In June 1942, German and Italian forces under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel launched a successful offensive into British-held Egypt. This move not only threatened the Suez Canal, it presented the opportunity for Germany to seize the oil rich and strategically important Middle East. British and Commonwealth forces under General Sir Claude Auchinleck, however, halted Axis offensive at the First Battle of El Alamein (1-27 July 1942). This engagement proved decisive in the outcome of the North African campaign in World War II and ultimately the European Theater of Operations, as it shifted the balance of toward the Allies, enabling them to drive the Axis out of North Africa by May 1943.
"The First Battle of El Alamein,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol4/iss1/3