Moths re­mem­ber 75th an­niver­sary of El Alamein

Talk of the Town - - Your Voice - LOUISE CARTER

LAST Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 24, marked the 75th an­niver­sary of the sec­ond bat­tle of El Alamein dur­ing World War 2.

The bat­tle took place at the rail­way halt of El Alamein, a Mediter­ranean Sea coast town in Egypt and lasted from Oc­to­ber 23 to Novem­ber 4 1942 and is to­day loosely known as “the fi­nal con­fronta­tion in Egypt” which forced the Axis armies to re­treat to Tu­nisia.

The sec­ond bat­tle of El Alamein was a de­ci­sive bat­tle of World War 2, with the Al­lies vic­to­ri­ous against Ger­man and Ital­ian forces, and it marked the wa­ter­shed of the Western Desert Cam­paign.

Af­ter var­i­ous North African op­er­a­tions late in June and in July 1942, Bri­tish Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Bernard Mont­gomery, the new com­man­der of the Eighth Army in World War 2, ini­ti­ated the sec­ond at­tack at El Alamein. Mont­gomery fi­nally broke through the de­fences of the Panzer Army Africa, un­der the com­mand of Gen­eral Er­win Rom­mel. Suc­cess in the bat­tle turned the tide in the North African Cam­paign and marked the end of Axis ex­pan­sion in Africa.

Many South African sol­diers took part in the op­er­a­tion. South African ar­tillery alone fired 62000 25-pounder shells and al­to­gether 734 South African sol­diers lost their lives at El Alamein.

Last Satur­day, ex-ser­vice­men and one wo­man held a re­mem­brance pa­rade at the Port Al­fred Moths Club in hon­our of those who fought at El Alamein. The Last Post was played as is done per tra­di­tion with re­mem­brance day ser­vices, fol­lowed by a read­ing of an ex­tract of the poem, For the Fallen, by Robert Lau­rence Binyon.

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