British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

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Richard Anderson
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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 May 2020 19:26

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Apr 2020 05:59
Here is a partial list of the British ground combat divisions I scratched together a few years ago. Any corrections or reliable sources would be welcome.

I'm counting 35 of these units formed, with one disbanded in 1941 & seven more disbanded in 1943. That leaves 27 standing 1944-45. Three appear to have remained training or 'Reserve' units through 1945, so 23 actually in combat 1944-45. Or 84% of the 32 intended. In this I don't know how the independent brigades should be counted.

1 Inf Formed in UK prewar. To Africa March 1943.
3 Inf Formed in UK prewar. To France June 1944.
4 Inf Formed in UK prewar. To Africa March 1943
5 Inf Formed in UK prewar. To india May 1942. ME Aug 1942. To Sicily July 1943. To NW Europe 1945
6 Inf Formed in Egypt 1939. Palestine & India March 1940. To Egypt Oct 1941. to India March 1942. Disolved 1943.
7 Inf Formed in Palestine, c, September 1938. Moved to Egypt and renamed 6 Inf 3 Nov 39. Reformed 1 Jun 41. Disbanded 23 Aug 41.
8 Inf Formed in Palestine c. October 1938. Disbanded 28 Feb 40.
9 (Highland) Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 3 Sep 39. Renamed 51 (Highland) Div 7 Aug 40.
12 (Eastern) Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 7 Oct 39. Disbanded 11 Jul 40.
15 Inf Formed in UK Sept 1939. To France June 1944
18 (East Anglian) Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 30 Sep 39. Surrendered 15 Feb 42
23 (Northumbrian) Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 2 Oct 39. Disbanded 30 Jun 40.
38 Inf Formed Sept 1939. Sept 1944 redesignated 38 Reserve
42 (East Lancashire) Inf Embodied 1 Sep 39. Converted to 42 Arm 1 Nov 41
43 Inf Formed from Territorial Div 1939. To France June 1944
44 Inf Formed from Territorial Div 1939. To Egypt July 1942. Disbanded 31 Jan 43 1943
45 (Wessex)Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 7 Sep 39. Reorganized as "Lower Establishment" Div c. Dec 41. Disbanded 30 Aug 44.
46 Inf Formed in UK Oct 1939. To Africa Jan1943. To Italy Sept 1943
47 Inf Formed Nov 1940 from 2 London div. Converted to 47 Reserve Div 1 Sep 44.
48 Inf Embodied 3 Sep 39. Reorganized as "Lower Establishment" Div 15 Dec 41. Converted to Reserve Div 1 Sep 44.
49 Inf Embodied 1 sep 39. Organized as AVONFORCE for operations in Norway 5 Apr 40. Reconstituted 10 Jun 40 in England. Converted to ALABASTER Force 23 Jun 40. Converted to ICELAND Force 9 Jan 41. Reconstituted 26 Apr 42 in England.
50 Inf From Territorial Div. To Egypt June 1941. To Lybia/Tunisia Feb 1942. To Sicily Uly 1943. To UK Oct 1943.
To France June 1944. Converted to 50 Reserve Div 1 Jan 45.
51 Inf Redesignated from 9 Inf 7 Aug 40. To Egypt Aug 1942. To UK July 1943. To France June 1944
52 Inf In UK from 1939. To France Oct 1944.
53 Inf In UK from 1939. To France June 1944
54 Inf In UK from 1939. Disbanded Dec 1943
55 Inf Remained in UK entire war Placed on Lower Establishment 15 Jan 42. Placed on Higher Establishment 15 May 44.
56 Inf To Iraq Nov 1942. To Egypt March 1943. to Italy Sept 1943
59 Inf Formed in UK. 1939 to France June 1944
61 Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 3 Sep 39. In England throughout war.
66 Inf Formed as 2d Line Territorial Div 27 Sep 39. Disbanded 23 Jun 40.
70 Inf Converted from 6 Inf 10 Oct 41. Converted to LRP Force 6 Sep 43. Disbanded 24 Nov 43.
76 Inf Converted from Norfolk County Div 18 Nov 41. Converted to 76 Reserve Div 20 Dec 42.
77 Inf Converted from Devon and Cornwall County Div 1 Dec 41. Converted to 77 Reserve Div 20 Dec 42.
78 Inf Formed in UK May 1942. to Africa Nov 1942. To Italy Sept 1943
80 Reserve Inf Formed 1 Jan 43. Disbanded 1 sep 44.

