Moths remember 75th anniversary of El Alamein
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.