Eighth Army (United Kingdom)

British Eighth Army SSI.svg
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The Eighth Army was a field army formation of the British Army during the Second World War, fighting in the North African and Italian campaigns. Units came from Australia, British India, Canada, Free French Forces, Greece, New Zealand, Poland, Rhodesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Significant formations which passed through the Army included V Corps, X Corps, XIII Corps, XXX Corps, I Canadian Corps and the II Polish Corps.

The Eighth Army was formed from the Western Desert Force in September 1941 and put under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir Alan Cunningham. At its creation, the Eighth Army comprised two Corps: XXX Corps under Lieutenant-General Willoughby Norrie and XIII Corps under Lieutenant-General Reade Godwin-Austen. XXX Corps was made up of 7th British Armoured Division (commanded by Major-General William Gott), the South African 1st Infantry Division (commanded by Major-General George Brink) and the 22nd Guards Brigade. XIII Corps composed of the 4th Indian Infantry Division (commanded by Major-General Frank Messervy), the 2nd New Zealand Division (commanded by Major-General Bernard Freyberg) and the 1st Army Tank Brigade. The Eighth Army also included the Tobruk garrison (the 70th British Infantry Division, under Major-General Ronald Scobie), and the Polish Carpathian Brigade. In reserve, the Eighth Army had the 2nd South African Infantry Division making a total of seven divisions.

By the time the army was fighting the Second Battle of El Alamein, it had reached a size of over 220,000 men in 10 divisions and several independent brigades.

The Eighth Army first went into action as an Army as part of Operation Crusader, the Allied operation to relieve the besieged city of Tobruk, on 17 November 1941, when it crossed the Egyptian frontier into Libya to attack Erwin Rommel's Panzer Army Africa.

This page was last edited on 17 January 2018, at 21:38.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Army_(United_Kingdom) under CC BY-SA license.

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