Composed of regular British Army units, the famous "Desert Rats" division was originally formed as the Mobile Division or Mobile Force (Egypt) and was one of two training commands used by the British before World War II to develop armoured warfare techniques. During this time the first divisional commander was the acclaimed tank theorist Major-General Sir Percy Hobart.
At the outbreak of war in September 1939 it was renamed the Armoured Division (Egypt) and finally 7th Armoured Division on 16 February 1940.
Field Marshal Rommel is famous for his blitzkrieg tactics in France and the at Gazala, whilst commanding the Afrika Corps where his tactical awareness and his natural flair in mobile warfare, turned possible defeat into a stunning victory. He has been crowned as a tactical genius by history, and there is certainly no doubt as to his ability when his battles are analysed, but can it be said that he was particulary talented to the extent where it made his presence in Africa a decisive factor in the Axis powers favour. I believe he was, but it also worth mentioning that his presence did not effect the outcome of the Desert War because supplies and Hitlers interference reduced his ability to defeat the Allies in North Africa. There is no doubt in my mind that Rommel, if supplied more effectively and not had Hitler interfering, he would have defeated the Eighth Army well before Montgomery's arrival. Therefore Field Marshal Montgomery had the potential to directly effect the outcome of the North African Campaign in the Axis favour, but didn`t because of other factors that restrained him.
Tags: World war 2, WW2, gladiators of world war 2, Desert Rats, north africa, Panzer, rommel, wehrmacht, afrika corp, British army, 7th armoured division, 8th army, italian forces, artillery, blitz, luftwaffe, RAF, desert warfare
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