British Order of Battle

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Post by Andy H » 30 Dec 2004 13:29

Numbered 1-12 for UK Home defence.

Does anyone have any further details on these units?


Hi Peter

1st, formed 15/12/35. A TA unit it covered London during the Blitz, and was the first unit to use radar for gun control

2nd, formed 10/12/36. Another TA unit, coveredthe area NW of a line bewteen Harwich and Nth London to the Solent. Later it covered the East Midalnds and NE Anglia

3rd, raised in September'38, a Scottish TA unit it covered Scotland.

4th, raised in September'38. it covered the Birmingham area, but moved later this commitment was more focused towards Manchester & Liverpool

5th, again raised in September'38, this division covered Southampton and Portsmouth area's

6th, formed in September 1939, the division covered the London approaches

7th, formed also in the September of '39, the division covered the Tyne-Tees (Newcastle) area

8th, only formed in November'40, this division provided cover to south Wales and the West Country around Plymouth, Bristol and Exeter.

9th, formed along with the 8th to cover Cardiff and the ports of south Wales

10th covered the Yorkshire coastline and Hull

11th, was formed just before the devastating raid on Coventry in 1940. This division covered the Black Country.

12th, was raised in November 1940, and provided cover over the Clyde estuary and Belfast/Northern Ireland.

Andy H

I have some general info concerning AA Corps. which I'll post later.

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Post by Andy H » 30 Dec 2004 13:35

The link below will give a more detailed OoB for the first 7 AA Divisions plus several Indep units

http://home.adelphia.net/~dryan67/orders/aa.html

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Post by Andy H » 31 Dec 2004 14:24

I haven't forgotten about adding to Peter's Infantry Division post(s), that information will follow.

At the beginning of 1941 several 'County' divisions were formed for the defence of the coasts in the UK. These divisions were static and had no divisional troops as such-these would be borrowed as required-but they did contain on average some 3 Independent Infantry Brigades (Home). All were disbanded as such by the years end

Dorset County Division-210 & 220 Indep Inf Bde (Home)
Durham & North Riding County Division-215,217 & 224
Essex County Division-207,208 & 223
Hampshire County Division-214
Lincolnshire County Division-204,205 & 212
Northumberland County Division-202,216 & 225
West Sussex County Division-29 Indep Inf Bde Group & 201
Yorkshire County Division-201,218 & 221

The only 2 exceptions were the Norfolk County Division and the Devon & Cornwall County Division

Norfolk was originally formed as with other County Divisions with 3 Indep Inf Bde (Home)-213,220 & 222. The division was re-designated as 76th Infantry (Reserve) Division and re-organised to reflect this, with the addition of divisional troops. All brigades were renamed as standard infantry brigades, keeping the same numbers.
The division was finally disbanded on September 1st 1944. It never left UK shores.

Devon & Cornwall was originally formed as with other County Divisions with 3 Indep Inf Bde (Home) 203,209 & 211. The division follwed the same course as the Norfolk, but became the 77th Infantry (Reserve) Division. In bewtween Jan-Oct 1943 however the division had the 11th Tank Brigade in its OoB which replaced the 211 Inf Bde. On December 1st 1943 the division was re-designated again as the 77th Holding Division.
As a holding division it basically reorganised for sorting,retraining and holding personnel temporarily-due to disbandments,medical and other causes.
The division was finally disbanded on September 1st 1944

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Post by Peter H » 31 Dec 2004 15:07

Thanks for the great info Andy.

I think British manpower was used wisely in WW2:criticisms that they fielded a smaller field force as compared with 1914-18 need to take into account:

(1)the fully mechanised nature of the British divisions of WW2.

(2)more Home Defence and AA priorities.

(3)the exceptional size and scope of Bomber Command that required crews,ground staff,and industrial workers to build the planes and weaponary.Likewise the funding of such an air arm meant resources were allocated to best meet the strategic requirements.

(4)technological developments that meant while a 1945 division had less tooth to tail than its 1918 counterpart,its mobility and firepower capability was most likely twofold that of 1918.

(5)the continual British emphasis on artillery carried over from WW1:around 18% of the British soldiers at Normandy were artillerymen.Combine this with the development of the 2nd Tactical Air Force,and the three arms of armour,artillery and tac air,was emphasised over that of infantry by 1944.

Peter

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Post by Polynikes » 31 Dec 2004 22:47

I'm not sure that the regular versus territorial army was recognised after 1940 or 1914.

I understand that any soldier being conscripted into the British army after 1939 or 1915 was deemed to have joined the Territorial Army (TA) and as such served on a "hostilities only" basis.

