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The Allies Strike Back (October 1942 - May 1943)

The Allies Strike Back (October 1942 - May 1943)

The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The battle lasted from October 23rd to November 5th, 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck in August 1942.

The Allied victory turned the tide in the North African Campaign. It ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, taking control of the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields.

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German Junkers Ju-87D-3 Stuka Dive-Bomber - Sturzkampfgeschwader 3, Geschwaderkommodore Walter Siegel, Libya, 1942 German Junkers Ju-87D-3 Stuka Dive-Bomber - Sturzkampfgeschwader. 3, Geschwaderkommodore Walter Siegel, Libya, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

During the early to mid-stages of the Second World War, the Stuka (short for "sturzkampfflugzeug" or dive-bomber) struck terror in the hearts and minds of soldiers and civilians alike. The Stuka was a rugged machine, designed to swoop down and destroy its target using 500-lb bombs or tear into them using 37mm flak guns mounted underneath the wings.

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USN Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-41, USS Ranger (CV-4), Operation Torch, 1942 USN Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-41, USS Ranger (CV-4), "Operation Torch", 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign.

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German Junkers Ju-87D-3 Stuka Dive-Bomber - Captured Stuka, Sidi Haneish, Egypt, LG13, Nov. 1942 German Junkers Ju-87D-3 Stuka Dive-Bomber - "Captured Stuka", Sidi Haneish, Egypt, LG13, Nov. 1942 (1:72 Scale)

During the early to mid-stages of the Second World War, the Stuka (short for "sturzkampfflugzeug" or dive-bomber) struck terror in the hearts and minds of soldiers and civilians alike. The Stuka was a rugged machine, designed to swoop down and destroy its target using 500-lb bombs or tear into them using 37mm flak guns mounted underneath the wings.

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RAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Mk. Ia Fighter - Squadron Leader Mike Judd, No. 250 Squadron, North Africa, 1942 RAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Mk. Ia Fighter - Squadron Leader Mike Judd, No. 250 Squadron, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USN Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat Fighter - Black 9-F-1, VF-9 Cat o Nines, USS Ranger (CV-4), Operation Torch, 1942 USN Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat Fighter - "Black 9-F-1", VF-9 "Cat o Nines", USS Ranger (CV-4), Operation Torch, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the standard carrier-based fighter of the United States Navy for the first year and a half of World War II. An improved version built by General Motors (the General Motors FM Wildcat) remained in service throughout the war, on escort carriers where newer, larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

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USAAF Bell P-39L Airacobra Fighter - Hugh Dow, Evelyn, 346th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group, Maison Blanche, Algeria, North Africa, 1943 USAAF Bell P-39L Airacobra Fighter - Hugh Dow, "Evelyn", 346th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group, Maison Blanche, Algeria, North Africa, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit.

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Royal Navy Hawker Sea Fury T.20 Fighter - Royal Navy Historic Flight, 2012 Royal Navy Hawker Sea Fury T.20 Fighter - Royal Navy Historic Flight, 2012 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.

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USN Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat Fighter - VGF-29, USS Santee (CVE-29), 1942 USN Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat Fighter - VGF-29, USS Santee (CVE-29), 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the standard carrier-based fighter of the United States Navy for the first year and a half of World War II. An improved version built by General Motors (the General Motors FM Wildcat) remained in service throughout the war, on escort carriers where newer, larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

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RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. I Fighter - No. 6 Squadron, North Africa, 1942 RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. I Fighter - No. 6 Squadron, North Africa, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Hawker Hurricane was the first monoplane to join the Royal Air Force as a fighter aircraft, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300-mph in level flight. Often compared with the sleek-looking Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane, in actuality, shouldered the brunt of the fighting during the "Battle of Britain", equipping more than three-fifths of the RAF's Fighter Command squadrons.

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Royal Navy Supermarine Seafire Mk. IB Fighter - Operation Torch, CV Furious, 1942 Royal Navy Supermarine Seafire Mk. IB Fighter - Operation Torch, CV Furious, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.

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French Armee De LAir Curtiss P-40F-5 Warhawk Fighter - Commander K. Rozanoff, MadKot, Operation Lafayette French Armee De L'Air Curtiss P-40F-5 Warhawk Fighter - Commander Constantin "Kostia" Rozanoff, "MadKot", Operation Lafayette, Morocco, November 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF B-25C1 Mitchell Medium Bomber  - OH-7, 445th Bombardment Squadron, 321st Bombardment Group, Morocco, February 1943 USAAF North American B-25C-1 Mitchell Medium Bomber - "OH-7", 445th Bombardment Squadron, 321st Bombardment Group, Morocco, February 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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US Navy Douglas SBD3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-41, Operation Torch, Northwest Africa, November 1942 US Navy Douglas SBD3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-41, "Operation Torch", Northwest Africa, November 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign.

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USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber - 40-2261, The Ruptured Duck, Doolittle Raid, USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18th, 1942 USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber - 40-2261, "The Ruptured Duck," Doolittle Raid, USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18th, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Fighter - 8./Jagdgeschwader 77, "Black 6", Heinz Ludeman, Gambut, Libya, November 1942 German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Fighter - 8./Jagdgeschwader 77, "Black 6", Heinz Ludeman, Gambut, Libya, November 1942 (1:32 Scale)

Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Of the eight distinct sub-types within the huge Bf 109 family, the most populous was the G-model, of which over 30,000 were built between 1941-45.

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USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber - 40-2249, "Hari Kari-er," Doolittle Raid, USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18th, 1942 USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber - 40-2249, "Hari Kari-er," Doolittle Raid, USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18th, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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USAAC North American B-25C Mitchell Medium Bomber - Legal Eagle, 1st Lt. George Bauer, 489th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, Landing Ground 99 (El Kabrit), Egypt, 1942 USAAC North American B-25C Mitchell Medium Bomber - "Legal Eagle," 1st Lt. George Bauer, 489th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, Landing Ground 99 (El Kabrit), Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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RAF North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber - No. 226 Squadron, Hatford Bridge, Hampshire, June 1944 RAF North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber - No. 226 Squadron, Hatford Bridge, Hampshire, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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RAF Douglas C-47 Dakota Mk. I Troop Transport - 267 Pegasus Squadron, Egypt, 1942 RAF Douglas C-47 "Dakota" Mk. I Troop Transport - 267 Pegasus Squadron, Egypt, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The C-47 was one of the most succesful aircraft ever, praised by General Eisenhower as one of the most important instruments of victory in WWII. Largely a military version of the highly successful Douglas DC-3 passenger aircraft, the C-47 Dakota carried supplies, airborne troops, and other personnel in all of the theaters of conflict in WWII.

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