Tuesday, August 31, 2010
British forces after the three day battle (circa 18 July 1942)
The British had considerable strength left on 18 July 1942, after three days of fighting where they took losses. They had two infantry divisions at nearly full strength: the 1st South African and the 9th Australian Divisions. The New Zealand Division and the 5th Indian Division had both been reduced to two brigades. The 7th Armoured Division was being reconstituted as a mechanized division, with the 4th Light Armoured Brigade, the 7th Motor Brigade, and the 69th Infantry Brigade. The 1st Armoured Division still had a strong tank force: 61 Grants, 81 Crusaders, and 31 Stuarts. There were also two independent brigade groups available: the 161st Indian Motor Brigade and the 23rd Armoured Brigade. The latter brigade was equipped primarily with Valentine tanks, along with Matilda close support tanks. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.