The multinational battle

Crusader was unusual in that it brought together a vast number of nationalities in a battle where almost none of them had anything to do with the place they fought over in the first instance. A total of three nationalities on the Axis side, and another 10 on the Allied side.

If anybody has further info on No. 272 Squadron (Blenheims) which seems to have contained a good number of Belgiums, please email me.

On the Axis side:

Ground Forces
Germans (15th, 21st Panzer, Div. z.b.V. Afrika/90th Light)
Italians (Armoured Div. Ariete, Mot. Div. Trieste, Trento, Inf. Div. Bologna, Brescia, Pavia, Sabratha, Savona)
Libyans (native troops, auxiliaries)

Air Forces

Naval Units
German (submarines, MFP lighters)

On the Commonwealth side
(counting formations at least battalion size or large naval units from destroyer or up or air units from Squadron up):

British (1st and 7th Armoured, 70th Infantry)
Indian (4th Infantry)
South African (1st and 2nd Infantry)
New Zealand (Infantry)

British (22nd Guards, 1st and 32nd Army Tank)
Polish (Carpathian Brigade)
Free French (Groupe Larminat – official name apparently Corps Francais du Western Desert) involved in the end of the siege of Halfaya

Australian (2/13)
Czechoslovak (under command of the Polish Brigade)

Air Squadrons:
British (various)
South African (various)
Rhodesian (No. 237 Squadron, engaged in tactical recce)
French (Groupe de Bombardement ‘Lorraine’ from the start and later Groupe de Chasse Alsace)
Greek No.335
Australian (No. 450 Army Co-Operation)

Naval Units:

British (various)
Australian (Cruiser HMAS Hobart, Destroyers HMAS Nestor, Nizam, and Napier, Sloops HMAS Parramatta and Yarra)
Dutch (Destroyer HrMS Isaac Sweers, submarines)
Polish (submarine ORP Sokol)
Greek (Destroyer Panther of 1911 vintage, Torpedo-boat Niki of 1906 vintage, and the modern Kondouriotis and maybe Spetsai – ironically, the latter two built to Dardo-class specifications in Italian shipyards in the early 1930s)
South African (22nd and 25th A/S Groups with 7 whalers in total, 166th, 167th M/S groups of converted whalers)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s