Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

El Alamein

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Tuesday 11:53 PM

17°C, Wind SE at 14 km/h, 42% Humidity

El Alamein (Arabic: العلمين‎‎, [elʕælæˈmeːn], literally "the two flags") is a town in the northern Matrouh Governorate of Egypt. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, it lies 106 kilometres (66 mi) west of Alexandria and 240 kilometres (149 mi) northwest of Cairo. As of 2007, it had a local population of 7,397 inhabitants.


Map of El-Alamein, Markaz Al Alamein, Matrouh Governorate, Egypt


El Alamein has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), in common with most of the Middle East and north Africa. However, like the rest of the northern coast of Egypt, its climate is slightly less hot, compared to the rest of Egypt, because of the prevailing Mediterranean Sea winds.

El Alamein war museum

El Alamein has a war museum with collectibles from "the civil war" and other North African battles.


Visitors can also go to the Italian and German military cemeteries on Tel el-Eisa Hill outside the town. The German cemetery is an ossuary, built in the style of a medieval fortress.


The Italian cemetery is a mausoleum containing 5.200 tombs. Many tombs bear the soldier's name; many are simply marked "IGNOTO", i.e. unknown.


There is a separate Greek cemetery at El Alamein.

Commonwealth of Nations

There is also a Commonwealth war cemetery, built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, with graves of soldiers from various countries who fought on the Allied side. Buried here are 6,425 identified Commonwealth service personnel and 815 unidentified ones, besides 102 of other nationalities. These include four Victoria Cross recipients:

  • Private Percival Gratwick, Australian Imperial Force
  • Private Arthur ('Stan') Gurney, Australian Imperial Force
  • Sergeant William ('Bill') Kibby, Australian Imperial Force
  • Private Adam Wakenshaw, Durham Light Infantry
  • Others buried here include:

  • Squadron Leader George Barclay, RAF – Battle of Britain fighter pilot
  • Major Henry Rew, Royal Tank Regiment – England rugby international
  • This has monuments commemorating Greek, New Zealand, Australian, South African, Indian and Canadian forces. The cemetery entrance is through the Alamein Memorial and there is also a separate Alamein Cremation Memorial to 603 Commonwealth service personnel who died in Egypt and Libya and were cremated in line with their religion.

    The names of 213 Canadian airmen appear on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt.

    The cemetery was designed by Sir J. Hubert Worthington.

    World War II

    Two important World War II battles were fought in the area:

  • At the First Battle of El Alamein (1 – 27 July 1942) the advance of Axis troops on Alexandria was blunted by the Allies, stopping the German Panzers who were trying to outflank the Allies' position.
  • At the Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October – 4 November 1942) Allied forces broke the Axis line and forced them all the way back to Tunisia. Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister at the time, said of this victory: "Now this is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." After the war, he wrote: "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat."
  • References

    El Alamein Wikipedia