1st Armoured Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade of the British Army with a long history including service during both the First and the Second World Wars. It was based at Tidworth Camp. Previously, it has been designated 1st (Guards) Brigade, 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Mechanised Brigade (from the 1990s), and under the initial Army 2020 reforms assumed the title of 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade. Under the Future Soldier programme, the brigade merged with the 1st Artillery Brigade to form the 1st Deep Recce Strike Brigade Combat Team.[1]

1st (Guards) Brigade
1st Brigade
1st Infantry Brigade (Guards)
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Mechanized Brigade
1st Armoured Infantry Brigade
Insignia of the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade.
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeArmoured Infantry, Mechanized Infantry, Light Infantry
Part of3rd (United Kingdom) Division
Garrison/HQDelhi Barracks, Tidworth Camp
EngagementsFirst World War
Battle of Mons
First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Aisne
First Battle of Ypres
Battle of Aubers Ridge
Battle of Loos
Battle of the Somme (1916)
Battle of Pozières
Third Battle of Ypres
Battle of Épehy
Second World War
Battle of France
El Kourzia
Battle of Monte Cassino
Liri Valley
Brigadier Samuel L. Humphris

History edit

Following the end of the Second Boer War in 1902, the army was restructured and the 1st Guards Brigade was established permanently as part of the 1st Division in the 1st Army Corps, stationed at Aldershot Garrison.[2]

First World War edit

Initially designated as the 1st (Guards) Brigade, the brigade was part of 1st Division during the First World War. Upon creation of the Guards Division in August 1915, the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards and 1st Battalion, Scots Guards moved to 2nd Guards Brigade, and the brigade was redesignated as the 1st Brigade. It was with the 1st Division on the Western Front throughout the war. It saw action at the Battle of Mons and subsequent Great Retreat, the First Battle of the Marne, the First Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Loos, the Battle of Aubers Ridge, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Passchendaele, the Battle of Pozières and the Battle of Épehy, part of the final Hundred Days Offensive, which broke the back of the German Army, leading to an Armistice.[3]

Order of battle edit

The brigade was composed as follows during the war:[4]

Second World War edit

Remaining active during the interwar period as the 1st (Guards) Brigade, the brigade, still part of the 1st Infantry Division, was sent to France in September 1939 during the Second World War as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and it later took part in the Battle of France in May–June 1940 and the subsequent Battle of Dunkirk and were evacuated to England, spending the next few years on home defence anticipating a German invasion of England.

HM The King reviews the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards at Bachy, France, December 1939.

On 11 April 1942, the brigade was redesignated and reorganised as 1st Independent Brigade Group (Guards), with its own support units, until August when it was transferred to the 78th Infantry Division. In late 1942, it took part in the North African Campaign in Operation Torch: the Allied landings in French North Africa, arriving in Algiers in November 1942.[3]

The brigade participated in the Run for Tunis and was transferred to the 6th Armoured Division in early 1943 and saw action in the Tunisia Campaign at the Battle of Fondouk, Battle of El Kourzia and Battle of Tunis in April and May 1943. Subsequently, the 1st (Guards) Brigade served on the Italian Front for the rest of the war under command of various divisions, seeing action in the Battle of Monte Cassino (where the brigade played a holding "hinge" role during Operation Diadem) and the Battle of Liri Valley in May 1944.[3] The brigade then fought on the Gothic Line and in the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy.

Order of battle edit

The 1st (Guards) Brigade was constituted as follows during the war:[5]

Between 11 April 1942 and 7 August 1942 the following units formed the 1st Independent Brigade Group (Guards):[5]

Cold War edit

After the War, the brigade, having lost its 'Guards' title, was transferred to Palestine for internal security duties and then to Egypt for a few months before going back to Palestine in April 1946. Two years later, as the British mandate over Palestine ended, the brigade and division returned to Egypt. In October 1951, British forces pulled out of Egypt outside of the Suez Canal Zone, and later the brigade returned to the United Kingdom, though it was in Cyprus during the EOKA insurgency for a period in 1957–8.[3] In 1968 the dispatch of the entire 3rd Infantry Division began to be planned, as part of the United Kingdom Mobile Force, to reinforce Allied Land Forces Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland (LANDJUT).[6] By the mid-1980s the British Army force earmarked as part of the UKMF to reinforce LANDJUT had shrunk to the 1st Infantry Brigade, as it had become.

