Battle of el Alamein Facts

Battle of el Alamein Facts
There were actually two battles of el Alamein near el Alaemein, Egypt in World War II. The battles pitted the German Afrika Korps and their Italian allies, led by famed Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel, against the British, who were led by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery in the Second Battle. The First Battle of el Alamein was fought from July 1 to 27, 1942 ending in a stalemate but a strategic victory for the British: the Axis advance in North Africa was stopped and the vital positions of Alexandria, Cairo, and most importantly, the Suez Canal, remained in British hands. The Second Battle of el Alamein took place from October 23 to November 11, 1942 and ended in a complete Allied victory. The British had a more adept commander in the Second Battle (Montgomery) and more support from other Allied nations, including U.S. air support, which gave them nearly double the numbers of the Axis. The Axis loss at the Second Battle of el Alamein was took place at the same time the Americans invaded western North Africa in Operation Torch, marking the beginning of the end of the Axis' presence in North Africa.
Interesting Battle of el Alamein Facts:
The British Eight Army did the majority of the fighting for the Allies in both battles.
The British 7th Armoured Division supplied most of the tanks for the Allies.
The original plan for the Axis was to allow Italy to take the Balkans and North Africa, but they failed to do so adequately. The Afrika Korps was then formed in 1941 and sent to North Africa to support the Italians, although they took the lead in most of the major battles.
The emblem of the Afrika Korps was a swastika superimposed over a palm tree.
Rommel had about 100,000 men, about half Italians, at his command for the First Battle, versus about 150,000 Allied troops. The numbers were even more lopsided for the Second Battle at about 115,000 Axis versus nearly 200,000 Allies.
Rommel earned his nickname the "Desert Fox" by defeating the British in a number of battles in 1941 and early 1942. Although usually outnumbered, he used maneuverability and quick strikes to his advantage.
The geography of the region around el Alamein played a major roles in both battles and was a major reason for the Axis loss. The Qattara Depression was located about forty miles south of the coastal city. The Depression was nearly impenetrable by most tracked vehicles due to the combination of fine sands and escarpments, so the Axis forces were forced to attack el Alamein in a frontal attacking, giving the British the advantage of a bottleneck.
After the initial Axis attack in the First Battle failed, Rommel had his troops dig in and build defensive networks, but they were too far from their headquarters in Tripoli, Libya and had to retreat.
The Allies suffered about 13,000 casualties in both battles. The Axis suffered about 10,000 casualties in the First Battle but up to 60,000 in the Second, which meant that it would be nearly impossible for Rommel to hold North Africa, especially with the arrival of the Americans.
Today, the city of el Alamein has a military museum and has world's only Axis military cemetery.

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