Tim Moreman examines the creation and deployment of British 8th Army, probably the most famous military formation raised by the British during World War II. Formed in September 1941 from the Western Desert Force, it went on to wage a lengthy, hard-fought campaign against German and Italian troops across the deserts of North Africa. It was composed of British and Commonwealth troops - as well as smaller numbers of French and Polish troops. Additionally, a variety of specialized elite forces came under its umbrella including the Special Air Service, Popski's Private Army and the Long Range Desert Group. This book will provide a fascinating insight into these unconventional troops who became the inspiration for today's Special Forces. It was also the first Allied army to rely on close air support; a revolutionary, war-winning tactic that would shaped combined forces strategy throughout the rest of the war.
The Desert War was unlike any other fought by the British Army. The hot, dusty, and unforgiving climate and environment in which its troops lived, moved, and fought was almost as troublesome as the enemy. During its two-year period of service in North Africa, 8th Army underwent major changes in organization, equipment, and training to adapt it to the terrain. Discover the difficulties of desert warfare and how these were overcome by the 8th Army to defeat Rommel and become masters of the desert.