3rd Infantry Division (South Africa)

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The South African 3rd Infantry Division was an infantry division of the South African Army during World War II.


This division was formed in South Africa on 23 October 1940 with its headquarters based in Pretoria.

The 3rd Infantry Division never took an active part in any battles but instead organised and trained the South African home defence forces, performed garrison duties and supplied replacements for the South African 1st Infantry Division and the South African 2nd Infantry Division.

The division was based in Pretoria until 1942, whereafter the division then moved to Ermelo in the Eastern Transvaal, although its constituent units were deployed as far as the then South West Africa.

On 4 April 1942 the division was redesignated the South African 3rd Armoured Division. This division was disbanded on 17 May 1943, without ever having been deployed. However, one of the division's constituent units, the 7th Motorised Brigade, did take part in the invasion of Madagascar.

Major General Hermanus Botha was the commander of the division from 23 August 1940 until its redesignation.

Media related to Military history of South Africa at Wikimedia Commons