Who fought the Desert War

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kuno, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    What about the British led Commonwealth and coalition force(s)?:lol:
     
  3. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Dear Colleagues;

    Thank you very much for all your feedback (which I got as well by eMail). It helped me to come to this conclusion:

    The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers. At the beginning of World War II, they were the United Kingdom, France and Poland. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 those major powers joined the Allies. Others members were many countries who were either strongly related to one of the big powers or countries who were threatened or even invaded by one of the Axis powers.
    In regard of the Desert Campaign of the World War II, the term “British” was widely used for those forces which fought against the Italian-German units (and the latter are quite often called the “Deutsches Afrikakorps” which does not even apply for all German units). Whilst the term “British” can easily be accepted in German contemporary records and whilst Great Britain was a main opponent of Germany, it is definitely not correct to use it as a description for all the forces who were present in North Africa on the allied side. “British” disregards all those important units sent by the Dominions as there were Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and it excludes the many Indians who fought for the case as well as much smaller but not less committed units as those of the Free French, the Greeks, the Czechs and not to be forgotten the Poles.
    Therefore, except, if a particular unit is named, the term “British” shall not be used but “Allies” or “Allied forces” fits much better and includes all Nations in a fair manner.

    If you feel, that there is something wrong or even offending one or the other Nation, then please let me know.

    Kind regards and many thanks for your assistance;
     
  4. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    “British” disregards all those important units sent by the Dominions as there were Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and it excludes the many Indians who fought for the case as well as much smaller but not less committed units as those of the Free French, the Greeks, the Czechs and not to be forgotten the Poles.
    Therefore, except, if a particular unit is named, the term “British” shall not be used but “Allies” or “Allied forces” fits much better and includes all Nations in a fair manner.


    I think Allies is fine Kuno. :)




    hmm, new guy question here, but does the forum get into

    'revisionist' discussions at all ?
     
  5. andytor

    andytor Junior Member

    Quite correct for me Kuno: Commonwealth vs Axis forces ...
     
  6. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    sorry to drag this old thread up but, don't forget the Egyptians!!!!
     
  7. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    ...you got me! ;-)
     
  8. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    ...you got me! ;-)

    Just showing off!! :D Do you have any links to more info re: Libyan troops in the battles in egypt/libya?
     
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Ah, War and Game, I wonder what that guy does for a living, if he does anything at all :D
     
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    I rather think Kuno has a real war going on around him, not play acting, so he may be a little distracted. At least he can see first hand what forces are ALLIED against Gaddafi!!
    Let's just hope he stays safe!
     
  11. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Hope everything OK with you and yours at this difficult time Kuno, good luck!
     
  12. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Am on the safer side of the Med, thanks.
     
  13. Cobber

    Cobber Senior Member

    Could the term 'Imperial' be used to describe the Commonwealth troops? (IE not the actual British troops but the Aussies, NZ and other Commonwealth nations.
    Used in such a way as "British Imperial troops participated along side British troops during the 1941-43 desert war". Or is this a older term that is not appropriate for WW2?
     
  14. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Could the term 'Imperial' be used to describe the Commonwealth troops? (IE not the actual British troops but the Aussies, NZ and other Commonwealth nations.
    Used in such a way as "British Imperial troops participated along side British troops during the 1941-43 desert war". Or is this a older term that is not appropriate for WW2?

    This is an term which was appropriate for WW1 and not WW2:
    History

    Though the modern Commonwealth is just 60 years old, the idea took root in the 19th century.

    In 1867, Canada became the first colony to be transformed into a selfgoverning 'Dominion', a newly constituted status that implied equality with Britain. The empire was gradually changing and Lord Rosebury, a British politician, described it in Australia in 1884 as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
    Other parts of the empire became Dominions too: Australia (1901), New Zealand (1907), South Africa (1910) and the Irish Free State (1922). All except the Irish Free State (that did not exist at the time) participated as separate entities in the First World War and were separate signatories to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Subsequently, they became members of the League of Nations.
    After the end of the First World War, the Dominions began seeking a new constitutional definition and reshaping their relationship with Britain. At the Imperial Conference in 1926, the prime ministers of the participating countries adopted the Balfour Report which defined the Dominions as autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
    This definition was incorporated into British law in 1931 as the Statute of Westminster. It was adopted immediately in Canada, the Irish Free State, Newfoundland (which joined Canada in 1949) and South Africa. Australia and New Zealand followed. India, Britain's largest colony at the time, became a Dominion at independence in 1947 and remained so until January 1950, when the Indian Republic was born.