In this respect the British TA were the men who fought both world wars, not the small regular army.

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Post by Andy H » 02 Jan 2005 13:08

Peter H wrote:
9th(Highland) T-redesignated 51st Div Aug 1940 after the Highland Div was destroyed in France 1940
12th(Eastern)T-second line labour force BEF France 1940,disbanded July 1940
15th(Scottish)T-NW Europe 1944/45
18th(East Anglian)T-UK,India 1941,Singapore 1942,surrended
23rd(Northumbrian)T-second line labour force BEF France 1940,disbanded June 1940
36th-formed in Burma Sept 1944 from redesignated 36th Indian div:Burma 1944/45
38th(Welsh)T-UK 1939-45
40th-deception unit raised in Sicily 1943:formed from 43rd Bde on internal security duties Sicily,disbanded 1944
42nd(East Lancs)T-France 1940,converted to 42nd Armd Div 1941


Further to this:-

9th-Formed in Spetember'39

12th-Disbandment date was July 11th 1940. The division when formed was a duplicate of the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division. Between 03/09-07/10/40 the units of the 12th were administered and embodied by their parent formations within the 44th

15th-Formed in September'39 as a duplicate of the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division. Placed on lower establishment levels in Nov'41. The re-organised as a Mixed Division in the March of '43. Then finally as a Infantry Division in the Sept'43

23rd-All the Artillery, Signals and most of the Admin ubits were stripped from the Division when it undertook Labour duties

38th-Formed Sept'39 as a duplicate of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division. Placed on lower establisment in December'41. Re-organised on Sept 1st'44 as the 38th Infantry (Reserve) Division. Disbanded August 8th 1945

40th-Formed 09/11/43, disbanded 17/06/44

42nd-Formed September'39, and redesignated 42nd Armoured on November 1st 1941

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Post by Andy H » 02 Jan 2005 13:28

Peter H wrote:
43rd(Wessex) T-UK 1939-44,NWE 1944/45
44th T-France 1940,Nth Africa 1942,disbanded 1943
45th T-UK 1939-45
45th T-France 1940,Tunisia 1943,Italy 1943-44,Greece 1945,Italy 1945
47th(London) T-UK 1939-45
48th(S Midland) T-France 1940,UK 1940-45
49th(West Riding)T-Norway 1940,Iceland 1941-42,NWE 1944-45
50th(Northumbrian)T-France 1940,Iraq/Syria 1941,Nth Africa 1942-3,Sicily 1943,UK 1944,NWE until Dec 1944,UK 1945
51st(Highland) T-France 1940,destroyed at St Valery:reconstituted from 9th Div UK 1940,Nth Africa 1942-3,Italy 1943,UK 1944,NWE 1944-45


Further to this:

43rd-Formed in September'39, reorganised as a Mixed Division in June'42 before reorganizing again as a Infantry Division in the Sept of'43

44th-Disbanded January 31st 1943

45th-Formed September'39 as a duplicate of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. Placed on lower establishment in the December of '41. On September 1st'44 the Divisions title changed to 45th (Holding) Division with personnel from 77th(Holding) Division. Title changed back finally to 45th Infantry Division on December 1st 1944

47th-This Division was originally called the 2nd London Infantry Division and forming in the September of 1939. Redesignated 47th (London) on November 21st 1940. The Division started to break up as of August 15th and this was completed by August 31st 1944. On September 1st 1944 the Division was reformed as 47th Infantry (Reserve) Division

48th-Formed in September '39. The Division by 1943 was known as 48th Infantry (Reserve) Division

50th-On December 16th 1944, the Division was reorganised as a Infantry (Reserve) Division. On August 1st 1945 the Divisional HQ moved to Norway and was retitled HQ British Land Forces Norway

51st-The Divisions 154th Infantry Brigade wasn't captured in France'49, and remained with the Division throughout the war.

