The Eighth Army, formed in September 1941 in Egypt, underwent some name changes before assuming its final title. Tasked with coordinating the expanding Allied presence in Egypt. It aimed to relieve the siege of Tobruk through Operation Crusader. This field army played a pivotal role in various fronts, overseeing operations in the Western Desert and Tunisian campaigns, and later spearheading Allied efforts in the Italian campaign.
Eighth Army Infantry
Derived from the Western Desert Force in 1941, the British Eighth Army was a diverse coalition representing soldiers from various corners of the British Commonwealth. Initially triumphant against the Italians in North Africa, the army encountered a formidable adversary in the Deutsches Afrika Korps. This marked the onset of a series of engagements where both Allied and Axis forces continually gained and lost territory. It was notable at El Alamein, Tobruk, and Beda Fomm and achieved a legendary status. Following the Allied triumph in North Africa, the conflict expanded to encompass Tunisia and later advanced into the core regions of Italy. Enduring extreme weather conditions—ranging from scorching daytime heat to suffocating dust and freezing nights—the Eighth Army earned the popular moniker of the “Desert Rats”.
British 8th Army 5.5 Inch Medium Artillery
The British Army effectively employed counter-battery fire, predominantly utilizing the 5.5 inch field guns. They offered a robust means of indirect firepower. The BL 5.5 inch field howitzer proved highly reliable for the British and Commonwealth forces throughout the entirety of World War II. These artillery pieces remained active beyond the war. Serving in subsequent conflicts such as the Korean War, Indo-Pakistani wars, and the South African Border Wars.
The Universal Carrier, also widely known as the Bren carrier, served as a versatile tracked and armored vehicle that fulfilled numerous roles across all British and Commonwealth troops. Embraced by the soldiers they assisted, these carriers were utilized for transporting troops to the frontline, evacuating the wounded, delivering supplies and ammunition, and conducting liaison and patrols. With a production tally reaching approximately 113,000 units manufactured both in the UK and internationally, it stood as the most prolifically produced armored fighting vehicle in history. These Universal Carriers provided exceptional service to British and Allied forces throughout the war and found considerable use within the Soviet army. Any reputable British Commonwealth commander would not overlook the invaluable support these dependable carriers offered to bolster their steadfast soldiers.
Eighth Army 2 Pounder ATG & Medium Mortar Team
At the start of the war, the QF 2-pounder was the British Army’s main anti-tank gun. It outperformed early German tanks and was well-liked, proving effective in France, North Africa, and the Far East. As German armor improved, it became outdated in Europe but continued use against the Japanese and in lighter vehicles. Due to shortages, the BEF also utilized French 25mm Hotchkiss guns, which players fielding BEF forces can represent in their setups.
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