Skip to main content

Alamayn, al-


Village in northwest Egypt, on the Mediterranean, northeast of the Qattara depression, site of the battle of El Alamein, where the British drove back the Germans in a pivotal battle of World War II, 23 October4 November 1942.

General Bernard Law Montgomery's British and Commonwealth Eighth Army met and overcame General Erwin Rommel's GermanItalian Afrika Korps at al-Alamayn, approximately 80 miles (128.7 km) west of Alexandria. The retreat of Rommel's forces ended the Axis threat to conquer Egypt and seize the Suez Canal. Montgomery had some 195,000 men, 1,150 tanks, and 1,900 guns against Rommel's 100,000 men, 530 tanks, and 1,325 guns. Montgomery attacked at 9:30 p.m. on 23 October with an artillery barrage from 1,000 guns. The Afrika Korps held and counterattacked on 27 October. Montgomery resumed the offensive the next day, with a weeklong tank battle. British air superiority and force of numbers wore down the Afrika Korps, and Rommel withdrew a few miles to the west on 1 November. Another attack on 3 November resulted in Rommel's ordering another withdrawal, at first countermanded by Adolf Hitler, but finally approved. Montgomery's pursuit on 5 November stalled because of a rainstorm, and Rommel was able to disengage his force and retreat to the Libyan border by 7 November. The Afrika Korps had 59,000 men killed, wounded, and captured and lost some 500 tanks and 400 guns, against Eighth Army losses of 13,500 men, 500 tanks, and 100 guns. Moreover, most of the British tanks were reparable while Rommel had only twenty operational tanks at the end of the fighting.


Pitt, Barrie. The Crucible of War. London: Cassell, 2001.

Daniel E. Spector

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Alamayn, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . 23 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Alamayn, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . (January 23, 2019).

"Alamayn, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.