wwilson wrote: ↑
05 May 2020 13:38
Regarding countries other than Great Britain, IIRC:
Canada -- Three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions, two armoured brigades, and a para battalion saw action in Italy and NW Europe. Also lost an infantry battalion at Hong Kong.
New Zealand -- 2 to 3 divisions, of which one was in action at any time (may be wrong about that). Action in Italy, and ... ?
South Africa -- a handful of divisions, but IIRC only one was in action at any given time. Action in E Africa, N Africa, and Italy.
... and there were about 3 (?) infantry divisions formed from East and West African troops. Action in E Africa and India / Burma.
Canada - The Canadians lost two infantry battalions in Hong Kong, Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles of Canada. Total personnel of "C Force" 1963 officers and men; the contingent arrived at Hong Kong on Nov. 16, 1941, and increased the total number of infantry battalions in the colony from four to six, but given the IJA's strength, calling it a forlorn hope is charitable.
Keeping the two battalions in Canada in 1941 but earmarked for service in the UK and points east later in the war, and using the same shipping that carried the troops to Hong Kong to evacuate two of the four British and Indian battalions to Malaya would have made more sense; C Force's deployment was not quite the reinforcement of failure that the shipment of the British 18th Division to Singapore in 1942 was, but it came close.
If one takes the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles of Canada, and add in the personnel who (historically) went into the 1st Parachute Battalion and the Canadian elements of the 1st Special Service Force, that's pretty close to a brigade of infantry, which Crerar et al
certainly could have used in Europe in 1942-45, whether as formed units or simply trained replacements who were volunteers, rather than the NRMA "zombies" who had to be sent overseas in 1944-45 to keep the Canadian infantry battalions up to strength, historically.
New Zealand - 2nd Division was in action in the Mediterranean from 1941; the 3rd Division as formed (at 2/3rds strength, roughly) and served in the South Pacific in 1942-43, before being broken up for replacements and integration back into the home forces in NZ proper.
South Africa - 1st and 2nd divisions were formed in 1940-41, and saw action in east Africa and north Africa in 1941-42; in 1942, both divisions were in action in Egypt-Libya, and the South Africans suffered higher losses - roughly 50 percent, meaning the entire 2nd Division- than any other "Dominion" armed force. What was left was reformed as the South African 6th Armoured Division in 1943-44 and fought in Italy to the end of the war.
African "colonial" divisions - two each formed in 1940-41 (1st/11th and 2nd/12th) and two more (81st, 82nd) in 1943-44; the first two both served in East Africa in 1940-42, and then the 11th, 81st, and 82nd all went to India and SEAC in 1943-45.