July 1, 2018




The Battle of El Alamein, part of the Western Desert Campaign, fought between Germany and Italy (Panzer Army Africa) and Allied Commonwealth forces of UK, British India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand of the Eighth Army.  Axis positions near El Alamein were only 66 mi (106 km) from Alexandria and dangerously in close proximity to the ports and cities of Egypt, the base facilities of the Commonwealth forces and the Suez Canal.  At the same time Axis forces were too far from their base at Tripoli in Libya to remain at El Alamein indefinitely, which led both sides in the struggle to accumulate materiel supplies for more offensives, despite the limitations of time and distance.  On July 1, 1942, at 03:00 Rommel's 90th Light Infantry Division was advancing east but veered too far northward, and as a result found itself pinned down by the 1st South African Division's defences. The 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions of the Afrika Korps were delayed by a sandstorm and then a heavy air attack.  By the time they circled round the back of Deir el Abyad, they encountered the 18th Indian Infantry Brigade which had occupied the exposed region west of Ruweisat Ridge and east of Deir el Abyad.   At about 10:00 the German 21st Panzer Division attacked Deir el Shein. The 18th Indian Infantry Brigade,supported by 23 25-pounder gun-howitzers, 16 of the new 6-pounder anti-tank guns and nine Matilda tanks,launched a fierce defence. Though they managed to hold out for the entire day, by evening the Germans succeeded in over-running their position.


Dissolution of Warsaw Pact:  The Warsaw Pact, formally called the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw by the Soviet Union and seven Soviet satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.  Its principle objective was to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe.  Throughout the Cold War,  NATO and the Warsaw Pact never directly engaged in war against each other, however the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other's spheres of influence in Europe, while at the same time trying to expand those spheres on an international scale. (the Korean War, Vietnam War, Bay of Pigs invasion, Dirty War, Cambodian–Vietnamese War and the others) From 1989 communist governments of many satellite states began to topple, in Albania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The Warsaw Pact was officially terminated on February 25, 1991 at a meeting of defence and foreign ministers from the six remaining member states in Hungary. The USSR was dissolved in December of the same year, though many of the former satellites joined the newly formed Collective Security Treaty Organization.  In the ensuing 20 years, seven former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO.

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