In this Battle, the Eight Army, holding the Gazala line, was attacked by German-Italian forces under Rommel, and after very severe fighting and fluctuating fortunes was forced to withdraw to the frontier defences.

The Honour is borne on the Guidon of the 8th Hussars.

Bir El Igela

4th Armoured Brigade was the first British armoured formation to be engaged by the enemy during the Battle of Gazala, and in this subsidiary, Engagement was forced to withdraw after heavy casualties

The Honour has been awarded to the 8th Hussars.

Mersa Matruh

In this battle, the enemy forces broke through between X and XIII Corps, cutting off the former in Mersa Matruh. XIII Corps retired, and the position was not stabilized till the El Alamein line held by XXX Corps was reached.

The Honour has been awarded to the 8th Hussars.


On 26th May 1942 Rommel and the Afrika Korps started to move back eastwards again and, taking a route avoiding Bir Hacheim, ran straight into the 8th Hussars, who, as part of 7th Armoured Division, was holding the southern end of the British line which stretched to Gazala on the coast.

In the savage fighting that followed the Regiment, outnumbered and still outgunned despite now having some ‘General Grant’ tanks, was almost destroyed again and suffered many casualties, chiefly in ‘A’ Squadron who lost all their officers.

It was a gallant fight and the Regiment destroyed thirty out of the hundred or more German tanks which confronted them before they were overwhelmed.

The retreat to El Alamein continued doggedly for the rest of June. ‘C’ Squadron was reformed and fought independently with the 7th Motor Brigade until 3rd July. RHQ and one composite squadron fought their separate way back, a ‘point’ of nearly 250 miles to the Alamein Line.

Why not discover more about the retreat to El Alamein in the words of Tpr Howard, 8th Hussars.

Lt Col C Goulburn took command of the Regiment in June 1942 and promptly reorganised them into an RHQ and two Squadrons, one of which ‘C’ under Maj Hackett, was placed under command of the 4th Hussars in July, forming a composite regiment, the 4/8th Hussars.

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