Adolf Hitler made plans to conduct a holocaust of Jews living in Palestine during the Second World War, according to German historians who have examined government archives for a new book that examines the extension of the extermination programme outside of Europe and Russia.

It was the victory of the famed Desert Rats of Britain’s Eighth Army at El Alamein under the leadership of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery that saved the Jews in Palestine from annihilation. The turning point in the desert war signalled a reprieve from a planned German invasion of what was then the British Mandate of Palestine.