So here's a look at the British/Imperial/etc. "army" in 1942 based on Joslen and a couple of other sources, in the following regions, and at the divisional level:
North America (Canada)
4th Division (converted to armor and to UK in 1942); Canadian 6th Division (activated 1942 for home service); Canadian 7th Division (1942/HS); Canadian 8th Division (1942/HS);
UK (note that most British infantry divisions transitioned to the "mixed" TO&E, with two infantry and one armoured brigade, in 1942-43, and then back to the standard three infantry brigades in 1943-44; the "churn" probably did not help overall readiness):
British Guards Armoured (formed 1941); 6th Armoured (formed 1940); 8th Armoured (formed 1940, to MENA 1942); 9th Armoured (formed 1940); 11th Armoured (formed 1941); 42nd (converted from infantry in 1941); 79th Armoured (formed 1942); Canadian 4th Armoured Division (arrived UK in 1942); Canadian 5th Armoured Division (arrived UK 1941 as 1st Armoured); Polish 1st Armoured (formed 1942)
British 1st Infantry, 2nd (to India, 1942), 3rd, 4th, 5th (to India, 1942), 15th, 38th (LE), 43rd, 44th (to MENA, 1942), 45th (LE), 46th, 47th (LE), 48th (LE), 49th (reformed, 1941), 51st (to MENA, 1942), 52nd (Mountain, 1942), 53rd, 54th (LE), 55th (LE, 1942), 56th (to MENA/Iraq, 1942), 59th, 61st, 76th (LE), 77th (LE); 78th (formed, 1942; to MENA/NA, 1942); 1st Airborne (formed 1941); Royal Marines Division (LE, 1942; disbanded 1943); Canadian 1st Division; Canadian 2nd Division; Canadian 3rd Division (arrived UK 1941),
MENA - i.e. North Africa/Balkans/SW Asia (Libya to Iran, basically)
British 7th Armoured; 10th Armoured (converted from 1st Cavalry in 1941); 6th/70th Infantry (formed 1941 as 6th, redesignated 70th in 1941, to India, 1942); 4th Indian; 5th Indian (to India in 1942); 6th Indian (LE); 8th Indian; 10th Indian; South African 1st South African 2nd (destroyed 1942); Australian 6th (to SWPA,1942); Australian 7th (to SWPA, 1942), Australian 9th; New Zealand 2nd; French 1st Division (LE; ~2 brigades); Polish Corps (1942, LE/training)
12th African LE, (disbanded 1943);
South African 3rd (formed 1940; one brigade served in Madagascar in 1942-43);
SEAC (India to Malaya)
Indian 1st Armoured (formed 1940, 31st in 1941; to MENA 1942); Indian 2nd Armoured (formed 1941, 32nd in 1941); Indian 43rd Armoured Division (formed 1942); 7th Indian (formed 1940); 14th Indian (formed 1941; destroyed (essentially) 1st Arakan, 1942-43); 17th Indian (formed 1941); 19th Indian (formed 1941); 20th Indian (formed 1942); 23rd Indian (formed 1942); 25th Indian (formed 1942); 26th Indian (formed 1942); 34th Indian (1942, Ceylon garrison/fortress);
1st Burma (formed 1941; destroyed 1942)
9th Indian (formed 1940); 11th Indian (formed 1940); Australian 8th (Malaya - 2 brigades; arrived 1941); British 18th Division (arrived 1941-42) all four destroyed in 1942
Southwest and South Pacific (Australia/Fiji/New Zealand)
Australian 1st Armoured (1941); 1st Cavalry Division (formed Dec., 1941, converted to 3rd Armoured, 1942); 2nd Cavalry Division (formed Dec. 1941; converted to 2nd Armoured, 1942); 1st Division (1941); 2nd Division (1941); 3rd Division (1941); 4th Division (1941); 5th Division (1942); 10th Division (formed/disbaned, 1942); 11th Division (formed 1942); 12th Division (formed 19420; New Zealand: 1st NZ Division (LE, 1942); 3rd NZ Division (LE, two brigades, Fiji); 4th NZ Division (LE, 1942); 5th NZ Division (LE, 1942);
So, in terms of "deployable" divisions that were raised in 1941 or earlier, in 1942, it looks like 22-23 British (four armoured, 16-17 infantry, including the 78th, 1 airborne, and 1 RM (LE), of which one armoured and six infantry went east in 1942, dropping the British total to three armoured and 11 infantry at home) and 1 Canadian armoured and three Canadian infantry in the UK; 2 armoured (more or less, rising to three armoured, more or less) and 10-11 infantry (more or less) in MENA; and three British and five Indian in SEAC (after five were destroyed in Malaya and Burma). In the Pacific, there were two AIF divisions, plus the various "local" Australian and New Zealand formations, but the vast majority of these could not have been deployed outside of the SWPA and SPA.
Call it ~48, more or less, from the UK to India, and including British, Indian, Australian, Canadian, South African, and New Zealand divisions; the Poles and Free French "divisions" were in existence, but suited for limited duty/operational training assignments than anything else.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 17 Feb 2022 03:34, edited 1 time in total.