In addition

46th Infantry Division was formed in October 1939. Division served in France in 1940 as Labour troops. The Division would later see action in North Africa and Italy, and occupation duties in Palestine & Greece

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Post by Andy H » 02 Jan 2005 13:44

Peter H wrote:
52nd(Lowland) T-Cherbourg Pensl 1940,UK 1942-44(trained as Mountain Div),UK 1944(trained as AirLanding Div),NWE Oct 1944-45
53rd(Welsh)T-UK 1939-44,NWE 1944-45
54th(East Anglian)T-UK 1939-42,disbanded 1943
55th(West Lancs)T-UK 1939-45
56th(London)T-UK 1939-42,Iraq 1942,Palestine 1942,Tunisia 1943,Italy 1943-45:included the 201st Guards Bde 1943/44
57th-deception unit Nth Africa 1943-44
59th(Staffs)T-UK 1939-44,NWE 1944,disbanded Oct 1944
61st-Div HQ in Norway 1940,UK 1940-45
66th-disbanded 1940
76th-UK 1941-44,disbanded Sept 1944
77th-UK 1941-44,disbanded Sept 1944
78th-formed UK 1942,Tunisia 1943,Italy 1943-45
80th-formed UK 1943,disbanded Sept 1944


Further to this:

53rd-Reorganised as a Mixed Division in May'42, before reverting to its Infantry title in the October'43

54th-Formed in September'39, placed on lower establishment in January'42. On December 14th 1943, the Divisional HQ was redesignated as HQ LOC (54th Division). The Division ceased to exist as of this date.

55th-Orignally formed in September 1939 as a Motor Division but reorganised in the June of 1940 as a Infantry Division

56th-Originally formed as 1st London Infantry Division in September 1939. Redesignated as 56th (London) on November 18th 1940. This Division had 4 intergral Brigades between 17/10/43-03/01/44

57th-Disbanded July 29th 1944

59th-Orignally formed in September 1939 as a Motor Division but reorganised in the June of 1940 as a Infantry Division. The Division was placed in suspended animation on October 19th 1944

61st-Reorganised in August'45 as a Light Division-It had been earmarked for service in the Far East

66th-Formed as a duplicate of the 42nd Infantry Division. Disbanded 23 June 1940 The Division may have been known as the 66th (Lancs and Border) Infantry Division-anyone?

76th & 77th: See earlier posts concerning the Norfolk & Devon/Cornwall 'County' Divisions

Further information about Deception Divisions to follow

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Post by Andy H » 02 Jan 2005 14:03

Further to my recent AA post, this is as promised the additionally information concerning the AA Corps.

Formed on November 11th 1940,
the 1st AA Corp covered the area that corresponded with No 10 & 11 Groups RAF. Under its command were 1st,5th,6th,8th & 9th AA Divisions.
2nd AA Corp covered the area's of 9 & 12 Groups RAF. Under its command were 2nd,4th,10th & 11th AA Divisions.
3rd AA Corp covered the area's of 13 & 14 Groups RAF. Under its command were 3rd,7th & 12th AA Divisions.

After May'41 AA defences drifted south to counter German activity. During the 'Baedecker' raids of Spring'42, One Division was transferred from 3Corps to 1Corp. By the Autumn of 1942 the Corps boundaries had become distorted, and a re-org was required. So on October 1st 1942 the Corps and Divisions were disbanded and replaced by 7 AA Groups.

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Post by Andy H » 09 Jan 2005 21:02

The following 'Deception' Divisions were raised. Each had varying degree's of reality in terms of OoB's and assigned manpower, whilst others were purely paper. Individual information to follow, but here's the list in the meantime

21st Infantry
23rd Infantry
33rd Infantry
34th Infantry
40th Infantry
42nd Infantry
55th Infantry
57th Infantry
58th Infantry
59th Infantry
64th Infantry
68th Infantry
70th Infantry
76th Infantry
77th Infantry
80th Infantry
90th Infantry

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Post by Necros » 14 Mar 2005 15:17

Do you have any further information regarding these 'Deception' Divisions?

/Mikael Sundholm

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Post by Andy H » 12 Apr 2005 15:22

Necros wrote:Do you have any further information regarding these 'Deception' Divisions?

/Mikael Sundholm


:oops: Forgot about that promise.

Info in the next post later today

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Post by Andy H » 12 Apr 2005 15:49

Andy H wrote:The following 'Deception' Divisions were raised. Each had varying degree's of reality in terms of OoB's and assigned manpower, whilst others were purely paper. Individual information to follow, but here's the list in the meantime

21st Infantry
23rd Infantry
33rd Infantry
34th Infantry
40th Infantry
42nd Infantry
55th Infantry
57th Infantry
58th Infantry
59th Infantry
64th Infantry
68th Infantry
70th Infantry
76th Infantry
77th Infantry
80th Infantry
90th Infantry

Andy H


21st-Part of XX Indian Corps (Itself a Deception Unit), at Ranchi, then to Madras in early 1945 as part of Force 144 for Operation Claw. Transferred to IV Corps/14th Army May 1945

23rd-Originally a genuine division that fought in France in 1940. Revived in July'42 held as a reserve Division for defense of Egypt in 1942. Composed of 1RM Brigade, 84th Inf Brigade and 38th Indian Brigade (All ficticious), although some real Btn's were inc in them. Removed from OoB in May of '43 when RM moved to the Far East.

