WW II, a British focus  




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    I regard it as a great honour to be asked to write a foreword to the history of the 8th Armoured Brigade — the brigade which has seen as much, if not more fighting than any other formation in the British Army.

I first met “The Fox’s Mask” in September 42 when the Brigade played a big part repelling Rommel’s last “all out” effort to capture Alexandria. During the long pursuit along the North African coast which ended at Tunis, regi­ments wearing this, by now, famous sign, were usually in the lead.

    On the 3rd August, 44 I arrived in Normandy to take over command of 30 Corps. Whilst driving up to my Head­quarters my jeep was halted at a cross roads. Suddenly from a tank on the far side of the road appeared the dusty face of a young officer. He saluted and called out “Glad to see you hack Sir”. I looked closely at his tank, and there, sure. enough, was the “Fox’s Mask”. The last time I had seen that sign was in Homs, North Africa, and now the 8th Armou­red Brigade was the first to welcome me back to France.

    During practically all the subsequent successful fighting, the Fox and the Pig (30 Corps Sign) were together. On occasions, I am afraid I have had to ask the 8th Armoured Brigade to undertake some very unpleasant tasks, but they were all carried out magnificently, and on no single occasion can I recall the slightest hesitation.

    There have been times in this war when, in the heat of battle, the atmosphere between the Infantry and Tanks has become somewhat strained. But this has never happened when the 8th Armoured Brigade was present; if you want to know what the Infantry Soldier thought of the Fox you have only to ask the men of such famous Divisions as 43rd (Wessex), 51st (Highland) or 50th (Northumbrian), and I have no doubt as to the favourable and enthusiastic answer you would get.

    Finally, to all ranks who have worn the “Fox’s Mask”, I would say “Your casualties have been high I am afraid, but the results achieved have been out of all proportion to your losses. You can all of you feel that you have done more than your share to win this war. Through your fine fighting qualities you have made possible many of “30 Corps victories”.


“Thank you 8th Armoured Brigade”.

    BG Horrocks  Lt Gen


30 Corps.


Chapter I 1939 to 1942.
Chapter II Medenine to Tunis.
Chapter III May 1943 to D-Day.
Chapter IV D-Day to "The Island".
Chapter V Geilenkirchen to the Rhine.
Chapter VI The Rhine Crossing to VE Day.
Chapter VII Hanover and the End of the "Fox".
& summary