Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

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Admiral Bloonbeard
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Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Admiral Bloonbeard » 30 Sep 2021 21:38

The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?

RandJS
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by RandJS » 30 Sep 2021 22:42

Hi,

My father was in North Africa. He did not like to talk about the war, but did say he was never hotter --or colder--than when in Africa.
This coming from a man who worked as a baker in his post war years.

Regards,
RandJS

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Admiral Bloonbeard
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Admiral Bloonbeard » 01 Oct 2021 03:12

RandJS wrote:
30 Sep 2021 22:42
Hi,

My father was in North Africa. He did not like to talk about the war, but did say he was never hotter --or colder--than when in Africa.
This coming from a man who worked as a baker in his post war years.

Regards,
RandJS
Which armed force did he serve in?

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Urmel
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Urmel » 01 Oct 2021 12:02

Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
There was very little fighting at night.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

RandJS
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by RandJS » 11 Oct 2021 00:06

Hello Admiral Bloonbeard,

Sorry for late reply, I missed your post. My father was in US Army.

Regards,
RandJS

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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Richard Sands » 11 Oct 2021 07:44

RandJS wrote:
11 Oct 2021 00:06
Hello Admiral Bloonbeard,

Sorry for late reply, I missed your post. My father was in US Army.

Regards,
RandJS
He was lucky that he was not fighting there during the Hot summer months, June to September.

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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Richard Sands » 11 Oct 2021 07:53

Urmel wrote:
01 Oct 2021 12:02
Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
There was very little fighting at night.
Apart from Alamein, wadi Akarit, Mareth etc.

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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 11 Oct 2021 10:13

Urmel wrote:
01 Oct 2021 12:02
Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
There was very little fighting at night.
There were night attacks during major operations. NZ troops bayonetted German wounded during night ops claiming handicap since they couldn't see and had to be sure that they weren't fired on from behind.

Cheers
Sandeep

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Urmel
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Urmel » 11 Oct 2021 11:11

Richard Sands wrote:
11 Oct 2021 07:53
Urmel wrote:
01 Oct 2021 12:02
Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
There was very little fighting at night.
Apart from Alamein, wadi Akarit, Mareth etc.
It's easy to get fixated on the outliers because they are so well described.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Richard Sands
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Richard Sands » 11 Oct 2021 15:00

Which 'Outliers' are those?

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Urmel
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Urmel » 11 Oct 2021 19:27

The outlier operations that happened at night.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Sheldrake » 12 Oct 2021 08:45

Urmel wrote:
01 Oct 2021 12:02
Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
There was very little fighting at night.
Apart from the decivisve battle of El Alamein.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/KvFNJprNZpc?t=1575[/youtube]

In one of Montgomery's test exercises for his Vth Corps in winter 1940-41 he wanted to see if an infantry division could be used by night to carry put the kind of move an armloured diviison might carry out by day. The exercise took plaxce in Hampshire and Wiltshire and was given a desert setting. Maps were issued which did not show roads or woodland.

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Urmel
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by Urmel » 12 Oct 2021 14:04

Horses and Zebras.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by jwsleser » 13 Oct 2021 01:47

Admiral Bloonbeard wrote:
30 Sep 2021 21:38
The Northern African desert is famous for being hot and often the hot weather is a popular part of pop culture depictions of the North African theater. However at night, the desert gets cold. How did fighting conditions feel like at night in North Africa?
It isn't a question of the actual temperature, it is a question of the difference of temperature between night and day. Cold at night in NA might be bloody balmy temp wise, in the 70º-80ºsF. If you are outside for days/weeks in daytime temps of 100º+F and the nighttime drops to 70ºF, you are cold. Your body becomes accustomed the higher daytime temp, so a 30-40º drop at night is cold. If you are near the coast, you get the moist air from the Med. which dampens the air. If in the winter the daytime temps are only in the 70ºF and they drop to 50ºF at night, you are cold.

Add in not getting enough to eat, not enough sleep (because you are cold among other reasons), possibly being dehydrated, and the drop makes your feel even colder. Add in wind to wick away your body heat...

That is why you see all those pictures of soldiers wearing overcoats in the desert. Been there, done that. I slept in a sleeping bag during the summer in the desert.

Pista! Jeff
Last edited by jwsleser on 13 Oct 2021 13:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nighttime conditions in North Africa during World War 2

Post by John Hilly » 13 Oct 2021 12:51

Urmel wrote:
12 Oct 2021 14:04
Horses and Zebras.
Meaning?
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

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