Although Britain's support of the European exile governments and their armed forces during WW II is fairly well known, the realities of the manpower the exiled governments could call meant that even as late as the 1944 campaigns in northwestern Europe that the ground forces (as opposed to naval, merchant marine, or even air forces, and various special operations units) these governments could put into action were limited. The British had sustained two light divisions under De Gaulle in 1940-42, but these were both folded into the French forces organized under the FCNL government in Algiers after TORCH and the ANFA conference. This left the largest Allied ground forces supported (more or less) directly by the British as (depending upon how one counts) either the Polish Army (in the west) or the Italian Cobelligerent Army. In terms of combat formations, those two forces amounted to three Polish divisions by 1944 (1st armoured and 3rd and 5th infantry) and saw action in Italy and northwestern Europe, although the 3rd and 5th were "light" (two brigade) formations for much of the war. The Poles also organized two separate brigades (one armoured and one parachute) that saw action in 1944, and in 1945, were able to bring both infantry divisions to three-brigade strength with liberated manpower (LMP). A second armored division was also raised, but very late in the war. The Italians provided the manpower for six light divisions in 1944-45 (Cremona, Folgore, Friuli, Legnano, Mantova, and Piceno), five of which saw action in Italy. After that, the Belgians, Czechs, and Dutch all provided cadre for a brigade each, which were built up in 1944-45 with liberated manpower, and saw action in northwest Europe; the Belgians mobilized a number of separate battalions (light infantry, military police, etc.) with liberated manpower, and were training the cadre for another 4-6 "line" brigades in the UK by VE Day. The Dutch raised some similar security type forces from LMP, and an entire brigade was in training in the US for the Pacific by VJ Day. The Greek forces, which had provided two brigades for the North African campaign in 1942, were reduced to a single brigade that saw action in Italy in 1944 and then transferred to Greece. The Norwegians, Danes, and Yugoslavs provided various special operations personnel; Luxembourg raised a battery that served with the Belgian forces. Likewise, the Imperial and Colonial forces that were supported by Britain - either directly, like the Indian Army and the African colonial forces - or indirectly, like the Australians, Canadians, South Africans, New Zealanders, etc. were limited by a variety of political and economic needs. In the political and economic sense, this was demonstrated clearly by the limits all the Dominion governments put on mobilization, because of domestic political opposition to sending draftees overseas, the need for manpower in the Dominions' agricultural and industrial sectors, or both. As far as the Empire and colonies went, political realities in India and Africa precluded conscription, and there was an obvious shortage of trained/educated manpower in the Indian and African pools; obviously, the racism inherent in the Western world in the 1940s came into play as well, directly during the war or indirectly beforehand, in terms of limiting the pool of trained labor. In the case of the Indian Army, the forces that were raised historically and deployed out of India presumably were the realistic limit; the same appears to hold true for the African colonial forces deployed outside of Africa. One other point worth making: it was rare for an Allied/exile unit (battalion, etc.) to be attached to a larger Allied formation (brigade/division), so the concept of an "interallied" formation was pretty limited. A Czech battalion was attached to one of the Polish brigades in North Africa, for example, but that was fairly rare - the exile governments all preferred to keep "national" formations. So, given all the above, the question is could the British have made more of the manpower they had access to in territories within their control, or could they have brought additional Allied forces into the field ... by 1943, in Europe, whether northwestern (1st Army Group) or southern (15th Army Group and/or III Corps in Greece)? Some options: British Mediterranean territories - Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus: Local forces were raised in all three, and saw action and appear to have been quite effective in Malta; the issue in all three was that as British forces (or Imperial, like the Australians in Cyprus) were withdrawn, the local forces had to pick up their duties, as well as sustain the base facilities that made all three territories worth defending in the first place. Obviously, both Gibraltar and Malta had small population bases to draw upon, so other than individual volunteers or very specialized small units, neither presumably could have contributed much for operations - perhaps a field battery raised from the RMA. Worth noting is that an RMA battalion served in Germany as part of the British Army's NATO contingent for much of the 1960s, so