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The Allies Strike Back (October 1942 - May 1943)

The Allies Strike Back (October 1942 - May 1943)

The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The battle lasted from October 23rd to November 5th, 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck in August 1942.

The Allied victory turned the tide in the North African Campaign. It ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, taking control of the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields.

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British Army Dingo Scout Car - HQ 2nd Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 British Army Dingo Scout Car - HQ 2nd Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:76 Scale)

In 1938, Britian's  Mechanisation Board had Alvis Limited, BSA Cycles Limited, and Morris Commercial Cars Limited submit prototypes for a turretless scouting vehicle. The Daimler version was designed as a fast reconnaissance and liaison vehicle so out of the three designs submitted the one from BSA's (Daimler's owner) was selected. The Dingo featured a front wheel drive, sliding roof over the crew, and a potbelly cab.

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British Army Dingo Scout Car - 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars British Army Dingo Scout Car - 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars (1:76 Scale)

In 1938, Britian's  Mechanisation Board had Alvis Limited, BSA Cycles Limited, and Morris Commercial Cars Limited submit prototypes for a turretless scouting vehicle. The Daimler version was designed as a fast reconnaissance and liaison vehicle so out of the three designs submitted the one from BSA's (Daimler's owner) was selected. The Dingo featured a front wheel drive, sliding roof over the crew, and a potbelly cab.

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British M3 Grant Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, North Africa, 1942 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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German Sd. Kfz. 11 3-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover - 15.Panzer Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 11 3-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover - 15.Panzer Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Sd.Kfz. 11 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle) was a German half-track that saw very widespread use in World War II. Its main role was as a prime mover for medium towed guns ranging from the 3.7 cm FlaK 43 anti-aircraft gun up to the 10.5 cm leFH 18 field howitzer. It could carry eight troops in addition to towing a gun or trailer.

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M13/40 Medium Tank - Divisione Corazzata "Littorio", El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 Italian M13/40 Medium Tank - Divisione Corazzata "Littorio", El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 was an Italian medium tank ("M" for Medio (medium) according to the Italian tank weight standards at the time: 13 tonnes was the scheduled weight and 1940 the initial year of production), designed to replace the Fiat L3, the Fiat L6/40 and the Fiat M11/39 in the Italian Army at the start of World War II.

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British M3 Grant Medium Tank - "Monty", 8th Army Tactical HQ, Tripoli, Libya, 1943 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - "Monty", 8th Army Tactical HQ, Tripoli, Libya, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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British Army Bedford OY Cargo Truck - 10th Armoured Division, Alam el Halfa, Egypt, 1942 British Bedford OY Cargo Truck - 10th Armoured Division, Alam el Halfa, Egypt, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

A radical departure from Bedford's design norms came in October 1939, with the development of a four-wheel drive, forward control lorry, which entered service in March 1941 as the QL, quickly nicknamed the "Queen Lizzie".

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British 1/4 Ton Willys Jeep - Special Air Service (SAS), Libya, 1942 British 1/4 Ton Willys Jeep - Special Air Service (SAS), Libya, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

Developed by the Quartermaster Corps, the jeep and other motor transport vehicles were transferred to the Ordnance Department in August, 1942. Despite its lightweight, the jeep could perform a variety of functions, including towing a 37mm antitank gun over a 7% grade. Unencumbered, the jeep could climb a 60% grade, and was capable of attaining speeds in excess of 60-mph on a level highway.

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British M3 Grant Medium Tank - 1st Armoured Division, Libya, 1942 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - 1st Armoured Division, Libya, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - Junior Regiment, 21st Tank Brigade, 145th Royal Armoured Corps, Tunis, 1943 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - Junior Regiment, 21st Tank Brigade, 145th Royal Armoured Corps, Tunis, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - Unidentified Unit, Tunisia, 1943 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - Unidentified Unit, Tunisia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - "KingForce", British 1st Armoured Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - "KingForce", British 1st Armoured Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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British M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - 11th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, 1st Armoured Division, El-Alamein, Egypt, 1942 British M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - 11th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, 1st Armoured Division, El-Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the 'Priest' by British crews because of its pulpit-shaped machine-gun turret at the front, the M7 grew from US experience with howitzers mounted on half-tracked vehicles. The War Department soon realized that a fully tracked carriage was required, and the M3 tank was modified to fill the role.

