I have realized that I don't have a picture of my 8th army here. This is a side project, I have only completed one squad plus a few guys but here you go. or click here to see the image full sized
May I ask for your expert help? I am planning my 8th Army and I read very differnt things about the armour they had in the desert. Was there really something else than Mathildas, Valentines and Crusaders? I saw mentions of Shermans too. (Not just the M3, M4's and Fireflys aswell- tho I think they entered service later, didn't they?)
I would appreciate you help greatly!
Keep up your great work, I love it!
All the best
Firstly, thanks for the question. We hope youre enjoying our content.
Yes; there is so much information regarding allied armour in the theatre it can be a mire to wade through for research purposes that can seem quite daunting indeed!
My recommendation is to firstly decide what time period you might be specifically looking to base your force on, and what nationality they might be also- if you so desire.
This means that you will be able to specifically then research what material those formations had at that time. However; the good news is that you aren’t limited to this initial choice; one of the absolute benefits of the western desert 8th Army as your army is that the vast majority of commonwealth and British uniforms and equipment are the same, so don’t feel “Locked in” by this initial choice!
Due to this you will be able to either; buy the specific tanks and vehicles of that period, OR choose a wide range that will cover the actions in the theatre over the whole duration.
Indeed; a wide range there was; from the literal “Armoured cars” of the earliest actions in the theatre to the final actions in Tunisia that indeed saw Shermans introduced ( Although the firefly didn’t go into production until Jan 1944 in preparation for the invasion into western Europe).
Some of the iconic Tanks you have mentioned already. Some interesting info is that the british had slightly modified the M3 Lee into their “Grant’ model with a lover profile and other modifications, and carried on these deviations from the US designs into the Sherman; they modified most into MkIII Shermans with diesel engines, dust filters and other changes. Churchills were introduced right at the end also.
Another point to note is that many of the new US models weren’t always well liked..and often also “Lesser “ units ( according to the Tankers!) such as Yeomanry units etc received the shermans etc first, as they had been the last to receive replacement vehicles...this meaning that these units sometimes had more recent and ( debatably- but generally acknowledged -superior) tanks to heavier Tank formations who had received earlier upgrade vehicles in the campaign.
I hope this helps you- research is key but will be an investment for you, but remember as stated above youre creating a force that you merely have to swap out earlier for later vehicles and you have a new unit/period theme!
Lastly; the humble truck was the absolute workhorse and invaluable to every formation in the western desert so make sure you invest in some of those!
Woow, thanks a lot guys! You two are indeed a wealth of pure knowledge! I researched a lot but found different statements about the subject over amd over again, so I decided to talk to you I actually tend to the later stages of the Desert Theater so I will include some of the armour you mentioned above aswell (Yeah Shermans, Yeah Churchills!)! I will indeed also include some trucks, I just feel it adds so much to a force.
Thanks to you guys I have learned so much about WW2 and my passion for the subject is growing ever since! I am so glad to have guys like you to never let the hobbyfire within us extinguish! I really appreciate the time and effert you guys put in!
Take care the both of you!
All the best and thanks again!
Hi Phil, No worries! We are only too glad to help you mate, so if you ever have any more feel free to ask away on here or via the youtube comments etc. let us know how you get on! Kind Regards, Dan