Armies of the Second World War

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Army Data: East Africa

Having long since organized African natives into battalions of the King's African Rifles with British officers, the United Kingdom in 1939 lost no time in expanding those formations and creating African brigades and divisions.

East African brigades were utilized in the campaign against Italian East Africa in 1941 where they served with 11th and 12th African Divisions and 1st South African Division. Despite their performance in that campaign, the East (and West) African forces were deemed unsuitable for operations in North Africa or Europe. They remained in East Africa on garrison and training duties until later in the war when five brigades were transferred to the Indian theater where some saw action in Burma against the Japanese and others reverted to garrison assignments.

During the early stages of the war the East African brigades underwent considerable re-numbering which is reflected in this OB. All of the brigades are tracked individually throughout the war (with divisional attachments annotated), and, for purposes of accessing data in this OB, "East Africa" includes North Rhodesian and Sudanese formations.

More resources

Books about East African armies and and ground forces

East African units on file

1st Infantry X
2nd Infantry X
5th Infantry X
21st Infantry X
22nd Infantry X
25th Infantry X
26th Infantry X
27th Infantry X
28th Infantry X
29th Infantry X
30th Infantry X
31st Infantry X

North Rhodesian units on file

7th Infantry X
27th Infantry X

Sudanese units on file

1st SDF Infantry X
2nd SDF Infantry X




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21:50 on 19 January 2017