British Army Strength 1940

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Carl Schwamberger
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British Army Strength 1940

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Aug 2009 14:00

Can anyone provide me with a reliable source, & perhaps a summary, of the strength of the British army in the UK, France, Norway, & Egypt/Far East for May through October 1940? That is a count of men and weapons. I realize the exact numbers varied in each location month to month or even week to week during that summer. Appreciate any leads on the numbers ...thanks
______

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kgbudge
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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by kgbudge » 18 Aug 2009 04:04

You may be able to find some of this information in John Ellis' World War II: A Statistical Survey, though perhaps not in the level of detail you desire.

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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Aug 2009 12:02

Thanks. I'll put that on my list for the subject.

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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by Telos » 16 Sep 2009 19:10

Not exactly what you are looking for but I hope this orbat (created as part of an 'SEELOWE' project) may still be of some interest nevertheless - many thanks to the excellent Order of Battle.com on which this is largely based .

ORDER OF BATTLE BRITISH HOME FORCES - SEPTEMBER 15th 1940

GHQ HOME FORCES (General Sir Alan Brooke)
IN GHQ RESERVE:

VII CORPS (Lt General A G McNaughton)
1st ARMOURED DIVISION (-)
1st CANADIAN INFANTRY DIVISION
1st ARMY TANK BRIGADE

IV CORPS (Lt General F P Nosworthy)
42nd (East Lancashire) INFANTRY DIVISION
43rd (Wessex) INFANTRY DIVISION
31st INDEPENDENT INFANTRY BRIGADE

2nd ARMOURED DIVISION
2nd CANADIAN INFANTRY DIVISION (4th & 5th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADES)
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE UK (18th & 25th AIF INFANTRY BRIGADES)
21st ARMY TANK BRIGADE

HQ SCOTTISH COMMAND (Lt General R H Carrington)

5th INFANTRY DIVISION
46th (WEST RIDING) INFANTRY DIVISION
51st (HIGHLAND) INFANTRY DIVISION
POLISH CORPS (1st & 2nd RIFLE BRIGADES)

HQ HIGHLAND AREA
HQ LOWLAND AREA

HQ NORTHERN IRELAND DISTRICT ( Major General R P Pakenham-Walsh )

53rd (WELSH) INFANTRY DIVISION
61st (SOUTH MIDLAND) INFANTRY DIVISION
148th INFANTRY BRIGADE

HQ NORTHERN COMMAND (Lt General R F Adam)

24th ARMY TANK BRIGADE - (unallocated)
6th ARMOURED DIVISION - (forming)

I CORPS (Lt General H L Alexander)
1st INFANTRY DIVISION
2nd INFANTRY DIVISION
44th (HOME COUNTIES) INFANTRY DIVISION
2nd MOTOR MG BRIGADE (ex 25th ARMY TANK BRIGADE)

X CORPS (Lt General W G Holmes)
54th (EAST ANGLIAN) INFANTRY DIVISION
59th (STAFFORDSHIRE) INFANTRY DIVISION

HQ EAST MIDLAND AREA
HQ NORTH MIDLAND AREA
HQ NORTHUMBRIAN AREA
HQ YORKSHIRE AREA

HQ EASTERN COMMAND (Lt General G C Williams)

1st ARMOURED RECONNAISANCE BRIGADE

II CORPS (Lt General E A Osborne)
18th (EAST ANGLIAN) INFANTRY DIVISION
52th (LOWLAND) INFANTRY DIVISION
37th INFANTRY BRIGADE

XI CORPS (Lt General H R Massey)
15th (SCOTTISH) INFANTRY DIVISION
55th (WEST LANCASHIRE) INFANTRY DIVISION

HQ CAMBRIDGE AREA
HQ CHATHAM AREA
HQ HOME COUNTIES AREA

HQ LONDON DISTRICT (Lt General B Sergison-Brooke)
20th INFANTRY BRIGADE (GUARDS)
24th INFANTRY BRIGADE (GUARDS)

HQ ALDERSHOT COMMAND (Lt General M G Barker)
(No major field units)

