Monday, August 11, 2014
The 7th Australian Division brigades in June 1941
The commander of the 21st Australian Infantry brigade had been found by General Lavarack from the 6th Australian Division in 1940. Brigadier Stevens had served in the Great War and in the militia until 1935. He had specialized in signals and had been in charge of the 6th Division signals organization in 1940 when he had been selected to form the 21st Brigade. In 1935, Brigadier Stevens had been appointed as a battalion commander, out of the militia. He had as long as nine months to train his brigade prior to the operation in Syria and Lebanon. His counterpart, Brigadier Baxter-Cox had only been appointed to the 25th Brigade in March 1941. Brigadier Baxter-Cox was an architect who had stayed involved with the militia after the Great War. He had been a 2nd Lieutenant in 1918 prior to the end of the war. He had been a militia brigade commander prior to being selected to form the 2/16th Battalion in 1940. The third brigade was an add-on to the 7th Australian Division. This was the 5th Indian Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Lloyd. He had recent experience in the Western Desert and in the Abyssinian campaign. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.