British Order of Battle

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Delta Tank
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Post by Delta Tank » 13 Apr 2005 13:30

To all,

Maybe I missed it, but how many divisions did the British Empire raise (UK, and commonwealth) and how many saw action? The US Army raised something like 89 or so divisions and all but 2 saw action. One division was destroyed (Phillipine Divison) and one was deactivated (2d Cavalry)

Mike

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 13 Apr 2005 14:28

Delta Tank wrote:To all,

Maybe I missed it, but how many divisions did the British Empire raise (UK, and commonwealth) and how many saw action? The US Army raised something like 89 or so divisions and all but 2 saw action. One division was destroyed (Phillipine Divison) and one was deactivated (2d Cavalry)

Mike


Hi Mike

It depends on how & what you define as a division. The British Army raised or activated various types apart from the 'Typical'. These included Reserve (TA units), Home, Training and Deception Divisions-which all had actual troops/units within there OoB.

Also the term 'action' would suggest that you aren't interested in those that were in active theatre's (Outside UK Home Defence) but didn't see combat. So I've identified those that did both with the Combat/Service tag below

Also the British don't make it any easier by re-designating divisions, unlike the US (or so it seems)

Anyway broadly I figure the following British 'typical' divisions

Armoured: 11 Raised, 6 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 36 Raised, 23 saw Combat/Service
Cavalry: 1 Raised, 1 saw Combat/Service
Airborne: 2 Riased, 2 saw Combat/Service

plus

Colonial (African) Infantry: 5 Raised, 5 saw Combat/Service

plus from South Africa

Armoured: 2 Raised, 1 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 3 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service

plus from Canada

Armoured: 2 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 7 Raised, 3+ saw Combat/Service

plus from NZ

Infantry: 5 Raised, 2 saw Combat/Service

Open to suggestions on these totals

Andy H
Last edited by Andy H on 13 Apr 2005 17:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MilHistNet » 13 Apr 2005 15:20

Australia, India?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 13 Apr 2005 17:00

MilHistNet wrote:Australia, India?


Australia

Armoured: 3 Formed, part of 1 after redesignation saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 11 Raised, 7 saw Combat/Service

India

Armoured: 3 Raised, 1-2 saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 20 Raised, 19 saw Combat/Service
Airborne: 1 Raised

Andy H

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Necros
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Post by Necros » 14 Apr 2005 08:53

Great and very interesting answer to my question Andy. Thank you for taking the time.

/Mikael Sundholm

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richardlionheart
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Hi Larso

Post by richardlionheart » 22 Jun 2006 03:30


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Chaotic
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Post by Chaotic » 16 Jan 2007 06:17

Hi, all!
Could anybody tell me about disposition of British, Indian and m.b. Australian armies, fleet and air forces at North Africa, Iran, India and same regions (january, 1941)?
Thanks.

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Ground Forces in Britian 1943

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Mar 2007 01:25

Can anyone point me to sources or provide some info on what combat ready divsions were in Britian in 1943. Details on level or readyness, if & when they were sent to other theatres or returned to Brritian, composition ect...

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Post by JonS » 30 Mar 2007 01:38

Andy H wrote:India
Airborne: 1 Raised

IIRC, at least part of that Div saw combat in the recapture of Rangoon. 'Someone' dropped at Elephat Point, S of Rangoon, on 30 Apr 45, the day before the amphib landings that retook the city.

IIRC, they didn't do much shooting as the Japanese forces were pretty much had it by then, but it was an operational drop.

*Time passes. Slowly*

Hmm, looks like it was only a batalion drop.

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Post by konev » 16 Jul 2007 12:21

Gents,

Can anyone provide the exact dates, commanders and assignments (not just month and year) for the formation of the Corps, Army and Army Group HQ?

I'm putting together a chronology of the OB of the British Army (using Joslen first) so this would help ALOT!!!

Thanks in advance.

konev

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edward_n_kelly
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Post by edward_n_kelly » 17 Jul 2007 01:44

Andy H wrote:
MilHistNet wrote:Australia, India?