HQ SOUTHERN COMMAND (Lt General C J Auchinlech)

XII CORPS (Lt General Thorne)
2nd NZ EXPERDITIONARY FORCE (5th & 7th NZ INFANTRY BRIGADES)
45th (WESSEX) INFANTRY DIVISION
1st (LONDON) INFANTRY DIVISION
1st MOTOR MG BRIGADE 'MILFORCE'
29th INDEPENDANT INFANTRY BRIGADE (GROUP)

V CORPS (Lt General B L Montgomery)
4th INFANTRY DIVISION
50th (NORTHUMBERLAND) INFANTRY DIVISION

VIII CORPS (Lt General H E Franklyn)
3rd INFANTRY DIVISION
48th (SOUTH MIDLAND) INFANTRY DIVISION
70th INDEPENDENT INFANTRY BRIGADE

HQ SALISBURY PLAIN AREA
HQ SOUTH MIDLAND AREA
HQ SOUTH WESTERN AREA
HQ SOUTHERN AREA


HQ WESTERN COMMAND (General R Gordon-Finlayson)

2nd (LONDON) INFANTRY DIVISION
23rd ARMY TANK BRIGADE
3rd MOTOR MG BRIGADE (2nd ARMOURED RECONNAISSANCE BRIGADE)
CZECHOSLOVAK INDEPENDENT BRIGADE (GROUP)

III CORPS (Lt Gen J H Marshall-Cornwall)
38th (WELSH) INFANTRY DIVISION
36th INFANTRY BRIGADE

HQ EAST LANCASHIRE AREA
HQ WEST LANCASHIRE AREA

HQ ANTI AIRCRAFT COMMAND (Lt General F A Pile)

4th AA Division (Liverpool-Manchester-Birmingham, supporting RAF 12 &13 Groups)
5th AA Division (Falmouth-Plymouth-Portsmouth, supporting RAF 10 Group)
6th AA Division (Dover-Medway-Harwich, supporting RAF 11 Group)
1st AA Division (London, supporting RAF 11 Group)
2nd AA Division (Norwich-Sheffield-The Humber, supporting RAF 12 Group)
7th AA Division (Leeds-Tyne-Tees, supporting RAF 13 Group)
3rd AA Division (Northern Ireland and Scotland, supporting RAF 13 Group)

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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by Andy H » 17 Sep 2009 17:47

Have found the following from memo from the Sec State for War dated June 18th 1940. Obviously this only deals with the strength within the British Isles
2. The number of men in the Army at Home today, including
Dominion troops is about 1,313,000, made up as follows:-
Field Army Troops ex B.E.F.- 275,000
" " " in U.K. 320,000
Air Defence 151,000
Coast Defence 13,000
Home Defence Battalions 42,6000
Holding Battalions (under disposal instructions to make up Field Force Units) 49,000
Training Units (half to make up Field Force Units) 365,000
Misc. Establishments 59,400
Canadians 22,000
Australians and New Zeaianders 16,000
Grand Total 1,313,000*
The average monthly intake is just under 50,000 under the
National Service Act, and about 27,000 volunteers.

* '
Note. From the point of view of immediate use it must be
realised that apart from the 90,000 about to be called
up, Air Defence of Great Britain and coast defence
amount to 164,000 while some 150,000 of the grand
total have less than two months service. The total
figure includes 45,000 R.A.M.C. , 45,000 RAOC*,
and 130,000 R.A.S.C , who are not trained to fight.
From CAB66/8/40

Regards

Andy H

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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Sep 2009 22:03

Thanks for those. Obviously the combat strength is a moving target for that summer. What with re equipping the former BEF units and all. Its also clear new arrivals from Canada & Central France made some abrupt and large changes in the field units. Of course the real combat strength is in the equipment and length of training of the formations.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: British Army Strength 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Sep 2009 23:26

I crunched the numbers for one of the BoB sticky WIs about six months ago; there were IIRC 18 British Army divisions in the UK through the summer, before the convoys were sent to the Middle and Far East in the late summer.

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