Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein, one of the turning points of WWII. The Battle of El Alamein, began with a massive artillery bombardment preceding attacks by British and Australian divisions. Changing tactics from the drive westwards, General Montgomery ordered the Australians of 9th Division to switch their attack northward.
What followed was a week of extremely fierce fighting, with the Australians grinding their way forward over well-defended enemy positions. Between July and November 1942, the Australian 9th Division suffered almost 6,000 casualties.
Although the price was fearfully high, they had without doubt played a crucial role in ensuring an Allied victory in North Africa.
General Montgomery acknowledged that he could not have won the battle without ‘that magnificent 9th Australian Division'.