November 19

Battle of El Alamein


The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The battle lasted from 23 October to 5 November 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance consisting of German and Italian troops under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck in August 1942. The mainly Commonwealth Allied force came from the United Kingdom, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the Free French and Greece.  



The Allied victory turned the tide in the North African Campaign. It ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, taking control of the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. Winston Churchill said: "This is not the end, this is not the beginning, nor is it even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." He also wrote "Before Alamein, we had no victory and after it we had no defeats".   

In this video, HRH The Prince Andrew, Duke of York who saw active service in the Falklands War, presides at the 2009 remembrance ceremony and speaks of the sacrifice the troops made.






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