Forces of Valor 83003 British 7th Armoured Division "The Desert Rats" Figure Pack (1:32 Scale)
"After [El] Alamein, we never had a defeat."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
The true Forces of Valor...the men that fought the battles, the men behind the machines, and the men that paid the ultimate sacrifice. These men came from every nation and every creed to battle on their countries' behalf. Unrecognized acts of heroism occurred every hour of every day across every battlefield all over the world.
The battles of World War II raged all over Europe and the Far East. From the harsh desert climate of North Africa to the rain soaked Western European Theatre to the extreme cold at the heart of Germany and Eastern Europe, the men of World War II fought bravely wherever they were and no matter what they faced.
This set consists of five British soldiers in various poses from the 7th Armored Division ("The Desert Rats"). Comes with sandbags and a variety of battlefield equipment.
Height: 2 inches
Release Date: June 2003
Historical Account: "The Desert Rats" - According to Field Marshal Lord Carver, himself a former Desert Rat, the 7th Armoured Division's name and emblem were inspired by a pet jerboa kept by a regimental signaller. Seeing the beast, the division's then commander, Major-General "Hobo" Hobart, is said to have remarked, "This little animal should become our emblem. We must learn to live as he does, the hard way, in the desert."
And, having trained its men to fight and win battles in the vast Western Desert, the division played a crucial, and decisive, role in the North African campaign. Three times - in 1940, '41 and '42 - German and Italian forces attempted to take control of the North African coast. Three times they were driven back, by the UK's Eighth Army, the heaviest fighting taking place near Tobruk in Libya.
The German commander, Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel - the charismatic and respected 'Desert Fox' - promised his men that, if they took Tobruk, he would build a monument to commemorate the victory. If they lost, though, the
Afrika Korps would bury its dead there. The German cemeteries still to be seen on the Libyan coastline bear mute testament to Rommel's failure and the Desert Rats' hard-won success.
But it was victory at El Alamein in October 1942 - which came after one of the biggest artillery barrages of the war - that sealed Rommel's fate in North Africa and brought the Desert Rats, the Eighth Army and its commander, General Bernard Montgomery, eternal fame.
Not surprisingly, the Desert Rats' war did not end there. They fought in some of the war's bloodiest battles; at Salerno, in Normandy. and crossing the Rhine into Germany. And they ended the war by marching in the victory parade at the very heart of the Third Reich, Berlin itself.