Summary and Info
The new 'Spearhead' series is designed to look at the cutting edge of war, dealing with units capable of operating completely independently in the forefront of battle. Each volume in the series examines the chosen unit's origins and history, its organization and order of battle, its battle history theater by theatrer, its insignia and its markings. Also covered are biographies of the most important commanders of each unit. Each title ends with an assessment of unit effectiveness - as seen by the unit itself, by its opponents and the light of more recent historical research. The books also include a detailed reference section with a critical bibliography, a listing of relevant museums and web sites, information about reenactment groups and memorials. The British 7th Armoured Division will be remembered best by its small red shoulder flash that depicted Jaculus Orientalis-the Greater Egyptian Jerboa. Hardy, highly mobile and most at home in the desert, the human Desert Rats proved masters of desert fighting- as have their modern day descendants, the 7th Armoured Brigade, now operating in Iraq. As part of O'Connor's Western Desert Force, the Desert Rats helped to destroy the Italian forces that had started the war in the Western Desert-the Italian Tenth Army being completely defeated at Beda Fomm 5-7 February 1941; then they fought toe-to-toe with Rommel's feared Deutsches Afrika Korps in a seesaw campaign that ended in May 1943 with the surrender of Axis forces in North Africa. Next they were involved in one of the major amphibious landings of the war in Europe as part of the US Fifth Army at Salerno, fighting on northwards through Italy, until withdrawn back to UK, to take part in the Second Front as a vital component of the spearhead of British forces in Normandy, landing at Arromanches on 7 June 1944. They had to learn new skills in the close French bocage countryside, so different to the limitless space of the desert. And they did so the hard way with heavy losses at Villers-Bocage. From then on the division was hardly ever out of action: advancing across Europe from Lisieux in France through Belgium where it relieved Ghent and, finally, on to northern Germany where it took the surrender of Hamburg. These tough troops were then honored by being chosen to go to Berlin to take part in the great Victory Parade of 1945. For all those interested in military history, the new 'Spearhead' series is an excellent account of each of the individual units. Written by acknowledged experts in the subject, each volume is a detailed account of the development and operational record of some of the most famous military units in history.
More About the Author
George Forty OBE (10 September 1927 – 19 May 2016) was a British Army officer who was chief of staff of the Royal Armoured Corps gunnery school and a noted authority on armoured vehicles.
Review and Comments
Rate the Book
7th Armoured Division: ''The Desert Rats'' (Spearhead Series 14) 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 ratings.