Divisional Histories

African Divisional Histories



There were five African divisional formations during the Second World War.

The 11 (African) Division and 12 (African) Division were both formed of East and West African units in 1940 and took part in the Abyssinia campaign in 1941. Both were disbanded after that campaign.

In 1943, an East African division, the 11 (East Africa) Infantry Division was formed in East Africa and then deployed to Burma. It was equipped to the standard infantry division establishment.

Two West African divisions, the 81 (West Africa) Infantry Division and 82 (West Africa) Infantry Division were both deployed to Burma where they fought in the Arakan. These formations were unique in the British Army in that they employed unarmed soldiers as porters, making the division very mobile in difficult country.

81 (West Africa) Infantry Division

An excellent history of this formation has been written recently. The details of the book are:

War Bush – 81 (West Africa) Division in Burma 1943 – 1945
By: John A. L. HAMILTON
Published by: Michael RUSSELL (Publishing) Limited, NORWICH (2001)
[ISBN 0 85955 267 5]

82 (West Africa) Infantry Division

I have written a concise history of his formation during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath. It is about sixty pages long. A link to an old copy of this document is provided below. A copy of the recently updated version can be obtained by contacting the webmaster using the Contact Pages on this website.
Go to http://www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk/contact.html