle with terrible losses and a re-entry of badly needed courage to moral on British side. So, please honour all poor brave men who gave their last and best to overcome by belief. El Alamein wasn't that one to break the Wehrmacht's backbone and to give free sight onto final victory. It brought silverlining.

My uncle Pieter, now 92, led a tank platoon at El Alamein. He was First Lieut. with Ladislav Anders 15th. Div. He later met my uncle Kurt at Monte Cassino in combat. After the war they decided to have beer whenever Pieter visited us. They found out the only decisive winner was Death. And that war poisons life and view of the young and leaves a mystick krewe in the following up - that means: us. Could they've been right? Thanks for being patient.

Mark Tebbit
24 February 2013, 3.43pm

This was a crucial

This was a crucial turning-point - the most important and decisive battle in British history. Without this, the defeat of Germany would not have been a foregone conclusion.

A Taylor
21 February 2013, 5.54am

Was it not the second 51st

Was it not the second 51st Highland Division (the first was abandoned in France after drawing Rommal away from Dunkirk) that led the attack with Aus NZ and Indian Divisions. Indians were poorly paid and equipped, and badly treated after the war.

Jeremy Bateman
13 February 2013, 5.48pm

Rommel taking Middle East oil

Rommel taking Middle East oil supplies would've been a terrible blow to Germany's opponents. He asked Hitler for 5 panzer divisions to achieve this, but the Fuhrer saw North Africa as a sideshow, so the Desert Fox's victories were achieved with just 4 German panzer battalions (plus the Italians, whose reputation still suffers from wartime Britain's derisive propoganda).

Don't forget the 'British' 8th Army included Indian, Australian, South African and NZ divisions, Greek, Polish, and French brigades, and the Jewish Brigade of 71 nationalities!

ChrisP
13 February 2013, 2.04pm

It was the first decisive

It was the first decisive defeat of the German army. Aside from the strategic importance of Rommel's defeat (saving the Suez canal, our Middle East oil supply and the vital trade route through the Mediterranean) it was an immense boost to British moral (for our armed forces and at home) and showed that the German military forces were not unstoppable.

sekuru
5 February 2013, 10.33am

This was a pivotal battle

This was a pivotal battle which turned the tide for the 8th army and stopped german advances to the suez canal and beyond.

tom jones
3 February 2013, 9.10pm

this was the end of the

this was the end of the beginning when the war was turned to our favour

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