In 1991 just before the end of the Cold War, the brigade's structure was as follows.

1st (United Kingdom Mobile Force) Infantry Brigade, at Jellalabad Barracks, Tidworth Camp[7]

End of the Cold War edit

After the end of the Cold War, the brigade was reassigned to the new 3rd (UK) Division and subsequently became a Mechanised Brigade. In 1996, it was deployed to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, with Multi-National Division (South-West); in 2000, it was deployed to Sierra Leone and, in 2002, to Kosovo.[3]

The brigade was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick XVIII.[8] It was deployed again in 2014, commanded by Brigadier Rupert Jones.[9]

Army 2020 edit

Under Army 2020, it was renamed as 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade and remained at Tidworth Camp, forming part of the Reaction Force as part of the 3rd (UK) Division.[10][11][12] Under the programme the Brigade consisted of the following units:

Army 2020 Refine edit

Under the Army 2020 Refine programme, the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade was due to form up as the first of two Strike Brigades by 2021.[16][17][18] The Brigade then consisted of the following units:[19]

Future Soldier edit

On 1 July under the Future Soldier programme, the brigade merged with 1st Artillery Brigade to form 1st Deep Recce Strike Brigade Combat Team.[1]

Jane's reported that the brigade was disbanded in early July 2022. The Household Cavalry and Royal Lances were transferred to the 1st Deep Reconnaissance Strike Brigade, and three of the brigade's infantry battalions and the small support subunits were reassigned "to other brigades."[41]

Brigade commanders edit

The following officers have commanded the brigade:[5][42][43]

First World War edit

  • Brigadier-General F. I. Maxse (At mobilization)
  • Brigadier-General C. Fitzclarence (26 September 1914)
  • Colonel D. L. MacEwen (12 November 1914 - acting)
  • Brigadier-General H. C. Lowther (23 November 1914)
  • Brigadier-General A. J. Reddie (23 August 1915)
  • Brigadier-General J. R. M. Minshull-Ford (18 October 1917)
  • Brigadier-General C. J. C. Grant (21 October 1917)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir T. W. H. J. Erskine, Bt. (29 March 1918 - acting)
  • Brigadier-General W. B. Thornton (3 April 1918)
  • Brigadier-General L. L. Wheatley (22 September 1918)

Second World War edit

  • Brigadier Merton Beckwith-Smith (until 31 May 1940, again from 3 June 1940 until 14 July 1940)
  • Lieutenant Colonel L. Bootle-Wilbraham (acting, from 31 May 1940 until 3 June 1940)
  • Brigadier F.A.V. Copland-Griffiths (from 14 July 1940 until 14 April 1943)
  • Brigadier S.A. Forster (from 14 April 1943 until 24 July 1943)
  • Brigadier Philip Gregson-Ellis (from 24 July 1943 until 18 January 1944)
  • Lieutenant Colonel A.G.W. Heber-Percy (acting, from 18 January 1944 until 3 February 1944)
  • Brigadier J.C. Haydon (from 3 February 1944 until 29 July 1944)
  • Brigadier C.A.M.D. Scott (from 29 July 1944 until 21 January 1945, again from 13 February 1945 until 11 March 1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel E.J.B. Nelson (acting, from 21 January 1945 until 13 February 1945)
  • Brigadier Gerald Lloyd-Verney (from 11 March 1945)

