Oct., 1942 – A victory in Egypt – “The end of the beginning”

Illingworth, London Daily Mail

El Alamein, a desolate desert region in northern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea, was the scene of two major battles in 1942.  The first, in July, resulted in a standoff when the advance of Axis troops on Alexandria was blunted by the Allies.

The second battle, Oct. 23 to Nov. 4, marked a major turning point in the western Desert campaign and in the war itself. Allied forces broke the Axis line and forced them all the way back to Tunisia. The Allied victory ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, taking control of the Suez Canal and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. And, by making the Axis powers fight on a second front in North Africa, the Western Allies provided relief to the Soviet Union fighting the Axis on the Eastern Front.

About the Alamein victory Winston Churchill said, “Now this is not the end, 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”.


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