1942 in the Western Desert

Started by holdfast, 19 October 2021, 07:12:17 PM

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holdfast

With the 80th Anniversary of Alamein coming up, and with hardly any veterans left to consult, I am embarking on a 2nd Alamein Wargame.
In between the research into maps and unit war diaries, I want to get started painting the little chaps and the vehicles. But I am a bit flummoxed by the proliferation of different marks of each vehicle. (Why wasn't there a Minister solely charged with tank production?)  We seem to have had 6 versions of the A10 Cruiser, 4 versions of the Crusader, 2 of the Valentine, before the several versions of the M3 Grant, M3 Lee and M3 Honey turned up. And don't mention the Matildas that were the first flail tanks.
Please is there anyone out there who can point to which of theses about 20 different serials I need to get for the battles from about June to November 1942.
Happily the 8th Army infantry figures only sport one pattern of puttees, although I suspect that this is entirely incorrect!


sultanbev

For North Africa British in mid 1942-Nov 1942 the choices are somewhat limited compared to earlier (!)

In Pendraken ranges: (marked with asterisk = rare)
BRV2 Matilda II
*BRV3 Matilda IICS
BRV13 M4A1 Sherman &/or BRV14 M4A1 Sherman with sandskirts
BRV17 M4A2 Sherman III
*BRV39 Churchill III (for KingForce)
BRV48 Crusader II
*BRV49 Crusader IICS
BRV51 Crusader III
BRV52 M3 Grant with 75mm M2 gun
*BRV53 M3 Lee with 75mm M2 gun (for the American platoon deployed)
BRV56 M3 Stuart Honey
BRV60 Valentine II
BRV61 M7 Priest (if you are fielding off-table artillery)
*BRV66 Bishop 25pdr SP (if you are fielding off-table artillery)
*BRV67 Deacon
BRV100 2pdr portee
*BRV88 Daimler II armoured car
BRV92 Humber III armoured car
BRV83 "Bren" Carrier with 8th army crew
Vehicles I can't see listed:
6pdr portee on 30cwt truck
6pdr portee on Bedford QL 3 tonner
*AEC Mk.I
Marmon-Herrington Mk.III
* Matilda II Scorpion flail


holdfast

Many thanks, that's really helpful. It would have been awful to have been awful to have fielded the wrong version!

Jemima Fawr

One of the 'fun' aspects of the Desert War at that time was that armoured regiments often had more than one type of tank.  The problem is that it's something of a nightmare to track who had what and when! 

For example, 3 RTR at Gazala had 'A' Squadron in Stuarts and 'B' & 'C' Squadrons in Grants. 

Then at Alam Halfa (after losing all its tanks and being amalgamated with 5 RTR to become 3/5 RTR) it had HQ Squadron in Grants, 'A' Squadron in a mix of Stuart and Crusader (a mix of Mk II & III), 'B' Squadron in a mix of Lee & Grant and 'C' Squadron in Sherman II. 

When split off again as 3 RTR in time for Operation 'Lightfoot', the Stuarts finally disappeared from 'A' Squadron, leaving only Crusader II & III.  This organisation remained essentially the same for Operation 'Supercharge'.

After El Alamein, 'B' Squadron's Grants were replaced with Shermans and the last of 'A' Squadron's 2pdr-armed Crusader II were finally replaced with 6pdr-armed Crusader III.  RHQ remained equipped with Grant and the regiment retained this organisation all the way to Tunis.

Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

My sources show 1 Rgt with a squadron Shermans one with Grants and 1 with Crusader II/III. It also seems that the Crusader troops had 2 x III and 1 II for the troop comander. Also for Alemain most Stuarts were in 7th Lt Armoured Brigade which was entirely equiped with them.
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Jemima Fawr

Quote from: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 22 October 2021, 02:21:09 PM
My sources show 1 Rgt with a squadron Shermans one with Grants and 1 with Crusader II/III. It also seems that the Crusader troops had 2 x III and 1 II for the troop comander. Also for Alemain most Stuarts were in 7th Lt Armoured Brigade which was entirely equiped with them.
Yes, prior to Gazala, 3 RTR (and 8th Armd Bde) had been Light (Stuarts) as well.  There's one source that says that 'B' Sqn 3 RTR had the Shermans and 'C' Sqn had the Grants for a couple of weeks before Alamein before swapping back again, but that must surely be a transcription error.