Commonwealth Tank Numbers for Operation CRUSADER

The origin of this information is WO216/15, which contains a number of minutes addressed to Churchill in relation to Operation CRUSADER. It is a treasure trove of information. The table maybe dated from mid- to late October, although the document in which it was contained was sent to Churchill on 16 November. It may reflect that information present in Whitehall was outdated. On the other hand, it could be reasonably up-to-date, with only other elements of the table (such as commanders’ names) not having been updated. There is simply no way to tell.

Location/Type ‘I’ Tanks Cruisers UK Light Cruisers US Total Cruisers Total Tanks
Western Desert

Operational with units

189

372

166

538

727

Immediate Reserve

38

29

32

61

99

Subtotal Western Desert

227

401

198

599

826

Under repair or inspection in workshops, in Delta, not unloaded

48

66

98

164

212

Total in Egypt/Western Desert

275

467

296

763

1,038

Location or Type Light Tanks Light Recce Vehicles Armoured Cars Total Light Armoured Vehicles or Tanks
Western Desert

Operational with units

94

701

75

870

Immediate Reserve

0

0

0

0

Subtotal Western Desert

94

701

75

870

Under repair or inspection in workshops, in Delta, not unloaded

14

132

22

168

Total in Egypt/Western Desert

108

833

97

1,038

Notes:

‘I’ tanks are Matilda II and Valentine tanks.

British cruisers are containing all marks of cruisers, with a large number of the latest model, the Crusader.

US light cruisers (this is the text in the document) are M3 ‘Honey’ tanks.

Light tanks are probably Vickers Mk. VI

Light armoured vehicles would be Marmon Herrington armoured cars and similar, armed with light machine guns and anti-tank rifles.

Armoured cars, I have no idea.

2 thoughts on “Commonwealth Tank Numbers for Operation CRUSADER

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