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Early Desert British for Chain of Command

British Desert
This list covers the early part of the war in the North African desert and is suitable for the period from 1940 through to late 1941 covering the Italian attempts to invade Egypt in late 1940, the British and Commonwealth counter-attack of Operation Compass and then the German involvement with Unternehmen Sonnenblume and the British offensives of Operation Brevity and Battleaxe.
You can download the list here: British North Africa 40-41


6 thoughts on “Early Desert British for Chain of Command”

  1. Glad to see this is nearly the same as what I have been using for my Perry Plastics 🙂
    Just one point – the 40mm Bofors is missing from the arsenal table.
    Looking forward to the 8th Army lists and the stats for the Crusader 3

  2. Nick Worthington

    Question on the A13 armor stat. The table gives it as a 3, while the A10 has a 4. My understanding is that the A13 had comparable armor to the A10. Was there a reason for the difference?
    Just curious.

  3. Couple or three queries on this one.
    The 2 pdrs on the tanks have an HE value of 4? Just wondered why? Are these the HE stats for the CS versions?
    The blurb mentions sections of 8 men yet the platoon has 10 per section. Which is correct?
    The Recce Universal Carriers have a crew of 4 in the list but noted as having 3 man teams? Incidentally this is the same in the main rules. Which is correct?
    The 3″ mortars are 2 per FOO rather than 3 per FOO but still cost 4 Support points. Why?

  4. Pingback: Official CoCulator and Chain of Command army lists | Tiny Hordes

  5. RegardsThe carriers in battalion platoon. My Grand Father served in the Desrt and spent time with the Btn Carriers so I have had a considerable interest in these and his and his surviving friends comments – often sparked by what I was reading.
    1. Regards carriers equipment. Bluntly that given in your lists is light. Combat carriers (as opposed to “transport or liason” carriers) ALL added scrounged weaponary carriers almost inevitably having 2 or sometimes more machine guns. Things like addaptions to use Vickers MMG’s from the hull gunners position are common as are mounts on the engine cover like the MG carriers. Heavier MGs such as Breda 12.7(13mm) or US 0.5″ Brownings were surprisingly common and the ‘retained’ AA Brens or moved and altered mounts are very common. The great bulk of the photographs I’ve chased down show a solid (close to minimum) 3 weapons per carrier.
    2. Crewing. – here the significant change is the virtual or mostly total disapperance of the motor cycles from the UK standard organisation. two things keep being mentioned about this (a) the unsuitability of the motor cycles to the terrian and (b) the shear lack of motorcycles making them far to valuable so reserved for couriers and dispatch riders. This puts the Motor Cycle section of 14 plus senior NCO (generally Sargent) & a signaller into the carriers. Many base TOE’s “miss” the carrier Platoon’s attachments (6+ men) which gave the platoon an effective establishment of 70 (or more) Officers NCO’s and Men. The effect often went as far as removing all (eveb orderlies) motorcycles) this gave an establishment section normall senior NCO (Sargent) and 12 an additional minimum of 2 more – ex MC Ordely plus a signaller for 15 – giving 12 dismoutable men as it was explicite that the carriers were never to be left without drivers. Photgraphs suggest even bigger crews at times . NOTE I’m NOT including the grossly overloaded carriers in a transport role. However every slot filled (so 6 or 7) are not rare.
    3 The crewing process often went so far as to garner an additional carrier from Battalion (in exchange of the M/C’s??) so there was a second in the platoon HQ – this could be either the 2nd officer or the Platoon Sargent (a staff Sarget or sometimes a Warrant Officer).. Here it is worth noting that the Carrier Platoon command was a Captains Slot.
    4 Armament for the carrier Section – Dismountable armament for a section was 3 Brens, a 2inch Mortar and an AT Rifle. In theory most men had rifles but again photos and accounts show growing numbers of SMG’s.
    5 Vehicle “armament” is varied but the following is a summary of what I can get from photos and unit accounts etc.
    1 to 2 AT Rifles (very occasionally see 3) – guessing these came from Btn level admin etc units extras and later from every where as the Boyes lost belief. These can be either in the hull gunners slot Or on a mount on the baulkhead between forward and rear compartments.
    1+ Heavy Machineguns – true 12.7mm (13mm) if this was mounted it was on the gunners position firing over it or on the engine deck or the baulkhead between driver / gunner and rear. I have only come across a handful with both an HMG and an AT Rifle so suggest either or.
    1 + Vickers MMG – generally in a modified hull gunners appeture or on the engine deck. Generally the hull slot links the water jacket to the carriers radiator.
    1 fixed mounted 2inch mortar – almost always mounted on the engine deck so not on a carrier with an HMG. Some times on the side wall behind the driver (often refered to as the commanders spot) so Not on a carrier with an AA Bren or modified raised Bren mount which is generally in that spot.
    2+ sometimes as manny as 5 Bren Guns mounted in the gunners slot, the AA suspension mount or other modified pintal mounts
    A Radio mounted in the rear compartment – note I’ve neever seen these being used dismounted and suspect they can’t be, probably beimng linked to the vehicle for charging etc.
    So counted the Radio as a crew served “weapon” 9 such slots per 3 carrier section appears to be almost a standard. Most variations having more than this.
    The extremes are things like salvaged aircraft 20mm guns fixed mounted over /along the engine deck using a battery to power the electric firing. Atleast 1 photo is captioned for the short US 37mm aircraft cannon but I couldn’y verify this.

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