Saturday, February 18, 2006

The "New" 7th Armoured Division

When the 7th Armoured Division was reconstituted after the arrival of the Tiger convoy, it had many new units below the brigade level. The armoured brigades were to be the 7th and the 4th. The 7th Armoured Brigade was equipped with two cruiser tank regiments and the 4th with two infantry tank regiments. The Support Group was now back with the 7th Armoured Division after being attached to the 2nd Armoured Division, which was destroyed in early 1941 in Cyrenaica and Greece.

While the British were reorganizing, the Germans were busy as well. The 5th Light Division was withdrawn from forward positions and their place was taken by the 15th Panzer Division. The 15th Panzer Division, in the forward area, consisted of the 8th Panzer Regiment (two battalions), the 33rd Reconnaissance unit (battalion-size), 1st Abteilung of the 33rd Artillery Regiment, 1st Battalion of the 104th Motor Infantry Regiment, 33rd Panzerjäger Battalion (12-50mm PAK 38 ATG's and 21-37mm PAK 35/36 ATG's), 15th Motorcycle Battalion, one AA battery (with 14-88mm FLAK 18 and FLAK 36 guns). In addition, the divisional commander had control of three Italian infantry battalions from the Trento Division and three Italian field artillery batteries.
This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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