First Battle of El Alamein
The First Battle of El Alamein was a battle that was part of the Western Desert Campaign that took place from July 1, 1942 through July 27, 1942 during the Second World War, fought between Germany and Italy against mostly Britain and many of her Commonwealth dominions such as India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
Following the Axis victory at the Battle of Gazala, the British Army had been forced to retreat from the Gazala line to Mersa Matruh inside the Egyptian border.
The Axis African Army was commanded by legendary Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, while the Allied Army was commanded by General Claude Auchinleck. The battle stopped the second advance by the Axis forces into Egypt. For the battle the Axis managed to muster over 96,000 troops, while the Allies managed to assemble around 150,000 troops.
The battle ended on a stalemate, but it had halted the Axis advance towards Alexandria, which the Axis hoped to capture in order to then seize Cairo and finally the Suez Canal. Both sides suffered about equal casualties, the Axis had over 10,000 casualties while the Allies suffered over 13,000 casualties by the end of the battle.
Subsequently, Field Marshal Rommel would attempt to break the Allied positions but was stopped and repulsed in the Battle of Alam Halfa. However, the decisive Allied victory wouldn’t occur until October when the Allied forces defeated the Axis forces in the Second Battle of El Alamein and thus halting any more Axis advances.