This week 70 years ago saw the beginning of the Battle of El Alamein in North Africa. On Oct. 23rd 1942 a 1000 gun artillery barrage opened the allied offensive which would be considered the turning point for the British Army in the Second World War .
War-time Prime Minister, Winston Churchill stated that, “It may almost be said that before Alamein we never had a victory; after Alamein we never had a defeat”.
Three battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, the 2nd, 4th and 5th , took part in critical parts of the battle and served as the 133rd ‘lorried’ (Royal Sussex) infantry brigade as part of the 10th Armoured Division. All three battalions served with distinction, but suffered many casualties, particularly the 5th battalion.
In the aftermath of El Alamein Churchill made one of his now famous remarks; “Now this is not the end; It is not even the beginning of the end; but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
* Dr Niall Barr – King’s College, London