British Order of Battle

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Andy H
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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by Andy H » 04 Apr 2019 16:27

sitalkes wrote:
05 Jun 2015 05:51
Hi, this is Powerpoint file showing the a British Order of Battle for Home Forces (Land, Sea, and Air) September 1940

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_JIB ... authuser=0
Hi sitalkes

Thanks for posting.
Looking at some of the imagery in the PP, some of it was taken from Niehorsters excellent site
http://niehorster.org/017_britain/__uk.htm

Best

Andy H

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by wwilson » 05 May 2020 13:38

Regarding countries other than Great Britain, IIRC:

Canada -- Three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions, two armoured brigades, and a para battalion saw action in Italy and NW Europe. Also lost an infantry battalion at Hong Kong.

New Zealand -- 2 to 3 divisions, of which one was in action at any time (may be wrong about that). Action in Italy, and ... ?

South Africa -- a handful of divisions, but IIRC only one was in action at any given time. Action in E Africa, N Africa, and Italy.

... and there were about 3 (?) infantry divisions formed from East and West African troops. Action in E Africa and India / Burma.

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jun 2020 07:16

wwilson wrote:
05 May 2020 13:38
Regarding countries other than Great Britain, IIRC:

Canada -- Three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions, two armoured brigades, and a para battalion saw action in Italy and NW Europe. Also lost an infantry battalion at Hong Kong.

New Zealand -- 2 to 3 divisions, of which one was in action at any time (may be wrong about that). Action in Italy, and ... ?

South Africa -- a handful of divisions, but IIRC only one was in action at any given time. Action in E Africa, N Africa, and Italy.

... and there were about 3 (?) infantry divisions formed from East and West African troops. Action in E Africa and India / Burma.
Canada - The Canadians lost two infantry battalions in Hong Kong, Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles of Canada. Total personnel of "C Force" 1963 officers and men; the contingent arrived at Hong Kong on Nov. 16, 1941, and increased the total number of infantry battalions in the colony from four to six, but given the IJA's strength, calling it a forlorn hope is charitable.

Keeping the two battalions in Canada in 1941 but earmarked for service in the UK and points east later in the war, and using the same shipping that carried the troops to Hong Kong to evacuate two of the four British and Indian battalions to Malaya would have made more sense; C Force's deployment was not quite the reinforcement of failure that the shipment of the British 18th Division to Singapore in 1942 was, but it came close.

If one takes the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles of Canada, and add in the personnel who (historically) went into the 1st Parachute Battalion and the Canadian elements of the 1st Special Service Force, that's pretty close to a brigade of infantry, which Crerar et al certainly could have used in Europe in 1942-45, whether as formed units or simply trained replacements who were volunteers, rather than the NRMA "zombies" who had to be sent overseas in 1944-45 to keep the Canadian infantry battalions up to strength, historically.

New Zealand - 2nd Division was in action in the Mediterranean from 1941; the 3rd Division as formed (at 2/3rds strength, roughly) and served in the South Pacific in 1942-43, before being broken up for replacements and integration back into the home forces in NZ proper.

South Africa - 1st and 2nd divisions were formed in 1940-41, and saw action in east Africa and north Africa in 1941-42; in 1942, both divisions were in action in Egypt-Libya, and the South Africans suffered higher losses - roughly 50 percent, meaning the entire 2nd Division- than any other "Dominion" armed force. What was left was reformed as the South African 6th Armoured Division in 1943-44 and fought in Italy to the end of the war.

African "colonial" divisions - two each formed in 1940-41 (1st/11th and 2nd/12th) and two more (81st, 82nd) in 1943-44; the first two both served in East Africa in 1940-42, and then the 11th, 81st, and 82nd all went to India and SEAC in 1943-45.

