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The British Army

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army that was created during the Restoration in 1660. The term British Army was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army. Therefore, Parliament approves the army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The army is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff.

The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars. Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War, the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. Read more...

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Map Showing Location of the Falkland Islands
The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), also called the Falklands Conflict/Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Argentina; their name and sovereignty over them have long been disputed.

The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982 followed by the occupation of the Falklands, and ended when Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982. War was not actually declared by either side. The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by Britain as an invasion of a British overseas territory, and the most recent invasion of British territory by a foreign power.

In the period leading up to the war, Argentina was in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the military junta that had been governing the country since 1976. The Argentine military government, headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, sought to maintain power by diverting public attention playing off long-standing feelings of the Argentines towards the islands, although they never thought that the United Kingdom would respond militarily. The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of hired Argentinian scrap metal merchants raised their flag at South Georgia, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war.

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Selected biography

Montgomery wearing his famous beret with two cap badges
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (/məntˈɡʌməri ... ˈæləmn/; 17 November 1887– 24 March 1976), often referred to as "Monty", was an Anglo-Irish British Army officer. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign during World War II, and troops under his command played a major role in the expulsion of Axis forces from North Africa. He was later a prominent commander in Italy and North-West Europe, where he was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord until after the Battle of Normandy.

Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. The 3rd Division was deployed to Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Montgomery predicted a disaster similar to that in 1914, and so spent the Phony War training his troops for tactical retreat rather than offensive operations. During this time, Montgomery faced serious trouble from his superiors after again taking a very pragmatic attitude towards the sexual health of his soldiers - outraging the clergy by stating openly in a memo that in his opinion "when a man wanted a woman, he should have one" - but was defended from dismissal by his superior Alan Brooke, commander of II Corps.

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The Army Air Corps is a component of the British Army. There are eight regiments of the AAC as well as five Independent Flights and two Independent Squadrons deployed in support of British Army operations across the world. They are located in Britain, Belize, Brunei, Canada, and Germany. The AAC provides the organic offensive air elements of 16th Air Assault Brigade.

The Army first took to the sky when the requirement for observation aircraft was realised during the First World War, with the creation of the Royal Flying Corps.
Between the wars, the Army used RAF co-operation squadrons, though a true army presence did not occur until WWII.
At the beginning of WWII, Royal Artillery officers, with the assistance of RAF technicians, flew Auster observation aircraft under RAF-owned Air Observation Post Squadrons. Twelve such squadrons were raised—three of which belonged to the RCAF—and each performed vital duties in a wide array of missions in many theatres.
In early WWII, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced the establishment of a new branch of army aviation, the Army Air Corps, formed in 1942. The corps initially comprised the Glider Pilot Regiment and the Parachute Battalions (subsequently the Parachute Regiment), and the Air Observation Post Squadrons. In 1944, the re-formed SAS Regiment was added to the Corps.

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Selected equipment

Army mlrs 1982 02.jpg

The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is a multiple rocket launcher, a type of rocket artillery.

The first rocket systems were delivered to the US Army in 1983. The system is in widespread use in the NATO countries and it has also been manufactured in Europe. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured, along with more than 700,000 rockets. The system has been used in the Gulf wars, where it proved itself as a practical and effective weapons system. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian army.

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Pikemen escorting John Stuttard, Lord Mayor of London during the 2006 Lord Mayor's Show.
Credit: David Illiff
Pikemen escorting John Stuttard, Lord Mayor of London during the 2006 Lord Mayor's Show. The Pikemen and Musketeers (formed 1925, given a Royal Warrant 1955) are made up of veteran members of the Active Unit they are the personal bodyguard of the Lord Mayor of London and form his Guard on ceremonial occasions.


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