Western Desert Force
The Western Desert Force
, during World War II
, was a British Commonwealth Army
unit stationed in Egypt
. At the start of the war, the Force consisted of the 7th Armoured Division
and the 4th Indian Division
. The unit was commanded by Major-General Richard O'Connor
and, at the time of the 1940 Italian
invasion consisted of ~30,000 soldiers
and 65 tanks.
The exploits of this unit earned a parody of Winston Churchill's famous quote, "Never has so much been owed by so many, to so few." So many Italians were captured by the Western Desert Force that it was said, "Never has so much been surrendered by so many, to so few."
It was retitled XIII Corps on January 1, 1941. XIII Corps later became the nucleus of the famous 8th Army, which was formed in September 1941.