presumably any legalities could have been addressed. Cyprus is an interesting case; the population was much larger, of course, and almost 30,000 Cypriots served in a mix of units, recruited from both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations, and for both local service (in Cyprus) and overseas service; Cypriot personnel served in France in as early as 1940, and after that, in Greece, the eastern Med/Levant, North Africa, and Italy. From what I've been able to find, however, the Cyprus Regiment did not actually send its designated combat infantry overseas as such; instead the Cypriot troops served as pioneers, transport, service/supply units, etc. With a force of roughly 10,000 "active" Cyprus Regiment personnel at its height in 1944, and as many as 20,000 "local" Cyprus Volunteer force personnel, at least one "line" battalion (1st Battalion, Cyprus Regiment?) for overseas combat service seems possible. Mandatory Palestine - The history of the Mandate is long and contested, and given the politics, very challenging to delve into ... that being said, in 1944, three infantry battalions (1st-3rd battalions, the Palestine Regiment, from the Jewish segment of the population) were recruited - quite quickly, once the go-ahead was given - and provided the maneuver elements of a brigade group that served under British command in Italy in 1944-45, and quite effectively, from the available record. The brigade included some supporting units recruited in Palestine (an engineer company, a field artillery battery, etc.) although the supporting elements (including the 200th (Field) Regiment, RA) included a lot of British personnel. Auxiliary Forces under British command - Examples would be the Arab Legion, TransJordan Frontier Force, Iraqi Levies, and Aden Protectorate Levies; these were (largely) local defense forces with (mostly) British officers, and subject to varying levels of local control. However, all four organizations operated under British control during the war, with varying levels of effectiveness. Iraqi Levy volunteers formed a parachute company that served with British troops in the Aegean, Greece, and Italy in 1944-45, and a motorized battalion raised from the Arab Legion/TJFF for service in the Med (Italy, presumably) was considered in roughly the same period, but ultimately was not formed. At one point, the Iraqi Levies numbered in the thousands, and the minority populations (Assyrian Christians, for example) were well regarded, and formed specialized units (the Parachute Company, for one). Local forces raised by the British - During the British occupation of both (at the time) Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, various local forces were raised under British command for security and garrison duties; these included the Libyan Arab forces in Libya, which had served alongside the 8th Army in the 1940-42 campaigns. Whether more could have been done or not with these troops is a question; the Italian colonial troops in East Africa - Eritreans and Somalis, for example - seem to have been well-regarded by the British during the 1940-41 campaign, and seem a possible source for manpower. Allied (or eventually Alilied forces not otherwise tasked - The obvious example here are the Ethiopians, who had fought alongside the British and Allied forces in the East African campaign. Once the Italians surrendered, there was a need for local security and garrison forces to sustain the restored government, but as the Kagnew Battalion showed in Korea, there was a potential cadre for active service in combat that presumably could have been tasked in 1944-45 with the same level of success it was in 1950-53. There are other potential sources, as well, but they get more problematic for obvious reasons. The Egyptian Army, for example, had served as what can be best described as a home defense force in 1940-45, and seem to have been effective enough in those roles (AA, for example), but anything more would presumably have required major changes in Egyptian politics in 1943-45. So there are the options for "national" service ... a brigade (more or less) from Palestine, perhaps a battalion each from Cyprus and Ethiopia, and some smaller elements from elsewhere, but that's about it. There is another possibility, of course, one not unknown to British history - purely mercenary units, along the lines of the Gurkhas (or, going to the Nineteenth Century, the abortive German, Swiss, and Italian legions of the Crimean war). Given the vagaries of the Empire (British territories, dependencies, protectorates, etc.), presumably the legalities could have addressed, as they were for the Gurkhas historically (and the French Foreign Legion, for that matter). Finding officers and technicians would have been challenging, depending where the rank and file was recruited, along with the language of command, but could a "Gurkha Rifles" equivalent - recruited from any or all of the places and manpower pools suggested above - been a reality? There were certainly serving British officers with (presumably) the necessary outlook - Wingate comes to mind immediately, but there were others. Thoughts?