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PLAQUE NO.
80 ... Italian El Alamein Memorial (Hill 33)       

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The battles of El Alamein occurred between 1 July and 4 November 1942 and were a major turning point in the Second World War. Prior to this, General Rommel, commanding the German and Italian (axis) forces had advanced from Tobruk and appeared poised to capture Alexandria. A final 60km defensive position was established at El Alamein by a multinational force led by the British high command.
During July (Ruweisat Ridge) and august (Alam El Halfa Ridge) Rommel's forces tried to break this position but they were repulsed and lost ground in particular to the Australians around Tel El Eisa. The allies (under Lt-Gen Montgomery) gradually built-up a two to one superiority over Rommel's forces in men, tanks and materials. The armies strengthened their defences with kilometres of trenches and land mines, in anticipation of the final conflict.
The main battle commenced on 23 October along a 10 km front (refer map). The allies gradually advanced but fierce fighting persisted for 12 days during which thousands died on both sides.
On 3 November British tanks finally broke through near tell El Aqqaqir and the axis forces retreated ending one of history's great battles.
For generations to come the sacrifices made by the men who fought here will stand as their eternal memorial.

After bitter fighting with the Italians, Hill 33 was captured by the Australians on 10 July 1942 and it then became part of the front line until November. The hill, strategically important in the campaign now provides an elevated position on which the Italian war memorial and ossuary are sited.

Since the war, as Italian migration to Australia has progressed, a new and peaceful relationship has developed between the people of these two nations. The Italian community has brought with it a rich and enhancing culture that has added much to the Australian way of life.

This plaque commemorates the courage and the sacrifice of the Italian and the Australian men who fought at El Alamein.

 



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