Northern Africa – and especially Egypt – was of strategic importance to both Allied and Axis World War II agendas for a number of reasons. First, Egypt's location served as a hub between Africa, Asia and Europe. In a world-wide conflict, control of Egypt assured effective communication lines, and important air and sea routes. Of particular importance was the Suez Canal, which provided a much shorter route for moving troops and material between the European and Pacific theaters.
Additional Strategic Value
Another reason Egypt was strategically important to the Allies was that holding that territory opened up another front in the war, easing pressure on the Soviet Union. The Allies feared that losing Egypt would effectively cut off the USSR, China and Turkey. Egypt was also considered the gateway to the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq. World War II was as much a war of machines as of people – tanks, planes, ships and other machines that required enormous amounts of oil to operate. The side which controlled Egypt had better access to the world's best sources of oil.