The Australian 1st Armoured Division was raised in 1941 as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). While the Division was originally to be deployed to North Africa in late 1941, it was retained in Australia following the outbreak of the Pacific War. The 1st Armoured Division formed a key element of Australia's defences against a feared Japanese invasion and was disbanded in Western Australia in September 1943.
The decision to form the 1st Armoured Division was inspired by the success of mass tank tactics in Europe during the early stages of World War II. The Australian War Cabinet approved the formation of an Armoured Division in November 1940 and 1st Armoured Division was established on July 1, 1941 under the command of Major General John Northcott. The Australian Armoured Corps was established at the same time, with the Corps being formally gazetted on 9 July 1941.
Upon its formation the 1st Armoured Division faced several key challenges. The formation of an armoured division involved a massive expansion of Australia's armoured forces, with the result that the great majority of the division’s officers and soldiers had to be trained from scratch in newly established armoured warfare schools. This process was greatly complicated by the tiny number of tanks which were available to the division, with the entire division having only 8 Vickers VI Light Tanks upon its formation. While the number of tanks available to the division slowly increased over 1941 and early 1942, it did not receive its full allocation of tanks until May 1942.
Дивизия входила в состав следующих объединений:
|19.12.1941 - 28.02.1942
||HQ Home Forces
|30.03.1942 - 30.03.1942 ?
|15.01.1943 - 14.09.1943
||III Australian Corps