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The Berlin Infantry Brigade was a British Army brigade-sized garrison based in West Berlin during the Cold War. After the end of World War II, under the conditions of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, the Allied forces occupied West Berlin. This occupation lasted throughout the Cold War. The French Army also had units in Berlin, called Forces Françaises à Berlin and the US Army's unit in Berlin was the Berlin Brigade.

Berlin Infantry Brigade
Country United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
TypeDistrict Command


British Army Chieftain tanks of the Berlin armoured squadron, taking part in the Allied Forces Day parade in June 1989

The Berlin Infantry Brigade was formed in October 1953 out of the force called "Area Troops Berlin" and consisted of some 3,100 men in three infantry battalions, an armoured squadron, and a number of support units. Its shoulder sleeve insignia was a red circle over a black background with the word Berlin in red on a black background running around the top.[1] It was not initially part of the British Army of the Rhine despite being based in Germany.[2] However, it is recorded, at the very least, by the mid-1980s, that the brigade was indeed part of BAOR, being its second major component after I (BR) Corps.[3]

The military post code for Berlin was originally BAOR 2, later BFPO 45.

The three infantry battalions and armoured squadron assigned to Berlin were rotated regularly; the single armoured squadron was detached from an armoured regiment assigned to I (BR) Corps. The infantry battalions were rotated every two years.[4][5] All other units were permanently based in Berlin.


At the time when the Berlin Wall fell, the operational structure of the British forces in Berlin was as follows:

Under the treaties that enabled the German reunification, all non-German military forces were required to leave Berlin. Therefore the brigade was reduced to two battalions in 1992, then further reduced in 1993 to a single battalion. Finally Berlin Infantry Brigade was officially disbanded in September 1994 and its troops moved to the United Kingdom or British Forces Germany garrisons.[6]

Different names of the Berlin Infantry Brigade from 1945–1994:[7]
Month, Year Name
November 1946 - British Troops Berlin
February 1949 - Area Troops Berlin
October 1953 - Berlin Infantry Brigade Group
December 1963 - Berlin Infantry Brigade
April 1977 - Berlin Field Force
January 1981 – September 1994 Berlin Infantry Brigade

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Berlin Brigade". 22 June 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  2. ^ The British Army in Germany: An ... – Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  3. ^ David C. Isby & Charles Kamps Jr, Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's, 1985, p.303
  4. ^ "Berlin Infantry Brigade". 2 July 1945. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  5. ^ "British Army Units". Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  6. ^ The British Army in Germany: An ... – Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  7. ^ Graham Watson; Richard A. Rinaldi (2005). The British Army in Germany (BAOR and after): An Organizational History 1947–2004. Tiger Lily Publications LLC. p. 127. ISBN 0-9720296-9-9.

Further readingEdit

  • Durie, W. (2012). The British Garrison Berlin 1945-1994 "No where to go" Berlin: Vergangenheits/Berlin. ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5.

External links and referencesEdit