Thursday, February 24, 2005

The 8th Armoured Division

The 8th Armoured Division, with the "GO" symbol, was fated to never fight as a formation. Its brigades were the 23rd and 24th Armoured Brigades and its armoured car regiment was the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry. The division arrived in Egypt in 1942 at a bad time. The Battle of Gazala had gone badly, and had lead to the capture of Tobruk by the Axis forces. The British were in full retreat for Egypt. The Germans came close to being able to sweep into Egypt and capture the canal. Instead, Claude Auchinleck and Eric Dorman-Smith stopped the Germans at the First Battle of El-Alamein in July 1942. The 23rd Armoured Brigade was one of the forces deployed in the battle that saved Egypt. After the battle, the 8th Armoured Division was dissolved. The 23rd Armoured Brigade ended up being used for infantry support. The 24th Armoured Brigade was assigned to the 10th Armoured Division. After the 2nd Battle of El-Alamein, the 24th Armoured brigade was dissolved and its equipment and personnel were used as replacements for the units that were preserved.

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