Desert Rat 1940-43
British and Commonwealth Troops in North AfricaBook - 2011
Osprey's examination of the 'Desert Rats', a popular nickname used to describe first 7th Armoured Division and then all the mixed body of British Commonwealth troops - British, Australian, New Zealand and Indian - that fought against Axis forces in North Africa between 1940 and 1943. For a long period during the early years of World War II (1939-1945), this was the only theatre of war where the United Kingdom could strike back against the Axis powers, and the seesaw desert war fought out along the coast of the Mediterranean in Egypt, Libya and then Tunisia proved a harsh testing ground for British arms - in terms of organization, equipment and methods of waging war.
The distinctive dress, equipment and weapons developed and carried by the Desert Rats into battle will be examined as will the expansion, organization and training of the desert army. To illustrate the distinctive combat experience gained by the Desert Rats between 1940 and 1943, three representative operations will be examined in detail - Operation Compass in 1940, the battle of Gazala in May 1942 and finally the last phase of the decisive fighting at El Alamein in October-November 1942. Accompanied by full-color illustrations, this title will shed new light on these fascinating troops.