What was the role of colonial and Commonwealth batalions during the years of 1939 and 40? Did any of these divisions make it to the Battle of France?
How much of the British Empire was broughWhat was the role of British colonial and Commonwealth batalions during the years of 1939 and 40?
I know Australia played a role at least after the fall of France. The Battle/s of the Somme comes to mind.
I have written down what the Canadian Overseas forces were doing during 1939 and into 1940 in my series of post about the Canadian Corps overseas. If you wish you may look into my topic history to find the relevant information.
If you want info about the first British colonial unit that fought in WW2:
No Australian Infantry fought in Europe or Italy in WW2 as organised units. We sent the 6th Division to Egypt - fought in O’Connor’s Nth African Campaign (Bardia), Greece, Crete, Lebanon. 7th Division went to Syrian campaign. 9th Division - Rats of Tobruk, first and second battles of El Alamein. Confusion may be caused by the presence of the 18th & 25th Brigades in Britain to counter the possible German invasion. Both of these would come back and join the 7th Div.
That’s incredible!! I thought we had AT LEAST ONE organised group…
I’ve looked into your profile and definitely see you as more adapt with this info than I, so I am by no means disagreeing with you, but do you have links or whatnot to confirm this claim?
If you’ll accept Wikipedia, the entry for the 18th Australian Infantry Brigade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Brigade_(Australia)) reads in part:
Following training, the brigade was dispatched to the Middle East, departing from Melbourne in May 1940. However, while they were at sea they were diverted to the United Kingdom in order to help defend the island against a possible invasion by German forces following the Fall of France. After landing at Gourock, Scotland, the brigade moved south to Salisbury Plain where they undertook training and defensive duties. In the United Kingdom, the 18th Brigade provided a cadre to the newly formed 25th Brigade and became part of the 9th Division when it was raised in October 1940.
Later, when the threat of invasion of the United Kingdom decreased, the decision was made to transfer the Australian forces there to the Middle East. The 18th Brigade arrived there in early January 1941.
And the entry on the 25th Australian Infantry Brigade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25th_Brigade_(Australia)) reads in part:
The 25th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army that served during the Second World War. Raised in July 1940 and consisting of three infantry battalions, the 25th Brigade initially served in the United Kingdom, where it formed part of the garrison tasked with defending against a possible German invasion. In 1941, the brigade was redeployed to the Middle East where it took part in the Syria–Lebanon campaign fighting several actions around Merdjayounand Jezzine.
I know from family history the 25th Brigade’s activities. My father was posted to the 2/3rd Battalion in Egypt as a reinforcement but when the under strength 2/33rd arrived in Egypt he was posted to it to bring the battalion up to strength with Infantry. He has hoped to get ‘home’ to see the relatives.