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Battle of El Alamein anniversary ceremonies

Battle of El Alamein veterans

The Battle of El Alamein in late 1942 is the largest battle in the North African theater of operations during World War II. Today El Alamein, on a par with Stalingrad, is a symbol of the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

On October 20 each year, ceremonies are held to commemorate the victims of the Battle of El Alamein, but the most significant are the anniversary dates. Modern media reports on these ceremonies on the Internet, but this news can only be found since the 60th anniversary of the battle (2002). After that, the 65th anniversary (2007), the 70th anniversary (2012), the 75th anniversary (2017) were given publicity. Thus, the next major ceremony will be held on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the battle on October 20, 2022.

The jubilee ceremonies in El Alamein are notable for the fact that they are attended by real veterans from Britain, Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, who actually took part in the battle. It is clear that every year there are fewer and fewer of them, nevertheless, every time journalists, interviewing them, convey to us more and more unique information.

Perhaps the anniversary ceremony in 2022 will be the last one attended by real combat veterans. The ceremony in 2002 was attended by the 74-year-old son of General Montgomery. Wilhelm Hagios, a German tank commander, said at a German memorial: "Today I feel very bad, because my comrades are lying in this place. I am extremely fortunate to have survived. I am now 84 years old. This is the last time I came here, because in a couple of years I will also be buried."

Afrika Korps veteran

On October 27, 2007, 16 veterans from Australia, Britain, Germany, Greece and Italy visited the German memorial. Theodore Schleszor, 85, an Afrika Korps officer, was captured by US forces in Tunisia during the Axis retreat and spent 3 years in a POW camp in Texas. In his interview, he said: "Now the former opponents have become friends. The last war was in vain, because friendship won anyway." Schleszor attended the ceremony with his son and grandson to see what people can do. He said: "To prevent wars, you must see the real cost of wars."

It is known that in 2002 there were about 1,500 people and a large number of veterans at the ceremony, but in 2017 only about 500 people attended the ceremony and only a couple of very old British veterans were seen on all YouTube videos, with no interviews taken from them, as there were no journalists to be seen. Most likely, there are no more veterans left who will physically survive such a trip to the Egyptian desert. Definitely, there will be no real veterans at the ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the battle, and it is not known whether the ceremony itself will be held.

German memorial in El Alamein



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