Theatres covered by
the series

Belgium and France 1940

North Africa



North-West Europe 1944 - 1945

Photographs used courtesy of:
The Essex Regiment Museum
Chelmsford Museum
Oaklands Park
Moulsham Street
Telephone: 01245 605700

Mrs Gwen Payne holds the copyright
of each of the above photographs.

The Mosque at Mersa Brega
Photograph used courtesy of
Andrew J. Pearse.

Museums and Archives

Royal Engineers Museum

The Institution of Royal Engineers

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum

The Tank Museum

FIREPOWER The Royal Artillery Museum

Essex Regiment Museum

Royal Logistics Corps Museum

Queen's Dragoon Guards Museum

Fusiliers of
Northumberland Museum

The Guards Museum

Durham Light Infantry Museum

The Queen's Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum

Royal Logistics Corps Museum

Deutsches Panzer Museum

National Army Museum

Historical Research Links

The National Archives

Deutsches Afrikakorps
Online Archive

Axis History Forum

Currently available

A detailed fighting account of: 2nd Armoured Division 9th Australian Division
3rd Indian Motor Brigade 7th Support Group and 22nd Guards Brigade
in combat with the Afrikakorps and units of the Ariete Brescia Bologna Pavia
and Trento Divisions: February – May 1941

Infantry Artillery and Tank Combat in Libya and Egypt: Volume I:

This is a Hardback, A4 portrait format book of 850 numbered pages. It includes 15 maps (some repeated to aid following the action) 27 Black and White photographs (some new to any media), 10 Diagrams and 27 Appendices.

The book also features 8 Contents pages and 13 Index pages to aid navigating to the items you require.

The £90.00 price includes postage and packing within the United Kingdom, but due to its size and weight of 2.6 Kg, postage outside of the U.K. is shown in the drop down list; these non-U.K. costs are partly subsidised by Armour Publishing Ltd.

Purchase Price plus Shipping


This is a Hardback, A4 portrait format book of 850 numbered pages. It includes 15 maps (some repeated to aid following the action) 27 Black and White photographs (some new to any media), 10 Diagrams and 27 Appendices.

The book also features 8 Contents pages and 13 Index pages to aid navigating to the items you require.

The £90.00 price includes postage and packing within the United Kingdom.

* * *

This volume contains many items of previously unpublished original material providing information and data never before included in accounts of the desert fighting during February to early May 1941. The objective of this work is to present all sides and views of known and unknown actions that have sadly been edited out of history for seven decades.

The research has produced an account of the British, Australian and Indian troops of Cyrenaica Command (CYRCOM), XIII Corps and the reformed Western Desert Force that includes fire-fights and battles many of which have not been covered in any media before or briefly mentioned with little detail. It was initially undertaken to establish what happened to the units of 2nd Armoured Division (commanding the few remaining units of 2nd Support Group and the underequipped units with 3rd Armoured Brigade) on contact with those of the 5. leichte Division and especially the armour of Panzer Regiment 5.

The combats described in the War Diaries and unit histories together reveal a series of actions overlooked in post-war accounts despite their impact upon the course of later battles. The research then broadened to cover the breadth of the fire fights and battles of the 9th Australian Division, 3rd Indian Motor Brigade, 7th Support Group, 22nd Guards Brigade and other attached British and Australian units.

Despite the capture of some of the Divisional H.Q. units, and elements of the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade at Mechili (6th - 8th April 1941), half of those present broke out to reach Tobruk and continue fighting. Other units that had not been directed to hold Mechili also made their way to Tobruk.

Many summary accounts have described 2nd Armoured Division as destroyed in the desert but its combat units remained in action.

An A13 from 4 Troop, 'A' Squadron, 5th R.T.R., 3rd Armoured Brigade, 2nd Armoured Division, Libya 1941.
Photograph 2771-E5 used courtesy of the
The Tank Museum

Using many eye witness sources and war diaries this volume provides much missing detail of the fire fights and battles in the areas of El Agheila (February - March), Mersa Brega (31st March), Agedabia (2nd April), Er Regima (4th April), Derna (7th April) and Mechili (6th - 8th April) and the fighting on the Tobruk perimeter (10th April - 14th May). This volume ends with the fighting outside Tobruk towards and across the Libyan - Egyptian border (11th April - 14th May).

Wherever German sources have been found they have been included to present events from both sides of the battle with equal weight and importance. The details from British and Australian sources (including German sources within them) have added to the sometimes sparse information contained in the Deutsches Afrikakorps Kriegstagebuch (Afrikakorps War Diary) included within the Feldzug in Nordafrika (CAB 146/10).

An A13 in German hands.
Use courtesy of the
Deutsches Afrikakorps Online Archiv

Before describing the fighting, Volume 1 sets the scene by initially describing:

  • The weapons, ammunition and organisation of the opposing forces with details not previously included in other works.

  • The pre-war desert experiences of the 11th Hussars and 12th Royal Lancers that built upon the explorative work of the 3rd and 4th Armoured Car Companies, Major Bagnold's expeditions in the 1920s and 30s, and the Light Car Patrols of World War One.

  • The Mechanisation of the British Army including the part played by the Royal Army Service Corps in respect of soft-skinned vehicle development.

  • The events surrounding Panzer Regiment 5 within Panzer Brigade 3 in France 1940 covering the earlier battle experiences of the regiment before it joined the 5. leichte Division within the Afrikakorps.

  • The 3rd Armoured Brigade's experiences in France 1940 (commanding 2nd and 5th Royal Tank Regiments) are similarly covered set against the background of the armour with the British Expeditionary Force in Belgium and France.

  • The role of 2nd Armoured Division in the defence of the United Kingdom before leaving for Egypt.

  • A brief outline of the Italian X Armata's attack into Egypt and defeat during Operation COMPASS.

  • The contribution of the signals intelligence derived from the 'Y' Service and ULTRA is illustrated by the limited German and Italian information appearing in contemporary unit Intelligence Summaries.

  • The international situation is outlined to give a background as to why units of 2nd Armoured Division found themselves fighting simultaneously in Southern Europe and North Africa in April 1941.

This is a Hardback, A4 portrait format book of 850 numbered pages in 100 chapters set within five Parts:

      Part One: The Circumstances leading to Battle
      Part Two: Moving to Battle - Weapons, Orders of Battle and Movements
      Part Three:      Battles and Retreats
      Part Four: Fighting on and within the Tobruk perimeter
      Part Five: From Tobruk to the Libyan-Egyptian Frontier 11th April – 14th May

Amongst the ten Appendices within this volume are two that were compiled because many accounts of the early fighting in the desert against the Afrikakorps do not describe or reflect upon the numbers of panzers seen damaged in combat. Appendix C: Panzers Damaged in Battle lists all the eyewitness accounts mentioned by both sides of combat damage caused to panzers during the weeks covered by this volume, and Appendix D: Panzers II, III and IV Landed compared to Operational and in Workshops in Libya up to the 15th June 1941 provides a view of panzer numbers recorded as remaining with Panzer Regiment 5 and the figures underline the skills of the panzer crews and those of the D.A.K’s recovery and repair units.

The tanks of 32o Reggimento Carrista also feature within the fire fights and battles.

Comando (H.Q.) 132o Reggimento Carrista stamp November 1941
Use courtesy of Andreas Biermann

Volume 1 forms part of a sixteen volume series:   Outline of Volume 1

Release Date: March 2015

Author: Julian Shales

See an introduction to the sixteen volume series:   Series Introduction