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El Alamein and the Struggle for North AfricaInternational Perspectives from the Twenty-first Century$
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Jill Edwards

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165818

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165818.001.0001

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The War in North Africa, 1940–43: An Overview of the Role of the Union of South Africa

The War in North Africa, 1940–43: An Overview of the Role of the Union of South Africa

Chapter:
(p.8) (p.9) 1 The War in North Africa, 1940–43: An Overview of the Role of the Union of South Africa
Source:
El Alamein and the Struggle for North Africa
Author(s):

James Jacobs

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774165818.003.0001

In comparison to other countries, the South African contribution to the war in North Africa was small, making the country's role to be part of a larger team. But during the most crucial battle of the campaign, the 1st battle of El Alamein, the South Africans played a vital role. After this, the Axis forces could never again muster enough forces to win the war for possession of the Nile Delta. After July 1942, the South African contribution reverted back to that of a minor role player, albeit one that contributed substantially taken into account the country's small population and industrial base.

Keywords:   North African theatre and vital British strategic positions, 8th Army, Western Desert force, South African Air Force, South African infantry divisions, Auchinleck, General Smuts, Brigadier Pienaar, Gazala, Benghazi, Tobruk, El Alamein Line

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