BMMHS Quiz – The Desert War in North Africa



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#1. Where during the Desert War in 1942 would you have found the Knightsbridge Box?

On the Gazala Line It was a British Brigade defensive position on the Gazzala Line south of Gazzala and Tobruk.  This position was overrun by Rommel in June 1942 as he pushed the British Eighth Army back into Egypt.

#2. What was the nickname of the British 7th Amoured Division which fought with the Eighth Army in North Africa and afterwards was involved in D-Day, the Battle of Normandy and the invasion of Germany? (Hint: Today the nickname is used by the 7th Armoured Brigade.)

#3. What is the name of the physical feature on the southern flank of the British Army at El Alamein that prevented Rommel from undertaking one of his trade-mark outflanking manoeuvres?

The Qattara Depression  This an area that lies below sea level and is covered with salt pans, sand dunes and salt marshes making it unsuitable for tank warfare because of the high incidence of quick sand.

#4. Name the battle that the British Eighth Army fought and won between the First and Second Battles of El Alamein.

Battle of Alam el Halfa (Also known as the Battle of Alam Halfa) 

#5. Who did Churchill appoint as the British Commander-in-Chief in North Africa in the summer of 1942 who oversaw the successful Second Battle of El Alamein before becoming Army Group Commander of the British Eighth Army and the Anglo-American 1st Army?

#6. Who took over command of the RAF in Malta in the summer of 1942 and defeated the Luftwaffe?

Air Marshall Keith Park He had been the principle RAF commander in the Battle of Britain.

#7. Who commanded the Allied troops, based around the Australian 9th Division, during the first seige of Tobruk in 1941?

Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead Although he saw service in both the First & Second World Wars, Morshead served with the Australian (part-time) Militia and between the Wars had a successful career with the Orient Shipping Line,  Despite his successful defence of Tobruk he was passed over for command of XXX Corps at the second Battle of  El Alamein by Montgomery on the basis of a lack of military knowledge.

#8. During World War 2, where did Germany and its Axis partners suffer the biggest loss in terms of soldiers captured as Prisoners of War? Stalingrad or Tunisia?

The Tunisia Campaign was the last act of the war in North Africa.  230,000 German & Axis troops were taken prisoner in Tunisia compared to 91,000 in Stalingrad.

#9. Who was appointed Governor of Malta in the spring of 1942 at a most crucial point in the war in the Mediterranean?

Lord Gort  He had previously been the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in France prior to Dunkirk.

#10. Who was the successful General who commanded British troops in the Desert during the early part of the campaign until his capture by the Germans?

General Richard O’Connor His success in defeating a very much larger Italian Army led to Rommel and the Afrika Korps being sent to North Africa.

#11. Who commanded the British Army at the First Battle of El Alamein in 1942?

General Claude Auckinleck. (General Montgomery commanded the British Army at the Second Battle of El Alamein.)

#12. Name the battle fought next by the British Eight Army after the 2nd Battle of El Alamein?

Battle of the Mareth Line aka Battle of Mareth   From El Alamein, Rommel had retreated across Libya and 100 mile inside Tunisia where he established a strong defensive position at Mareth.



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