The Battle for North Africa

The Battle for North Africa

El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II
Glyn Harper
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/06/2017
ISBN: 978-0-253-03143-3
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In the early years of World War II, Germany shocked the world with a devastating blitzkrieg, rapidly conquered most of Europe, and pushed into North Africa. As the Allies scrambled to counter the Axis armies, the British Eighth Army confronted the experienced Afrika Corps, led by German field marshal Erwin Rommel, in three battles at El Alamein. In the first battle, the Eighth Army narrowly halted the advance of the Germans during the summer of 1942. However, the stalemate left Nazi troops within striking distance of the Suez Canal, which would provide a critical tactical advantage to the controlling force. War historian Glyn Harper dives into the story, vividly narrating the events, strategies, and personalities surrounding the battles and paying particular attention to the Second Battle of El Alamein, a crucial turning point in the war that would be described by Winston Churchill as "the end of the beginning." Moving beyond a simple narrative of the conflict, The Battle for North Africa tackles critical themes, such as the problems of coalition warfare, the use of military intelligence, the role of celebrity generals, and the importance of an all-arms approach to modern warfare.

Author Bio

Glyn Harper is author of many books, including Acts of Valour (with Colin Richardson), Johnny Enzed,andImages of War. He is Professor of War Studies at Massey University in New Zealand, and Massey Project Manager of the "New Zealand and the First World War" Centenary History Project.


“A well-researched and highly readable account of one of World War II’s most important ‘turning point’ battles. . . . Harper provides a ‘fresh look’ from an unbiased perspective at this decisive battle just in time for its 75th anniversary.”
 — Jerry D. Morelock, Senior Editor at

“"The Battle for North Africa is a great antidote to such historical amnesia. As a military historian, Professor Glyn Harper is non-partisan. He analyses the battle, move by move, like a great game of chess. He awards praise or blame, as it is deserved, to both Axis and Allied forced."”
 — Listener

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Introduction: The Eyes of the Whole World, Watching Anxiously
1. Military Background
2. The First Battle
3. Drastic and Immediate Changes
4. Alam Halfa
5. Preparations and Plans
6. Attempting the Break-In
7. Slugging It Out
8. Operation ‘Supercharge’
9. Assessment
IndexJerry D. Morelock