Post-war edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Deep Recce Strike Brigade Combat Team". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence – The 1st Army Corps". The Times. No. 36892. London. 7 October 1902. p. 8.
  3. ^ a b c d e "History of 1st Mechanized Brigade" (PDF). British Army. 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  4. ^ Baker, Chris. "The British 1st Division in 1914–1918". 1914-1918.net. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Joslen, p. 225
  7. ^ British Army Master Order of Battle, 1991.
  8. ^ "1 Armoured Infantry Brigade". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Commander praises UK troops as final major Afghan deployment begins". BBC. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Regular Army Basing Plan" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Army 2020 report" (PDF). British Army. July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Transforming the British Army - An Update" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Household Cavalry parade marks departure for Bulford. • the Military Times". 18 May 2019. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Household Cavalry". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Army/Sec/21/04/FOI2017/02130/78471" (PDF). www.gov.uk. UK Army Secretariat. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Strike Experimentation Group:Written question - 117878". British Army. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  17. ^ King, Hannah (28 July 2020). "Plans For Catterick Garrison Redevelopment Ahead Of Arrival Of 3,500 Extra Troops". Forces Network. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise" (PDF). Parliament Publishing Services. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise" (PDF). Parliament Publishing Services. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  20. ^ "1 Armoured Infantry Brigade". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  21. ^ Hannah King (28 July 2020). "Plans For Catterick Garrison Redevelopment Ahead Of Arrival Of 3,500 Extra Troops". Forces Network. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Presentation by the Master of Signals" (PDF). royalsignals.org. 21 September 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  23. ^ Charlotte Cross (25 November 2015). "How Will The Army's New 'Strike Brigades' Work?". Forces Network. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  24. ^ Charlotte Cross (23 November 2015). "#SDSR2015: 5,000-Strong 'Strike Brigades' To Be Created By 2025". Forces Network. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Strike Experimentation Group" (PDF). whatdotheyknow.com. whatdotheyknow. 14 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020. I can advise that no units have been or will be assigned to the Strike Experimentation Group
  26. ^ "Strike Experimentation Group". questions-statements.parliament.uk. UK Hansard. 11 December 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020. The Strike Experimentation Group (SEG) was established in Warminster in April 2017 and is part of the headquarters of 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade
  27. ^ a b "Order of Battle is and basing arrangements are for 12th Mechanized Brigade". questions-statements.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  28. ^ "9th/12th Charitable Association Website". Delhispearman.org.uk. 5 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  29. ^ "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise" (PDF). Parliament Publishing Services. 10 March 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  30. ^ "The Royal Lancers have shown their ability to adapt to any task and operate at reach #strikeethos". Twitter. Archived from the original on 26 November 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  31. ^ "Written Question for the Ministry of Defence regarding Army basing and personnel". UK Parliament. 22 November 2018. Archived from the original on 15 September 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  32. ^ "The Garrison: Aldershot Garrison, Home of the British Army". Winter 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  33. ^ a b Fallon, Michael (15 December 2016). "Strategic Defence and Security Review – Army: Written statement – HCWS367". Hansard. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  34. ^ Regular Army basing matrix by formation and unit (PDF), Army Families Federation, archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2016
  35. ^ "pages 21 22". Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  36. ^ The Red Hackle November 2012 Archived 7 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Hannah King, 4 SCOTS Return to Work in Catterick after Afghanistan Deployment 3 December 2020. Forces News. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  38. ^ @3_rifles (18 February 2021). "We've been developing the mounted mindset in B Company this week, training with the MASTIFF vehicle in the rural and urban terrain" (Tweet). Retrieved 20 February 2021 – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  39. ^ The Rifles and The Royal Gloucestershire,Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment Newsletter 2013 Archived July 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ "3 RIFLES". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  41. ^ Ripley, Tim (2 August 2022). "UK disbands armoured infantry brigade". Janes (in Arabic, English, and Japanese). Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  42. ^ Mackie, Colin (June 2015). "III: Senior Army Appointments: 1860–" (PDF). gulabin.com. p. 223. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  43. ^ Becke, Major A. F. (1935). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1. The Regular British Divisions. London: HMSO. p. 34. ISBN 1-871167-09-4.

Sources edit

  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) [1960]. Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1.

External links edit