The battle of El Alamein in 1942 was one of the most crucial events in the entire Second World War. Before it, the British had never won a major battle on land against the Germans; nor indeed had anyone else, even the Russians. At Alamein the British Eighth Army first thwarted the Axis attempts in North Africa to seize Cairo and the Suez Canal and then smashed through the German-Italian defences, eventually driving the Axis forces out of North Africa. This victory, by a 'British' army actually composed of a variety of nationalities including men and women from the Indian sub-continent, southern Africa, Australians, New Zealanders, French and Greeks, as well as British troops, had psychological and morale-raising significance that exceeded even its strategic importance. Nothing had the sweet smell of success prior to this battle than El Alamein and for the battered British Empire battling against the might of the Third Reich this victory was crucial to its ability to continue its war efforts.
El Alamein's significance went beyond the events of the war. The opposing army commanders were perhaps the first 'celebrity' generals, attracting the attention of press and newsreel reporters alike. This led to a host of myths and tales of idiosyncratic behaviour that were shamelessly exploited by the individuals themselves and, especially in Britain, eagerly devoured by a public enamoured of the romance of warfare in this remarkable and hostile environment where men were at war with each other as well as with the elements. Drawing on a remarkable array of first-hand accounts, this book reveals the personal experiences of those on the frontline, giving the individual's point of view of the battle, from all sides, and provide a fascinating account of the minutiae detail of how war was actually fought alongside the analysis of the strategic decisions made by the generals.
El Alamein 1942 is the story of exactly how a seemingly beaten and demoralized army turned near-defeat into victory in a little over four months of protracted and bloody fighting in the harsh North African desert and of the repercussions of the battle for the participants, for historians and in popular culture.
About the Author
I'm a woman in my forties and live in Sydney, Australia. Amgalant began when I explored into The Secret History of the Mongols, a 13th century text, and knew I had found my perfect subject. I've always loved ancient/medieval epic and romance, and I've always been drawn to the cultures of tribal peoples, whose history we know too often through hostile or simply alien states - Rome, China. With Amgalant, I want to do justice to The Secret History, its art, its honesty. When they came to write this, their first book, the Mongols had two traditions to hand: oral epic - ubiquitous on the steppe - and stone inscriptions from past 'states on horseback' as the Chinese called them. The one lent poetry, the other concepts of how to tell a history. I argue that both traditions went towards our faulty hero. It isn't glorification. It's art, and it's analysis. Sequence of Amgalant: #1 Of Battles Past #2 When I am King Amgalant One: The Old Ideal is these together #3 Me and Atrocity #4 The Sheep from the Goats Amgalant Two: Tribal Brawls is these together I've published the lot in 2012. Nine years in the make, but I kept them to work on while I learnt, and only now am happy with the first. Amgalant Three, the final, is underway, at this stage titled Wonders and Horrors. My website http: //amgalant.com/
"The author has done a superlative job in writing about a battle that has been thoroughly examined by others. He, however, brings fresh material to light about the extreme hardships faced, not only in fighting a determined foe, but the harsh weather conditions as well, from actual survivors of the Battles of El Alamein and Alam Halfa fro June through November 1942."
--WWII History (Late Fall 2012)
"...belongs in any World War II collection..."
--James A. Cox, The Bookwatch (September 2012)