Sunday, October 08, 2006

The British forces for the Crusader Battle

The British had a assembled a great army for the Crusader Battle, and placed great hopes on the outcome. This list of forces is drawn from Vol.III of the Official History: The Mediterranean and Middle East, Vol.III (September 1941 to September 1942), subtitled "British Fortunes reach their Lowest Ebb":

30th Corps (Lieutenant-General Norrie)
Orders: "To advance north-west, find and destroy the enemy's armour,
and protect the left flank of the 13th Corps"
7th Armoured Division (Major-General Gott)
7th and 22nd Armoured Brigades
4th Armoured Brigade Group (Brigadier Gatehouse)

Orders: "To protect the communications of the 7th Armoured Division
on the west and south-west; later to capture the
Sidi Rezegh ridge"
1st South African Division (Major-General Brink)
1st and 5th South African Infantry Brigades

Orders: "To protect the communications, supply dumps and landing
grounds in the 30th Corps' area"
22nd Guards Brigade (Brigadier Marriott)

13th Corps (Lieutenant-General Godwin-Austen)
Orders: "To pin down and cut off the enemy's troops on the
Egyptian frontier; later to advance west"
New Zealand Division (Major-General Freyberg)
4th, 5th, and 6th New Zealand Infantry Brigades
4th Indian Division (Major-General Messervy)
5th, 7th, and 11th Indian Infantry Brigades
1st Army Tank Brigade (Brigadier Watkins)

Tobruk Garrison (Major-General Scobie, 70th Division commander)
Orders: "To make a sortie when ordered"
70th Division (Major-General Scobie)
14th, 16th, and 23rd Infantry Brigades
Polish Carpathian Infantry Brigade Group (Major-General Kopansky)
32nd ARmy Tank Brigade (Brigadier Willison)

Oasis Force (Brigadier Reid)
Orders: "To secure Jarabub, advance to protect landing-ground 125,
and seize Jalo"
29th Infantry Brigade Group
6th South African Armoured Car Regiment

Army Reserve
2nd South African Division (Major-General de Villiers)
3rd, 4th, and 6th South African Infantry Brigades

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