7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

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7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

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The 7th Armoured Brigade is a formation of the British Army. The brigade is also known as the 'Desert Rats', a nickname formerly held by the 7th Armoured Division.


The brigade was raised from garrison troops stationed in North Africa in 1938. It was initially known as the Light Armoured Brigade which was part of the Mobile Division in Egypt.

When the Mobile Division became 7th Armoured Division, the Light Armoured Brigade became the 7th Armoured Brigade in February 1940. The 7th Armoured Division had a red jerboa (a nocturnal rodent indigenous to North Africa) as its emblem and became known as 'The Desert Rats'. The 7th Brigade, meanwhile, had a green jerboa as its emblem. The 7th Brigade became known as the 'Green Rats' or the 'Jungle Rats' after it moved to Burma in 1942.

Second World War

The Second World War broke out in September 1939, Britain and France declaring war on Germany after its invasion of Poland. Italy launched an invasion of British-controlled Egypt shortly after entering the war on Germany's side in June 1940.

The brigade fought in many of the major battles in North Africa, including Operation Crusader in November, fighting at Sidi Rezegh to try to relieve the Commonwealth forces in the port of Tobruk, besieged by Axis forces. The operation was the third attempt by the Allies to break the siege and was...
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