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World War II

First Battle of El Alamein

Wednesday Jul 1, 1942
El Alamein, Egypt

The Axis offensive in Libya (Battle of Gazala) forced an Allied retreat deep inside Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein (First Battle of El Alamein), which lasted from 1 to 27 July 1942. The British prevented a second advance by the Axis forces into Egypt. Axis positions near El Alamein, only 66 mi (106 km) from Alexandria, were dangerously close to the ports and cities of Egypt, the base facilities of the Commonwealth forces and the Suez Canal.