I'll see what else I may have on the County divisions and others.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 May 2020 21:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Apr 2020 05:59
Guards Armored Formed June 1941 as a HQ only. Reorganized as complete division 1 Jun 42.
1 Arm Formed 12 Oct 37 as the Mobile Division. It was reorganized and redesignated 1 Armoured Div 3 Sep 39. Went to ME Command 13 Nov 41. It was then reorganized six more times during the war: 15 Apr 40, 23 Oct 40, 12 Apr 42, 24 Aug 42, 25 Oct 43, and 23 May 44, before it was inactivated 28 Oct 44. It was disbanded 11 Jan 45.
2 Arm Formed 15 Dec 39. Reorganized 14 Apr 40. Went to GHQ ME 1 Jan 40. Split up 27 Feb 41 with one brigade going to Greece. Disbanded after division HQ captured and heavy losses in Cyrenaica 10 May 41.
6 Arm Formed 12 Sept 1940 in UK with just division HQ and a signal regiment. It was reorganized 1 Jun 42, 24 Jul 43, and 19 Dec 44. It went to Italy assigned to Allied Force HQ 22 Sep 43 and was assigned to Eighth Army 18 Mar 44.
7th Arm Formed Egypt 15 Dec 1938 as the Mobile Division Middle East. Redesignated as Armoured Div (Egypt) 3 Sep 39 and 7 Armoured Div 16 Feb 40. Reorganized seven times!. To Italy Sept 1943. to UK Dec 1943
8th Arm Formed UK Nov 1940. to Egypt July 42. Progressively reduced starting 18 Oct 42. Disbanded 1 Jan 1943.
9th Arm Formed UK Dec 1940. remained there & was disbanded July 1944
10th Arm Formed in Palestine from 1 Cav Div 1Aug 1941. to Egypt April 1942. Dispersed and reduced summer 1942, then reformed 30 Aug 42. To Palestine Jan 1943 Disbanded 15 Jun 44
11 Arm Formed in UK 9 March 1941. remained there until to France in June 1944
42 Arm Formed in UK from 42 Inf Div 1 Nov 1941. Disbanded 17 Oct 1943
79 Arm Formed as an armoured division 14 Aug 1942. Reorganized 15 Apr 43 as admin HQ for units of specialist vehicles.

1 Para Formed 1 Nov 1941. Move to Africa March/April 1943. Two brigades returned to UK Dec 1943.
6th Para Formed 3 May 1943. To France in 1944
Fundamentally the original British mobilization plans, such as they were, was to form one Guards, one cavalry, two mobile, and eight infantry divisions from the Regular Army at Home and in the Middle East, twelve 1st Line Territorial infantry, and thirteen 2d Line Territorial divisions.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 May 2020 22:47

Thanks. This has created something out of the haze of third hand inferences. Combining this projection of the Brits with what the French were forming in 1940 it suggests they were not going to depend on numbers in a ground army to defeat Germany. At least not in infantry battalions. Perhaps further information on the French will clarify this further. I suspect the projections or plans for aircraft production and goals for numbers of operational aircraft 1941-43 will be a key bit here. But, thats just a suspicion. Its not difficult to see the trends in the British and US production numbers for 1941-1942. What I'm not seeing yet in the English language sources are solid estimates of goals from French production.

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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by Knouterer » 14 May 2020 08:17

The 2nd Armoured Division (War Diary WO 166/814) went overseas (to the Middle East) in October 1940. Prior to that, it was part of IV Corps, which together with VII Corps formed the GHQ reserve to be used for counterattacks in case of German invasion.
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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 14 May 2020 12:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 May 2020 22:47
Thanks. This has created something out of the haze of third hand inferences.
Why you have only haze of third hand inferences?

I was propose for to read primary datas like CAB23 CAB24 CAB65 CAB66. I was forget to write about CAB24 CAB65 CAB66 but you was have time for to read many things on CAB23 on topic.

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 May 2020 22:47
Combining this projection of the Brits with what the French were forming in 1940 it suggests they were not going to depend on numbers in a ground army to defeat Germany. At least not in infantry battalions. Perhaps further information on the French will clarify this further.
Not correct. British-French plan for to defeat Nazi Germany was agree on spring 1939. Plan was for to defeat Nazi Germany by armys on about 200 divisions not before 1942. Time for defeat was decide by how long for to make weak Nazi Germany on navys blockade and airforces bombing.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 May 2020 22:47

I suspect the projections or plans for aircraft production and goals for numbers of operational aircraft 1941-43 will be a key bit here. But, thats just a suspicion. Its not difficult to see the trends in the British and US production numbers for 1941-1942. What I'm not seeing yet in the English language sources are solid estimates of goals from French production.
Datas for British rearmament plans on book Gibbs i was tell you for. It is official history and use primary datas not haze of third hand inferences. Most primary datas can for to read direct yourself on CAB23 CAB24 CAB65 CAB66 and some others.

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Re: British Mobilization Plans 1941-43

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jun 2020 07:00

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
26 Apr 2020 00:49
The Brits had been planning & executing mobilization with goals based on France still being a ally in the war, & presumably still in possession of most of France. Any one have any knowledge of what the Brits expected to field or put to sea based on plans made up to May 1940? What might the RAF, the ground forces, support forces, and RN looked like in 1941 or 1942 had the battle of France been won by the Allies, or not occurred?
Do you have Joslen's Orders of Battle? Pretty clear on the cycles of British Army divisions being raised/readied for home or overseas service, and deployment. It also includes the colonial (not dominion or Indian) down to the brigade level.

The Indian, Canadian, Australian, South African, and New Zealand official histories are (more or less) available on-line, if you hunt around, and you can figure out the respective orders of battle from them.

The British-sustained Allied forces (Polish, Free French, Greek, etc.) are findable on-line, as well.

Going by what the British actually raised in 1939-45, and what was (historically) deployed (and broken up, converted, etc.), it's possible to work up an SWAG order of battle, by year, from 1940 to 1945 ... the biggest potential changes, of course, would have been a) if the Italians came into the war in 1940, b) the Japanese or 1941, and c) if any if the Dominions imposed full mobilization along the lines of the British (meaning draftees get sent overseas from the beginning, rather than - essentially - volunteers. Conscription in the Empire, of course, would not have happened, for obvious reasons.

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