Free French Forces under the command of General Koenig held that position for 16 days (May-June 1942) against the attacking German and Italian troops led by Erwin Rommel, allowing the retreating 8th British Army to reorganize and stop the Axis forces at El Alamein.
Australian troops string out behind tanks in a practice advance over North African sands, on January 3, 1941. The supporting infantry is spread out thinly as a precaution against air raids. (AP Photo) Australian troops fighting with the British 8th Army made heroic contributions to Allied campaigns against the Germans especially in North Africa and Italy. According to the official Australian history of World War Two, 9,572 Australians were killed in action fighting against Nazi Germany.
The crew of a Sherman tank pose beside their vehicle, decorated with a cartoon figure, during a break in fighting in the Western Desert, 29 October 1942. Note that three of the men are wearing American tank helmets, which were generally unpopular with British crews.