El Alamein (Arabic: العلمين) is a town in northern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea coast. It is located 106 kilometres (66 mi) west of Alexandria and 240 kilometres (149 mi) northwest of Cairo. The population was approximately 7,397 people, as of 2007.
Until recently it has mainly been a port facility for shipping oil, but like the whole north coast of Egypt is now developing as a luxury resort for elite tourism.
El Alamein played a major role in the outcome of World War II. Two extended battles were fought in that area:
At the First Battle of El Alamein (July 1 – July 27, 1942) the advance of Axis troops on Alexandria was blunted by the Allies, when the German Panzers tried to outflank the allied position.
At the Second Battle of El Alamein (October 23 – November 4, 1942) Allied forces broke the Axis line and forced them in a retreat that pushed them all the way back to Tunisia. Winston Churchill said of this: "This is not the end, nor is it even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."