After the airborne assault of Crete in 1941, where Hitler used the deployment of Fallschirmjagers in order to capture the island under the codename Operation Mercury, various remaining Fallschirmjager units were regrouped to form a brigade under the command of Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke. The newly formed brigade was planned to be involved in Operation Hercules; the invasion of Malta but plans were cancelled. The brigade named Fallschirmjager-Brigade Afrika was set to be deployed in North Afrika to support the Deutches Afrika Korps (DAK) under the command of Erwin Rommel.
In April 1942 the brigade was renamed Fallschirmjager-Brigade Ramcke taking the name of it's commander. Three months later in July 1942 the brigade arrived in North Afrika acting as a counter attack against the Special Air Service (SAS) which had previously being carrying out a successful campaign against German forces in Africa. Ramcke's brigade next took part in the DAK assault towards the Suez Canal, in this assault they fought alongside the DAK and the Italian 25th Infantry Division Bologna. The brigade fought as British troops strengthened the town El Alamein.
The brigade was then also used in the Second Battle of El Alamein, which resulted in the withdrawal of the remaining German troops, the division became cut off and trapped behind enemy lines. On November 3 1942 the division began to march west in the hope of joining up with the rest of the retreating German troops, in the process it is estimated around 450 of the brigade died due to lack of supply from the German High Command. A few days later on the night of the 6th November 1942 the brigade stumbled across a British 8th Army supply convoy, which consisted of a large number of transportation vehicles and included much needed supplies such as food, tobacco. water and fuel. The brigade captured the convoy without firing a shot then continued heading west where they met the remainder of the axis forces, in total they had travelled over 200 miles in order to link up with them.
The brigade was transported to Tunisia for rest and renamed Luftwaffen-Jager-Brigade 1. With the allied forces pressing on Tunisia the brigade was sent back to the front line. Ramcke the commander of the brigade was transferred back to Europe and Major Hans Kroh took command of the Brigade. The brigade was involved in heavy fighting in and around the mountainous terrain of Southern Tunisia. In May 1943 the Panzer-Armee Afrika collapsed, surrendering to the Allies, as a result of this the Brigade ceased fighting.
One of the veterans of the brigade Friedrich August Von der Heydte went on to command Fallschirmjager Regiment 6 near the town of Carentan in the Normandy campaign of 1944. Ramcke took command of the defence of Brest where he managed to hold out till 20 September 1944; he was responsible for the evacuation of over 40,000 civilians from the town.