The 7th Armoured Division was a British armoured division which saw service during the Second World War where its exploits made it famous as the Desert Rats.
After the Munich Crisis, the division was formed in Egypt during 1938 as the Mobile Division (Egypt) and its first divisional commander was the acclaimed tank theorist Major-General Sir Percy Hobart. During January 1940, the name of the unit was changed to the 7th Armoured Division. It was during this period that the nickname “Desert Rats" was coined.
The division fought in every major battle during the North African Campaign; later it would land and fight in Italy before being withdrawn to the United Kingdom where it prepared to fight in North West Europe. It began landing in Normandy during the afternoon of June 6 and fought its way across Europe ending the war in Kiel and Hamburg, Germany. The 7th Armoured Brigade was detached from the division during early 1942 and fought the Japanese during the fighting in Burma before it returned to the Mediterranean Theatre and fought in Italy.
Although the division was disbanded during the 1950s, the history, name and the famous 'Desert Rat’ flash is carried on by the 7th Armoured Brigade.