Sunday, April 03, 2005
The Commonwealth forces in the Middle East in early 1940
The 16th Australian and 4th New Zealand brigades arrived in the Middle Eastern theater in February 1940. The theater commander was General Wavell, and another thing happened in February: Wavell's command responsibilities were expanded to cover a wide area, from the Balkans to East Africa, to Iran and Iraq. His divisions included 7th Armoured, 6th British infantry, 1st Cavalry (yeomanry regiments), 6th Australian, New Zealand, and the 4th Indian. They were all undermanned and equipped. This was just before the entry of Italy into the war.