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British Morris Quad Gun Tractor with Limber and 25 Pounder Gun - 50th Northumbrian Infantry Division, El Alamein, Egypt, Oct/Nov. 1942 British Morris Quad Gun Tractor with Limber and 25 Pounder Gun - 50th Northumbrian Infantry Division, El Alamein, Egypt, Oct/Nov. 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Morris Commercial C8 FAT (Field Artillery Tractor) commonly known as a Quad was an artillery tractor of the British and Commonwealth forces during World War II. It was used to tow medium artillery pieces, such as the 25 pounder gun-howitzer, and the 17 pounder anti-tank gun.

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US M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - "Diana," 70th Tank Battalion (Light), Rabat, Morocco, July 1943 US M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - "Diana," 70th Tank Battalion (Light), Rabat, Morocco, July 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The M5 Stuart light tank made its debut in the invasion of Casablanca in French North Africa. By 1943, and at the time of the invasion of Sicily, the upgraded M5A1 was becoming the standard light tank of the American armored divisions.

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US M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - Unknown Unit, Oran, Algeria, 1943 US M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - Unknown Unit, Oran, Algeria, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the 'Priest' by British crews because of its pulpit-shaped machine-gun turret at the front, the M7 grew from US experience with howitzers mounted on half-tracked vehicles. The War Department soon realized that a fully tracked carriage was required, and the M3 tank was modified to fill the role.

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US M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - 34th Infantry Division, Rabat, Morocco, 1943 US M7 HMC Priest Self-Propelled Gun - 34th Infantry Division, Rabat, Morocco, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the 'Priest' by British crews because of its pulpit-shaped machine-gun turret at the front, the M7 grew from US experience with howitzers mounted on half-tracked vehicles. The War Department soon realized that a fully tracked carriage was required, and the M3 tank was modified to fill the role.

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British M4A2 Sherman Medium Tank - 9th Armored Brigade, Trowbridge, Syria, 1943 British M4A2 Sherman Medium Tank - 9th Armored Brigade "Trowbridge", Syria, 1943 (1:50 Scale)

By all accounts, the M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".

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British Bedford QLD Supply Truck - Desert Rats, North Africa, 1942 British Bedford QLD Supply Truck - 7th Armoured Division, "The Desert Rats", North Africa, 1942 (1:50 Scale)

The Bedford QLT lorry was the most common British-made 4x4 truck produced, with over 52,000 supplied to the British Forces between 1941 and 1945. Many of these later continued in service with the British Army in Cyprus, Korea and Malaya.

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British Army Diamond T980 Tank Transporter - Garrison/Headquarters, British Middle East Command, Cairo, Egypt, 1942 British Army Diamond T980 Tank Transporter - Garrison/Headquarters, British Middle East Command, Cairo, Egypt, 1942 (1:76 Scale)

The Diamond T Tank Transporter was a heavy tank transporter, used in World War II and the following years.

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British M3 Grant Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, El Alamein, 1942 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, El Alamein, 1942 (1:32 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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British Matilda Mk II Infantry Tank - Unidentified Unit, Tobruk, 1943 British Matilda Mk. II Infantry Tank - Unidentified Unit, Tobruk, 1943 (1:32 Scale)

The Mark I Matilda was developed in response to a 1934 requirement for a close-support infantry tank. Well armored for its day, it was, nevertheless, a small, simple tank. Despite being sturdy enough to withstand hits from most German tank guns in the early stages of WWII, it was too poorly armed to be of much use as the war progressed.

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British Churchill Mk III Infantry Tank Kingforce, North Africa, 1942 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - "Kingforce", North Africa, 1942 (1:50 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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British M3 Grant Medium Tank - 8th Army Tactical HQ, Monty, North Africa, 1942 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - 8th Army Tactical HQ, "Monty", North Africa, 1942 (1:32 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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