The Story of the Battle in the Words of the Soldiers
- John Sadler
15th August 2010
The epic battle in Egypt between the Axis forces led by Rommel 'the Desert Fox' and Britain's 'Desert Rats'. The battle of El Alamein, which began on 23 October 1942 heralded a decisive shift in Allied fortunes, not just in the Western Desert but in relation to the whole course of the war. Churchill described the battle as 'Not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning'. Not only did the battle create the conditions which led to the final Allied victory in North Africa but it pitted the two most charismatic opposing generals Bernard Montgomery 'Monty' against Erwin Rommel 'The Desert Fox' against each other in a decisive and epic encounter. El Alamein 1942 is a day to day narrative of the fighting whilst also building up a coherent picture of the overall strategic position. John Sadler shows how the conflict unfolded from the perspective of the actual combatants, the effectiveness of weapons and tactics, and the nature and importance of ground. This was the battle that defined both the Afrika Corps and the British 8th Army, the legendary 'Desert Rats'. Hitler's fanatic insistence that his forces should not cede ground, caused the destruction of a significant part of Rommel's army. El Alamein, like Stalingrad, marks the end of the opening phase of Axis victories and sweeping gains and ushered in the slow but inexorable drive to final Allied triumph.