In the first Battle of El Alamein beginning on July 1st, 1942, German General Erwin Rommel tried in vain to attack the Allied defensive positions with his Afrika Corps (and Italian allies), yielding tremendous losses to his army forces as a result. The actions in this first campaign forced an end to fighting by July 22nd. The Allied defensive perimeter near El Alamein held and that was that.
During the lull following the fighting, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made some strategic leadership changes in the region, placing General jxHarold Alexander as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East (over Auchinleck) and General Bernard Law Montgomery as commander of 8th Army (over Major-General Neil Ritchie). Rommel was not resting on his laurels either for his army was reinforced by a fresh Italian division, a German parachute brigade along with a number of all-important tank systems.

With forces refreshed, Rommel enacted a first-strike mentality and attacked the Allied lines near El Alamein in an effort to take some strategic high ground behind the defensive perimeter. The assault was again repelled and Rommel was forced into a defensive position at Bab el Qattara, the starting point of his offensive. Montgomery now took the time to build up an impressive army made up of thousands of artillery cannons, men and tanks.

On October 23rd, Operation Lightfoot was put into effect by Montgomery as 800+ artillery guns opened up on the Axis positions. A two-pronged attack was activated, with a northern and southern force. The southern force was in actuality a diversionary force meant to commit Axis resources to a second front. After two days, progress for the Allies was made but at a high cost, with mixed results. Southern Allied forces were now committed to the north to help break the slow progress through Operation Supercharge, which itself yielded little result.

In the long run, however, the overall actions proved successful as the Italian and German fighters simply had no more fight in them. Rommel ordered a general retreat eastwards along the North African coast, putting all Axis forces in North Africa on the run for good.

The Battle of El Alamein goes down as a victory and turning point for the Allies, for German control of any part of the African continent will never be recovered through out the rest of the war.

The battle also earned much prestige for British General Bernard Montgomery (and not so much prestige for German General Erwin Rommel in his homecoming visit with Adolph Hitler).
Map of first Battle of El Alamaints.png
Map of second Battle of El Alamain
British tanks advance to engage German armour after their infantry had opened gaps in the Axis minefield at El Alamein.640px-El_Alamein_1942_-_British_infantry.jpg24 October 1942: British soldiers on the attack.