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by Hildaren » 23 Jun 2020 12:48

New Zealand - 2nd Division was in action in the Mediterranean from 1941; the 3rd Division as formed (at 2/3rds strength, roughly) and served in the South Pacific in 1942-43, before being broken up for replacements and integration back into the home forces in NZ proper.

this is right although the 3rd NZ Division was a 2 Brigade Division (8th and 14th) it was going to be a full 3 brigade division(15th brigade in tonga) the 3rd brigade(15th) was kept as a garrison

1st,4th and 5th NZ divisions were in New Zealand.

you may come across 6th NZ division this was NZ Base and Training Units at Maadi camp and Maadi camp its self renamed under Operation Cascade in 1942.

Hildaren

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Re: British Order of Battle 1941 in UK

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2021 06:14

The list below are of Div HQ I've identified as in the UK during 1941. Those marked * I have tentatively identified as Near combat ready or could have been combat ready by end of year. Observations & suggestions are welcome. Particularly combat readiness
1941 Total British Divisions suitable for service in NW Europe
Divisions
*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.

*15 Inf Formed in UK Sept 1939. To France June 1944

*38 Inf Formed Sept 1939. Sept 1944 redesignated 38 Reserve

*43 Inf Formed from Territorial Div 1939. To France June 1944

*44 Inf Formed from Territorial Div 1939. To Egypt July 1942.

*46 Inf Formed in UK Oct 1939. To Africa Jan1943.

*47 Inf Formed Nov 1940 from 2 London div. Dispersed Aug 1944

48 Inf Territorial Div to Dec 1942. Designated Reserve to end of war.

49 Inf Reformed in UK June 1940. to France 12 June 1944.

*50 Inf From Territorial Div. To Egypt June 1941.

*51 Inf To Egypt Aug 1942.

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

56 Inf To Iraq Nov 1942. To Egypt March 1943. to Italy Sept 1943

59 Inf Formed in UK. 1939 to France June 1944

Guards Armored Formed June 1941

*1 Arm Fomed prewar. To Egypt November 1941.

2 Arm Formed Dec 1939. Used to rebuild 7th Arm Jan 1941. Disolved 1941

6 Arm Formed Sept 1940 in UK. To Egypt Jan 1941.

*8th Arm Formed UK Nov 1940. to Egypt July 42.

9th Arm Formed UK Dec 1940, disbanded July 1944

11 Arm Formed in UK March 1941. to France June 1944

42 Arm Formed in UK Nov 1941. Disolved Oct 1943

1 Para Formed 1941 Move to Africa March/April 1943.

*1 Cdn To UK 1940. To Sicily July 1943

*2 Cdn To UK 1940

3 Cdn To UK 1941

5 Cdn Arm To UK 1941

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Sheldrake
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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Mar 2021 11:34

What is the purpose of this listing? The information is in Jocelyn.

Some omissions

18th Infantry Division- to Far East 21 Jan 1942

42nd Infantry Division redesignated 42nd Armoured Div 1 Nov 1941

45 Infantry Division placed on lower establishment Dec 1941 dispersed 31 August 1944

47 Division dispersed on 31 August 1944 but reformed the next day as the 47th (Reserve) Division

61st Infantry Division in not in the list but was in Northern Ireland in 1941

76 Infantry Division (lower establishment) was formed Nov 1941, reorganised as a reserve Div Dec 1942 and disbanded 1 Sep 1944
77 Infantry Division (lower establishment) formed Dec 1941 reorganised as a reserve Div Dec 1942 and disbanded 1 Sep 1944

Lower establishment divisions were for service in the UK only.

Jocelyn also provides more detail.
E.g. On disbandment 54 East Anglian Division's HQ became the HQ Lines of Communication. HQRA became the HQ of 8th AGRA and HQRE became the HQRE for 6th Airborne Division

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by EwenS » 08 Mar 2021 11:51

Correction.
6th Armoured formed Sept 1940. Remained in Britain until Nov 1942. Then to Algeria as part of First Army.

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2021 13:55

Thanks gentlemen. Just trying to make up a fast reference list. Is Jocelyn on line? Not seeing a copy in the catalog of the local libraries. Combat ready is a slippery item, multiple opinions would be useful.

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