During the Second World War, British and Commonwealth forces fought in Africa and on Madagascar. In Eritrea, British forces won their first victories and later, in North Africa, the greatest British commander of the war, Bernard Montgomery, would forge his reputation.

© IWM (E 18470) El Alamein 1942: A British 25 pounder gun fires a round during the opening barrage of the Battle of El Alamein.

THE Battle of El Alamein

The Battle of El Alamein, fought in the deserts of North Africa in October 1942, is seen as one of the decisive Allied victories of the war. 

© IWM (MAD 290) Four Westland Lysander Mark IIIAs of No. 1433 Flight RAF, based at Ivato, Madagascar, in flight in starboard echelon formation over typical Madagascar countryside.


In May 1942, Commonwealth forces launched a seaborne invasion of the island of Madagascar, controlled by Vichy French forces.