33rd- Notionally reached Ceylon in Autumn of'42 and trained in Amphib warfare. Transferred to Egypt in Jan-March'44. Part of 12th Army in May'44. Composed of 97th,98th and 109th Inf Brigades. Returned to Ceylon as part of XXXVIII Indian Corps (Itself a Deception Unit) for Operation Fang in 1945

34th-Formed in May'43, located in Algiers, arriving from UK on March 25th 1943. Transferred to ME in Jan'44, and part of XVI Corps (Itself a Deception unit). Composed of 83rd Armd Brigade, 39th & 81st Inf Brigades. Took part in the deception plan to cover the withdrwal of the British 1st Division to the Middle East from Italy

40th-'Activated' in 1943. Composed of 3 notional Brigades, whose roles were played by the 30th Btn's of the Somerset LI, The Royal Norfolk's and Green Howard Regiments. The 'Brigades' were numbered 119,120 & 121. In Tunis in Feb'44 and Sicily in May'44

42nd-Originally the 42nd (East Lancs) Division that fought in Belgium in 1940. Converted into a Armoured Division in Britain and disbanded in 1943. Re-Activated as a deception unit in December'43 for the forthcoming DDay op's. Composed of 133,142 & 149 Infantry Brigades. In the western Med in May'44. As part of Op.Vendetta, the division was attached to the US XXXI Corps(Itself a Deception unit) for its mission to seize the Montpellier Gap and form a defensive flank in the area. From that point to the war's end it served with the notional XIV Corps in the Terni area of Italy, with a genuine Armd.Recce.Regt on it's OoB

more to follow

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Post by Andy H » 12 Apr 2005 16:28

57th-Activated in 1943 as part of Foynes as a 'replacement' for units transferred to Britain for Overlord. Arrived in NAfrica in Sept'43. Part of the notional XIV Corps, with 170,171 & 172 Inf Brigades. In western Med in May'44. From Dec'44 till wars end part of the notional XIV Corps in Terni area of Italy. Division was represented by a genuine RAC Training Depot.

58th-Formed as part of the Fortitude North deception plan inder II Corps control. Acted as a substitute division for the genuine 3rd Infantry Division as the assualt division for the proposed assualt on Stavanger,Norway. The number was given because ULTRA had told them that the Germans believed that a real 58th Division existed in the Windsor area of Britain. Composed of 173,174 & 175 Inf Brigades. Engaged in mountain training and embarkation/debarkation drills in Scotland till late April'44. Moved to Lincolnshire in June and Kent in July with HQ at Gravesend. Moved back to East Anglia in Sept, Yorkshire in November and back down to Herts in early 1945. Disbanded in April'45

59th-Genuine division which served in Normandy, but broken up after that campaign. Notionally kept alive as part of II Corps

64th-Part of the notional XX Indian Corps in early 1945 for Op.Fang

68th-Formerly the genuine 61st Division-a lower establishment division- which was earmarked for service in France. Stoof down however to become a Home Forces training & drafting division. Notionall continued as a fighting division as part of the Foyne plan (mentioned earlier).

more later

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Post by Andy H » 12 Apr 2005 17:02

70th-Originally the 6th Division from the siege of Tobruk. Sent to India in winter of '41-42 and re-numbered 70. Saw service as the 70th, but then broken up but notionally kept on OoB lists for deception purposes

76th-Originally a genuine home service division, renumbered as the 47th. Designation and div sign retained for deception purposes and assigned to 21st AG. Composed of 213, 25 & 215 Inf Brigades. Part of the notional II Corps in 1944

77th-Originally a holding division and renumbered the 45th. Designation retained and held in rsserve but never used. Composed of 103,203 & 209 Inf Brigades.

80th-Originally a genuine home service division, renumbered as the 38th. Designation retained for deception purposes. Composed of 50,211 & 208 Inf Brigades. Assigned to VII Corps of British 4th Army (Both deception units) as part of Fortitude South, prior to DDay. Moved arounf England before disbandment in April 1945

90th-Composed of 72,73 & 74 Inf Brigades. In the Autumn of 1944 the divison along with the genuine British 48th Division and notional US 55th Infantry Division, were held in preparation for a landing in southern Norway if the was any sign of a German withdrawl

Andy H

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