Battle of El Alamein

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The Battle of El Alamein took place in the Sahara Desert in Egypt in October–November 1942. British and Commonwealth forces led by General B. L. Montgomery ('Monty' to the troops) attacked and overwhelmed a German–Italian force led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Following the victorious outcome of the battle, the Allied forces chased the Germans westwards across North Africa to Tunisia, where, in concert with an American army which had landed in North Africa in Operation Torch, the Axis forces were driven out of Africa.

Alamein was also significant in raising morale in Britain, as it was the first significant land victory over German forces by the British Army. Churchill remarked that "before Alamein, we never had a victory; after Alamein, we never had a defeat." This was not entirely accurate, but did pinpoint the battle as a turning point in British conduct of the war, which had hitherto seen a series of defeats against Germany (Dunkirk, Greece, Crete, the Desert).

The Battle also cemented the reputation of Montgomery as a victorious general. He was a cautious commander, and carefully built up a great superiority in arms, equipment and men, before launching his attack. Criticised by some for over‐caution in action, and over‐exuberance, not to say arrogance, in his dealings with other generals and politicians, his care for the welfare of his men made him a popular leader.