adem, el - Adem, el; adem, el - Italian desert outpost in Libya during the Second Great War. Situated 18 m. S. of Tobruk, the site of a large air base, it was abandoned by the Italians in Jan., 1941, as the result of heavy British bombings. After the British capture of Tobruk (Jan. 22) the burnt-out remains of 25 Italian bombers and 43 fighters were found at El Adem. The place was occupied by German and Italian forces when the British withdrew towards the Egyptian border in April, 1941, but became the scene of intense fighting between the British 8th Army and the German Afrika Korps in Nov. and Dec., 1941. A force of German tanks, estimated at 180, attempting to reach El Adem on Nov. 21, was compelled to retreat towards the coast. On Dec. 11 it was announced that S. African and Indian troops had joined at El Adem with the garrison breaking out from Tobruk.