|Engagements||Western Desert Campaign|
The brigade was formed in 1942 and sent to join the Afrika Korps in North Africa. Ramcke's unit fought during the Afrika Korps's assault towards the Suez Canal, fighting alongside the Italian 25 Infantry Division Bologna before British opposition solidified near the town of El Alamein. The British action resulted in the separation of the Brigade from German forces, and, lacking motorized transport, unable to move as fast as the battle lines. Taking heavy losses (about 450) fighting surrounded on all sides, they captured a British supply convoy carrying food and fuel, about which Ramcke later remarked the most welcome surprise was the tobacco and luxury goods. Using those trucks, about 600 survivors returned to German lines.
The brigade was then engaged in the Second Battle of El Alamein, later retreating into Tunisia. Ramcke was transferred back to Germany where he was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross, and command passed to Major Hans Kroh. The remaining brigade was part of the capitulation of German Panzer Army Afrika in May 1943.
Structure of the division in October of 1942: