El Alamein

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El Alamein (or Al Alamayn) (Arabic: العلمين‎, which means "the two flags") is a town in northern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea coast in Matruh Governorate. It is 106 kilometres (66 mi) west of Alexandria and 240 kilometres (149 mi) northwest of Cairo. The population was about 7,397 in 2007.[1]

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Climate

With typical Mediterranean climate, El Alamein is blessed with pleasant weather all year long, with cold winters and warm-to-hot summers. Alamein is also known for its outstanding unpolluted environment, air, and beaches.

Tourism

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 Cemetery on Tel el-Eisa Hill just outside the town. The German cemetery is an ossuary with the remains of 4,200 German soldiers, built in the style of a medieval fortress. The Italian cemetery is a mausoleum containing many galleries of tombs. Many tombs bear the soldier's name; many are simply marked "IGNOTO", unknown.

There is also a Commonwealth war cemetery with graves of soldiers from various countries who fought on the British side. This has monuments commemorating Greek, New Zealand, Australia, South African and Indian forces. Note that the remains of United States soldiers were not buried here. The Commonwealth cemetery, as is common at many such cemeteries in the world, consists of parallel rows of gravestones, each one bearing an engraving of the deceased soldier's unit emblem, his name and an epitaph from his family.

World War II

Two important World War II battles were fought in the area. At the First Battle of El Alamein (July 1 – July 27, 1942) the advance of Axis troops on Alexandria was blunted by the Allies, when the German Panzers tried to outflank the allied position. At the Second Battle of El Alamein (October 23 – November 4, 1942) Allied forces broke the Axis line and forced them all the way back to Tunisia. Winston Churchill 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."

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