X Corps (United Kingdom)


X Corps (United Kingdom)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=X Corps


caption=
dates=World War I and World War II
country=United Kingdom
allegiance=
branch=British Army
type=Field corps
role=
size=
command_structure=
current_commander=
garrison=
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=
notable_commanders= William Holmes
William Peyton
Herbert Lumsden
Brian Horrocks
Richard McCreery
Thomas Morland
anniversaries=

The X Corps was a British Army formation in World War I and was later reformed in 1942 during the North African campaign of World War II as part of the Eighth Army.

World War I

X Corps was active in Flanders. In 1917, X Corps, under Lt General Stephens, formed a part of the Second Army and comprised 29th and 30th Divisions. In the fall of 1917, the corps was commanded by Thomas Morland during the Battle of Messines. In May and June of 1918, it was commanded by William Peyton. [ [http://www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/donkey/peyton.htm William Eliot Peyton] at the web site of the CENTRE FOR FIRST WORLD WAR STUDIES online at bham.ac.uk (accessed 19 January 2008)]

World War II

North Africa

X Corps was reformed in 1940, during the Second World War, and was first commanded on active service in Syria by Major General W. G. Holmes. In 1942, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery decided it should join Eighth Army to become a mobile corps to exploit infantry breakthroughs in North Africa. It then comprised two armoured divisions (1st and 10th) with parts of a third (8th) divided between them, and the New Zealand Division. From 1942, its commander was Lieutenant General Herbert Lumsden, albeit not Montgomery's preferred choice. Lumsden was later dismissed because of a perceived reluctance to pursue the retreating Afrika Korps and replaced by Brian Horrocks.

X Corps were heavily involved at the Second Battle of El Alamein. The original plan was to be simultaneous attacks by XXX Corps and XIII Corps to clear corridors for X Corps' armour to exploit. Events affected the plan and on the 5 October, it was decided to attack simultaneously with both XXX and X Corps.

The New Zealanders rapidly captured Miteirya Ridge. While XIII Corps pressed forward, X Corps was to strike northwestwards to distract and defeat Rommel's Panzers. By November 4, X Corps was in full pursuit, but heavy rain bogged the armour down and Rommel escaped.

The corps was active through the remainder of the campaign with Eighth Army until the Axis forces surrender in Tunisia in May 1943.

Italy and Greece

The Corps was not involved in the Sicily campaign but became part Lieutenant-General Mark Clark's US Fifth Army to take part in the landings at Salerno, Italy on 9 September 1943. Here it was commanded by Lieutenant-General Richard McCreery. After Salerno it continued to fight on the Fifth Army's left wing including taking part in the first Battle of Monte Cassino in January 1944.

In the spring of 1944 the corps was relieved by the French Expeditionary Corps (1943-1944) and switched back to the Eighth Army taking position on the right of XIII Corps. The corps had a minor role in the fourth and decisive battle of Cassino but was involved in the Allied advance north through the summer to the German Gothic Line defences.

In September 1944 the corps played a holding role on the left flank of Eighth Army during "Operation Olive", the autumn offensive on the Gothic Line.

In November 1944 command of X Corps was taken by Lieutenant-General John Hawkesworth when Richard McCreery was promoted to command Eighth Army.

When the Axis forces withdrew from Greece, from October British troops under Lieutenant-General Ronald Scobie were sent there to maintain internal stability. In late 1944 Hawkesworth and X Corps HQ were sent to Greece to assume control of military operations so that Scobie could concentrate more on the highly complex and sensitive political aspects of the British involvement. [Mead (2007), p. 197]

By March 1945 Hawkesworth and his HQ had returned to Italy. X Corps was in a reserve role and not involved in the Allies' final offensive in April 1945 culminating with the surrender of Axis forces in Italy in early May.

By this time it had become apparent that Hawkesworth was suffering from a serious heart condition. He died on the way home to Britain, when he suffered a heart attack while on board his troopship which lay at Gibraltar, on 3 June, 1945.

External links

* [http://www.milhist.net/ordbat/10corpsbr.html Order of battle, 29 September 1943]

ources

*cite book
last = Keegan
first = John
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Churchill's Generals
publisher = Cassell
date = 1991
location = London
pages = pp 153-155
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-304-36712-5

*cite book |title=Churchill's Lions: A Biographical Guide to the Key British Generals of World War II |last=Mead |first=Richard |year=2007 |publisher=Spellmount |location=Stroud |isbn=978-1-86227-431-0

References


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