Operation Crusader order of battle

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This is the order of battle for the ground forces involved in Operation Crusader, a World War II battle between the British Commonwealth and the European Axis Powers of Germany and Italy in North Africa between 18 November – 30 December 1941.

British and Commonwealth Forces[edit]

Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command: General Claude Auchinleck

British Eighth Army[edit]

Lieutenant-General Alan Cunningham, succeeded on 26 November by Lieutenant-General Neil Ritchie

XXX Corps[edit]

Lieutenant-General Willoughby Norrie

XIII Corps[edit]

Lieutenant-General Reade Godwin-Austen

Tobruk Fortress[edit]

Major-General Ronald Scobie

Oasis Force[edit]

Brigadier Denys Reid

Army Reserve[edit]

German and Italian forces[edit]

Supreme Commander North Africa: General Ettore Bastico

Italian XX Corps (Corpo d'Armata di Manovra - Mobile Corps)[edit]

Lieutenant-General Gastone Gambara
  • Corps assets:
    • Three batteries of truck-mounted 102mm AA/AT guns[1]
  • 132nd Armoured Division Ariete (General Mario Balotta)
    • 32nd Armoured Regiment
      • I Light Tank Battalion
      • II Light Tank Battalion
    • 132nd Armoured Regiment
      • VII Medium Tank Battalion
      • VIII Medium Tank Battalion
      • IX Medium Tank Battalion
    • 8th Bersaglieri regiment
    • 132nd Artillery Regiment[2]
    • One battalion attached from the 26th Artillery Regiment, Pavia division[3]
    • One battalion attached from the 24th Corps Artillery Group[4]
  • 101st Motorised Division Trieste
    • 65th Infantry Regiment
    • 66th Infantry Regiment
    • 9th Bersaglieri Regiment
    • 551st Heavy Weapons Battalion
    • 21st Artillery Regiment
  • RECAM (Raggruppamento Esplorante del Corpo d'Armata di Manovra - Reconnaissance Group of the Mobile Army Corps)
    • III Light Tank Battalion (attached from the 32nd Armoured Regiment, Ariete division)
    • LII Medium Tank Battalion
    • "Romolo Gessi" Battalion, Italian Africa Police[5]
    • "Giovani Fascisti" Infantry Group (2 bns)
    • Raggruppamento Batterie Volanti ("Portees" - truck mounted - Artillery Group)[6]

Panzer Group Afrika[edit]

General der Panzertruppe Erwin Rommel

German Afrika Korps (commanded by Generalleutnant Ludwig Crüwell)

  • 15th Panzer Division (Generalmajor Walter Neumann-Silkow until 6 December (killed in action), then Generalmajor Gustav von Vaerst)
    • 8th Panzer Regiment (2 bns)
    • 1st Battalion, 115th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Machinegun Battalion
    • 3rd Engineers Battalion
    • 33rd Recon Battalion
    • 33rd Anti-tank Battalion
    • 33rd Artillery Regiment
  • 21st Panzer Division (Generalmajor Johann von Ravenstein until 29 November (prisoner of war), then Generalmajor Karl Böttcher)
    • 5th Panzer Regiment (2 bns)
    • 104th Infantry Regiment (2 bns)
    • 15th Motorcycle Battalion
    • 3rd Recon Battalion
    • 200th Engineers Battalion
    • 39th Anti-Tank Battalion
    • 605th Anti-Tank Battalion
    • 155th Artillery Regiment
  • Special Purpose Division Afrika (Renamed 90th Light Africa Division from 28 November 1941) (Generalmajor Max Sümmermann until 10 December (killed in action), then Generalmajor Richard Veith)
    • 2nd Battalion, 115th Infantry Regiment
    • 155th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
    • 3rd Battalion, 255th Infantry Regiment
    • 3rd Battalion, 347th Infantry Regiment
    • 361st Infantry Regiment (2 bns)
    • 900th Engineers Battalion
    • 580th Recon Battalion
    • Elements from the 300th "Oasis" Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion,115th Motor Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Motor Artillery Regiment (Italian)
  • 55th Infantry Division Savona (General Fedele de Giorgis)
    • 15th Infantry Regiment
    • 16th Infantry Regiment
    • "Genova Cavalleria" Machinegun Battalion
    • 155th Machinegub Battalion
    • Elements, from the 300th "Oasis" Battalion (German)
    • 12th Artillery Regiment[7]

Italian XXI Corps[edit]

Lieutenant-General Enea Navarini
  • Corps assets:
    • 3rd Motor Artillery Regiment[8]
    • 16th Corps Artillery Group[9]
    • 8th Army Artilley Group[10]
    • 24th Army Artilley Group[11]
    • 340th Frontier Guards Artillery Group[12]
    • 340th Frontier Guards Engineers Battalion
  • 17th Infantry Division Pavia
    • 27th Infantry Regiment
    • 28th Regiment Pavia
    • V Light Tank Battalion
    • "Lancieri d'Aosta" Machinegun Battalion
    • 17th Heavy Weapons Battalion
    • 26th Artillery Regiment[13]
  • 25th Infantry Division Bologna
    • 39th Infantry Regiment
    • 40th Infantry Regiment
    • 25th Heavy Weapons Battalion
    • 205th Artillery Regiment[14]
  • 27th Infantry Division Brescia
    • 19th Infantry Regiment
    • 20th Infantry Regiment

27th Machinegun Battalion


  1. ^ Naval Blackshirts crews
  2. ^ Two 75L28 battalions
  3. ^ One 75L28 battalion
  4. ^ One 105L28 battalion
  5. ^ Two motorcycle and one armoured cars companies
  6. ^ Two battalions with 65L17, one battery wiyj 100L17 and one battery with 20L65 light AA/AT)
  7. ^ Two 75L28 and one 100L17 battalions
  8. ^ One 100L17 and two 75L27 battalions
  9. ^ Three 105L28 battalions
  10. ^ One 149L28, one 149L40 and one 152L37 battalions
  11. ^ Four 149L35 battalions
  12. ^ Four 75L28 battalions
  13. ^ One 75L28 and one 100L17 battalions
  14. ^ Two 75L28 and one 100L17 battalions
  15. ^ Two 75L28 battalions
  16. ^ Two 75L28 and one 100L17 battalions


External links[edit]