Australia

Armoured: 3 Formed, part of 1 after redesignation saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 11 Raised, 7 saw Combat/Service
Andy H


A bit of a misnomer this.

11 Divisional HQs were raised of which 7 may have seen combat but there were not seven "divisions' worth" of troops engaged.

After 1942 Australia tended to work on the Brigade Group principle (particularly for AMF and AMF/AIF formations) where a divisional HQ was allocated to control an operation or area and was then allocated Brigade Groups to carryout the operations. Brigades consequently saw combat under multiple Division HQs - and on at least one occasion (from memory) the Division designation changed because the commander changed (though nothing else apart from odd senior officer may have been swapped) and other occasions the HQ was "swapped out" but the combat units (Brigade Groups) stayed in action.

AIF divisions (6, 7, 8, 9) tended to stay "together" after their initial formation woes but even they were not immune from the Brigade "swap" in 1945.

I don't think any of the armoured divisions "went to war" but some of their constituent units did so - but not larger than Regiment sized (and that is a British Commonwealth Armoured Regiment - not to be confused with anyone else's concept of a "regiment").

Edward

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Kingfish
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Post by Kingfish » 11 Feb 2008 03:18

JonS wrote:
Andy H wrote:India
Airborne: 1 Raised
IIRC, at least part of that Div saw combat in the recapture of Rangoon. 'Someone' dropped at Elephat Point, S of Rangoon, on 30 Apr 45, the day before the amphib landings that retook the city.

IIRC, they didn't do much shooting as the Japanese forces were pretty much had it by then, but it was an operational drop.

*Time passes. Slowly*

Hmm, looks like it was only a batalion drop.
One of the Gurkha battalions, of which there were two, from the Indian 50th Independent Parachute Brigade.

Look here:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=52035

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Andy H
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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by Andy H » 16 Aug 2009 19:44

This article should be off interest to anyone researching the formation of British Army divisions on the outbreak of WW2.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/docu ... ultcount=1

AND ITS FREE :D

Regards

Andy H

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Re:

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 30 May 2010 18:58

edward_n_kelly wrote:
Andy H wrote:
MilHistNet wrote:Australia, India?
Australia

Armoured: 3 Formed, part of 1 after redesignation saw Combat/Service
Infantry: 11 Raised, 7 saw Combat/Service
Andy H
A bit of a misnomer this.

11 Divisional HQs were raised of which 7 may have seen combat but there were not seven "divisions' worth" of troops engaged.

After 1942 Australia tended to work on the Brigade Group principle (particularly for AMF and AMF/AIF formations) where a divisional HQ was allocated to control an operation or area and was then allocated Brigade Groups to carryout the operations. Brigades consequently saw combat under multiple Division HQs - and on at least one occasion (from memory) the Division designation changed because the commander changed (though nothing else apart from odd senior officer may have been swapped) and other occasions the HQ was "swapped out" but the combat units (Brigade Groups) stayed in action.

AIF divisions (6, 7, 8, 9) tended to stay "together" after their initial formation woes but even they were not immune from the Brigade "swap" in 1945.

I don't think any of the armoured divisions "went to war" but some of their constituent units did so - but not larger than Regiment sized (and that is a British Commonwealth Armoured Regiment - not to be confused with anyone else's concept of a "regiment").

Edward
I am looking for an air-land-sea order of battle for the three Australian Borneo landings, to include a TO&E of the units involved.

Does anyone have a good reference

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Re: British Order of Battle

Post by verdenpark » 24 Jun 2010 04:35

Australia actually had 12 Infantry and 3 Armoured Divisions.
Those that saw action were:
3rd., 4th., 5th., and 11th. Militia Div.s.
6th., 7th., 8th., and 9th., A.I.F. Div.s.
1st. and 4th. Armoured Brigade groups.

10th. Div. was formed either very late 1940, or early 1941, and disbanded late 1942/43. I think(?) this was an A.I.F. Div. that was kept for home defence, but not sure. Anyone know?

All Armoured Divisions were disbanded by 1944, and replaced by the 4th. Armoured Brigade.
Those who live by the sword...... get shot.

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