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Africa El Alamein 1942

The battle of El Alamein marked the turning point in Britain's fortunes in World War II. There were three separate battles between July and November 1942, all of which were fought to halt the advance of Rommel's army towards the Suez Canal. The final battle at El Alamein, fought in October and November, saw the continous bombardment of the German line that Rommel was instructed to hold at all costs by Hitler himself. The Allies shattered the German defences and Rommel led a westward retreat in order to salvage what wasleft of the Afrika Korps. 

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BHC 000023 25 Pounder Field Gun

Ref: BHC 000023
Soft sand makes all movement difficult for this artillery quad towing its 25-pounder field gun. When forward movement bogs down, it is a case of everyone out and push.

BHC 000023 25 Pounder Field Gun

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BHC 000024 Lt Gen Oliver Leese

Ref: BHC 000024
Lt Gen Oliver Leese

BHC 000024 Lt Gen Oliver Leese

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BHC 000025 Auchinlek and Ritchie

Ref: BHC 000025
Gen Sir Claude Auchinlek C-in-C Middle East (left), talking to LtGen Neil Ritchie Commander Eighth Army, during the ill-fated Gazala battle in May.

BHC 000025 Auchinlek and Ritchie

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BHC 000026 Royal Engineers

Ref: BHC 000026
Royal Engineers mine-clearance teams were amongst the most valuable troops on the battlefield. The numbers of mines laid in front of both opposing armies was prodigious and little forward progress could ...

BHC 000026 Royal Engineers

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BHC 000027 British Film Crew

Ref: BHC 000027
A British film cameraman takes a look inside a knocked out Italian M13/40 Italian tank. The turret is facing to the rear.

BHC 000027 British Film Crew

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BHC 000028 The battle at night

Ref: BHC 000028
The night-time artillery barrage fired at the start pf Operation Lightfoot was the largest laid on by the British since the First World War.

BHC 000028 The battle at night

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BHC 000029 Panzer III

Ref: BHC 000029
Captured Panzer III with the long barrel 50mm gun being inspected by British troops.

BHC 000029 Panzer III

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BHC 000030 South African Troops

Ref: BHC 000030
Troops of the South African 1st Division together with their Marmon Herrington armoured cars captured by Germans after the Gazala battles.

BHC 000030 South African Troops

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BHC 000031 Montgomery

Ref: BHC 000031
Lt Gen Montgomery with three of his armoured commanders. Second from the left is Brigadier Pip Roberts (22nd Armoured Bde) and on the right Maj Gen Gatehouse (10th Armoured Division.

BHC 000031 Montgomery

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BHC 000032 XXX Corps Commanders

Ref: BHC 000032
Senior Commanders of XXX Corps in discussion about the forthcoming battle. From left to right Lt Gen Morshead (Australian 9th Division) LtGen Wimberly (51st Highland Division) LtGen Leese (XXX Corps) and ...

BHC 000032 XXX Corps Commanders

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BHC 000033 Italian M149/40

Ref: BHC 000033
Italian crew of a 149/40 Modello 35 gun. The 149 mm peice fired a 46 kg shell a maximum distance of 23,000 metres. Its large split trails used hammered spikes for anchoring.

BHC 000033 Italian M149/40

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BHC 000034 Rommel

Ref: BHC 000034
The Desert Fox, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, Commander Panzerarmee Afrika. Around his neck he wears the Pour le Merite Cross that he won in the first QWar and the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross ...

BHC 000034 Rommel

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BHC 000035 British Crusader

Ref: BHC 000035
A British Crusader passes a brewed-up Panzer IV at the end of the battle.

BHC 000035 British Crusader

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BHC 000036 General Arena

Ref: BHC 000036
Gen Francesco Arena, Commander Italian Ariete Armoured Division. Gen Arena took command of the division in May 1942 and was later awarded the Ritterkreuz by Rommel after Alamein. Following the collapse ...

BHC 000036 General Arena

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BHC 000037 Italian signallers

Ref: BHC 000037
Italian signal men repairing a break in the communications line. All lines had to be laid across open ground and the passage of tanks and lorries over them caused breaks that needed almost constant attention. ...

BHC 000037 Italian signallers

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BHC 000038 General Stefanis

Ref: BHC 000038
Gen Giuseppe de Stefanis, commander Italian XX Corps. De Stefanis had commanded both the Trento and Ariete Divisions in North Africa before assuming corps command. During Rommels retreat in November 1942 ...

BHC 000038 General Stefanis

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BHC 000039 Panzergrenadier

Ref: BHC 000039
A Panzergrenadier from Rommel's Afrika Korps all wrapped and goggled ready for action against the enemy windblown sand and the unrelenting sun.

BHC 000039 Panzergrenadier

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BHC 000040 Italian Semovente

Ref: BHC 000040
Italian Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun. This vehicle consisted of a turretless medium M40 tank chassis mounted with a 75mm gun, which made it a very potent, but unreliable weapon

BHC 000040 Italian Semovente

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BHC 000041 Italian troops laying mines

Ref: BHC 000041
Italian troops laying anti-tank minesin front of the wire fence of their forward positions.

BHC 000041 Italian troops laying mines

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BHC 000042 Afrika Korps Officers

Ref: BHC 000042
Group of German officers from the Afrika Korps waiting for the start of an attack.

BHC 000042 Afrika Korps Officers

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