After the ‘crumbling’ away at enemy defences during the first phase of El Alamein (Operation Lightfoot), Rommel’s forces were significantly weakened. Monty ordered Operation Supercharge, the final push for victory. As Australian forces launched an attack from the Mediterranean, forcing Rommel to move some of his tanks, Allied armoured divisions broke through the last of the Axis defences. Many Allied tanks were lost, and bad weather hindered a coherent attack but, by 2 November, Rommel knew he faced defeat. Ignoring Hitler’s order to fight on, he prepared for retreat. While some of Rommel’s army managed to slip away without Allied pursuit, the bulk of the Axis infantry was captured. Victory at El Alamein secured Egypt; the major defeat of Axis powers in North Africa was underway.
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