The Eighth Army was one of the best-known formations of the British Army during World War II, fighting in the North African and Italian campaigns.
It was a British formation, always commanded by British officers, however its personnel came from throughout the British Empire and Commonwealth; complemented by units composed of exiles from Nazi-occupied Europe. Subordinate units came from Australia, British India, Canada, Free French Forces, Greece, New Zealand, Poland, Rhodesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
My late grandfather, was a veteran of the Second World War, he first saw action as a young lad in France in 1939 with the British expeditionary force (BEF). Only later to be lost at the "the miracle of dunkirk", and turn up for duty a few weeks later, after clambering aboard a local fisherman's boat, and making it back to Blighty relatively unharmed.
From there we was recirculated in to service and found him self in the Royal Engineers.
With orders to ship out to North Africa, to fight "Jerry" in the desert as part of the British 8th Army.
This is where my inspiration came from to A 8th Army themed Bolt Action Army (it's my third BA army, but the only one with sentimental value).
So naturally when the Perry brothers announced their platoon in a box Desert rats, I was like a kid in a sweet shop. And rushed out to get my hands on them. Having already written up my winning lay list, a didn't just purchase one box. Some of those beautiful Blitzkrieg models may have dropped through my letter box also.
So with help from a few Christmas presents from some deer friends, and a bit of my own spending I cracked on, with a smile from ear to ear.
I purchased some 25pdr guns from WestWind Productions, and with a bit of cutting and shutting fashioned a crew from spares I had in the Perry box.
I will do separate threads for my individual pieces. (All threads will be linked with the 8th army tab).
For now I will show you the one model that means the very most, the one model that when people direct fire at it on the gaming table... Things get personal! (No I am joking, the model means a lot, but I am not a serious gamer. I mean it when I say I do this hobby for FUN!).
A 3 Ton OY truck, I know what your thinking "his favourite model is a truck?!"
But yes it is, a few months ago I went to visit my Nonna (she is Italian, a whole other story, but on short, my grandad brought her home after he married her in the liberation of Italy). Anyway, my Nonna showed me a picture of my grandfather, stood next to his truck that he drove during the North Africa campaign, and on the grill and number he had written the words "Kidderminster Kid" so of course I went strait home and ordered my self a truck, and did my best to recreate that truck, the truck that took my grandfather and his comrades in and out of danger for his country.
Thanks for reading,
There will be more posts, no so story like and sentimental I promise 😌
I will post up the 25pdrs next, and go some way to explain how I did it.
P.s I wright most of these on my Iphone. I apologise for any typos and spelling mistakes.