he First Battle of El Alamein (1-27 July 1942) was a battle of the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, fought on the northern coast of Egypt between Axis forces (Germany and Italy) of the Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika) commanded by Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) Erwin Rommel, and Allied (specifically, British Imperial) forces (Britain, British India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) of the British Eighth Army commanded by General Claude Auchinleck. The battle, although a stalemate, halted a second advance by the Axis forces into Egypt. However, an Axis presence near El Alamein only 66 mi (106 km) from Alexandria, was too dangerously close to major population centres and the Suez Canal for the Allied forces to allow the status quo to remain; a Second Battle of El Alamein would be required to drive the Axis armies out of Egypt for good.The Second Battle of El Alamein took place over 20 days from 23 October - 11 November 1942 near the Egyptian coastal city of El Alamein, and the Allies' victory marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. It followed the First Battle of El Alamein, which had stalled the Axis advance into Egypt, after which, in August 1942, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery had taken command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck. This Allied victory turned the tide in the North African Campaign and ended the Axis threat to Egypt, the Suez Canal, and of gaining access to the Middle Eastern and Persian oil fields via North Africa. From a psychological perspective, El Alamein revived the morale of the Allied side, being the first major offensive against the Germans since the start of the European war in 1939 in which the Western Allies achieved a decisive victory.