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The I Airborne Corps was an airborne forces corps raised by the British Army during the Second World War. Together with the U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps it was part of the First Allied Airborne Army.

I Airborne Corps
British Airborne Units.svg
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleAirborne forces
Part ofFirst Allied Airborne Army
Nickname(s)Red Devils [nb 1]
Sir Frederick Browning
Sir Richard Gale


Under the command of Lieutenant-General Frederick Arthur Montague Browning, I Airborne Corps was formed in 1943, with the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions under command.[2] In August 1944, the corps became part of the First Allied Airborne Army, alongside U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps.[2]

Later in the war, as well as the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions, the corps had the 1st Special Air Service Brigade, the Polish 1st Parachute Brigade and the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division an air-transportable division under corps command.[3][4] Other units assigned to the corps were the American 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. Lieutenant-General Richard Nelson Gale, who had previously commanded the 6th Airborne Division during the Battle of Normandy, took command of the corps in December 1944.[5]


  1. ^ The 1st Parachute Brigade had been called the "Rote Teufel" or "Red Devils" by the German troops they had fought in North Africa. The title was officially confirmed by General Sir Harold Alexander and henceforth applied to all British airborne troops.[1]
  1. ^ Otway, p.88
  2. ^ a b Horn and Wyczynski, p.294
  3. ^ Otway, p.202
  4. ^ Otway, p.210
  5. ^ Richard Gale Pegassus archive


  • Horn, Bernd; Wyczynski, Michel (2003). Paras versus the Reich: Canada's paratroopers at war, 1942-45. Dundurn Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-55002-470-8.
  • Otway, Lieutenant-Colonel T.B.H (1990). The Second World War 1939–1945 Army – Airborne Forces. London: Imperial War Museum. ISBN 0-901627-57-7.