North Africa

Gravestones and Flowers

The Fourth Indian Division saw action against the Italians in Egypt, (December 1940) Abyssinia, (May 1941) and, with the Fifth Indian Division, in Eritrea, also in May 1941.

In North Africa over the next two years, Indian divisions took part in the see-saw struggle between Allied and Axis forces which culminated in the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 and the pursuit into Libya and Tunisia in early 1943. At the height of the campaign, six of the fourteen Allied divisions were Indian.

The campaigns in North and East Africa cost 2,500 Indian lives.

Here are two places of special significance for them.

El Alamein War Cemetery

El Alamein Cemetery

See more about El Alamein War Cemetery here.

El Alamein Cremetation Memorial

Commonwealth and Axis forces (German and Italian) fought across 1000 kilometres of North African desert between 1940 and 1942.

The Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 is seen as one of the decisive Allied victories of the Second World War, leading to the German surrender in North Africa in May 1943.

The cemetery contains the graves of over 7,000 Commonwealth troops who died at all stages of the campaign and whose bodies were brought in from surrounding areas.

Here, also, is sited the Alamein Cremation Memorial which commemorates more than 600 men whose remains were cremated in Egypt and Libya during the war, in accordance with their faith

Medjez-El-Bab Memorial

Medjez-El-Bab Memorial

See more here about Medjez-El-Bab Memorial.

In May 1943, the war in North Africa came to an end in Tunisia with the defeat of the Axis powers by a combined Allied force, including many from Undivided India.

The memorial at Medjez-El-Bab commemorates almost 2,000 men of the First Army who died during the operations in Algeria and Tunisia from November 1942 - February 1943, and those of the First and Eighth Armies who died in operations in the same areas between February and May 1943 and who have no known graves or whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith.

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