    Commonwealth Secretariat - History

    So the forces were Commonwealth forces.
     
  15. Cobber

    Cobber Senior Member

    Thanks for informing me of this.
     
  16. JonS

    JonS Member

    Tommy46 -
    I don't think your arguement stands as Monty never struck me as being so small minded that he would differentiate between two bdes of the same division - he left both bdes [4th and 7th] in Italy and took 23rdBde with him to the Uk with 7th Armoured
    Not quite.
    * 7th Amrd Bde was in Burma when Montgomery was transferred to command 21 AG.
    * 4th Armd Bde went back to the UK and took part in Op OVERLORD.

    Edit: furthermore, neither bde was part of 7th Armd Div at that time anyway (nor had they been for ~6-12 months in the case of 4th AB, and nearly two years in the case of 7th AB ).
     
  17. JonS

    JonS Member

    I've seen this same discussion with regards to what the English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Newfoundland, Canadian, French, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Belgian, etc forces in NWE should be called.

    "21st Army Group" doesn't cut it, since that includes the US. "Commonwealth" is technically inaccurate in 1942 - or 1944 - for the majority.

    Personally, I think that a) there is no perfectly accurate shorthand noun for them, and b) that "Commonwealth" is perfectly acceptable anyway.

    In NA - and NWE - all the various nations were all trained and equipped along British lines, operated according to common doctrine (or what passed for doctrine in British-style forces) and commanded by British generals. There were slight dress distinctions, but from any moderate distance a Polish unit was indistinguishable from a British, or Canadian, or New Zealand, or Czech, or Australian, or Indian unit.

    You can get totally wrapped around the axles trying to come up with a term that will keep everyone happy. But you will still fail, because the term just doesn't exist.

    OTOH, it's only the humourless pedants, and those with an inferiority complex, that would really quibble with 'Commonwealth'. So feck 'em.
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Jons -
    you may be perfectly correct in saying that 7th AB was in Burma and that 4AB landed at Overlord but you forgot to mention that 4AB played a supporting role to 78th Battleaxe Div as much of that Division landed at Bari ( Italy) before going on to capture the Airfields at Foggia(sep '43) - with Scots Greys -3rd CLY - and 44th RTR - and that 7AB played a prominent role in supporting both 46th and 56th at Croce and Gemmano also at the Gothic Line - again in Italy with 2nd - 6th and 8th RTR- whilst 23rd AB with 40th - 46th and 50th RTR -also stayed in Italy so it was the 22ndAB which went back to the UK after Naples with 7th AD- also in Italy was the 9th AB along with the 21st and 25th TB's.

    Cheers
     
  19. JonS

    JonS Member

    Jons -
    you may be perfectly correct in saying that 7th AB was in Burma and that 4AB landed at Overlord but you forgot to mention that 4AB played a supporting role to 78th Battleaxe Div as much of that Division landed at Bari (Italy) before going on to capture the Airfields at Foggia(sep '43) - with Scots Greys -3rd CLY - and 44th RTR - and that 7AB played a prominent role in supporting both 46th and 56th at Croce and Gemmano also at the Gothic Line - again in Italy with 2nd - 6th and 8th RTR- whilst 23rd AB with 40th - 46th and 50th RTR -also stayed in Italy so it was the 22ndAB which went back to the UK after Naples with 7th AD- also in Italy was the 9th AB along with the 21st and 25th TB's.
    So what? Montgomery stayed in Italy until late Dec 1943 too. Does that mean he didn't go back to the UK for Normandy? No, it does not.

    I didn't 'forget' anything. I didn't mention it since it's simply irrelevant. 4th Bde went back to the UK from Italy 'with' (in a loose sense) Montgomery. 7th Armd Bde was never 'in' Italy with Montgomery, so it's not like they could go anywhere from there with him. What 7th AB did - and where they did it - later in the war is utterly irrelevant. What 9th, 23rd, 157th, or any other TB or AB did is even less relevant.

    tl;dr: You said Montgomery left 4th and 7th Armd Bdes in Italy when he went to the UK. That is not accurate for either bde.

    Regards
    Jon

    P.S.; there is no 'may be' about it ;)
     
  20. teresa

    teresa Junior Member

    Thank you i am enjoying your written piece my father was in north africa and anzio battle in 8th army with montgomery so i am enjoying reading your article its interesting thanks
     

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