18th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

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For the equivalent formation in World War I, see 18th (Eastern) Division.
18th Infantry Division
18th Infantry Division UK badge.jpg
18th Infantry Division badge
Active Second World War
Country United Kingdom
Branch Territorial Army
Type Infantry
Engagements France (1940)
Battle of Muar (53rd Infantry Brigade)
Singapore (1942)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Bernard Paget

The 18th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the Territorial Army, part of the British Army, that saw service in World War II. It was formed as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division using mostly units with connections to East Anglia. The division fought in the Battle of Singapore but later surrendered and was captured by the Japanese in February 1942.

History[edit]

The 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division[citation needed] was a 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicate of the 1st Line 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division and was raised in 1939 on the doubling of the Territorial Army as war with Nazi Germany seemed increasingly likely. However, despite being a 2nd Line formation, the division also contained many 1st Line units, most coming from the 54th Division.

Among the infantry brigades, the 53rd Infantry Brigade was converted (simply redesignated) from the 163rd Infantry Brigade, part of the 54th (East Anglian) Division, on 18 September 1939. The brigade arrived at Singapore on 13 January 1942, before the rest of the division, and was attached to the 11th Indian Infantry Division and Westforce on mainland Malaya where it was involved in the retreat back to Singapore, fighting the Battle of Muar, the last major battle of the Malayan Campaign, in company with Indian units.

The main part of the 18th Infantry Division landed at Singapore a few weeks before the fall of the island. After the violent week-long Battle of Singapore, Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival, commander of the Singapore garrison, surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army on 15 February 1942. The division's soldiers went into Japanese POW camps where they suffered many hardships for the next three years.

The division was not reformed later in the war or afterwards.

General Officer Commanding[edit]

Order of Battle World War II[edit]

SS Empress of Asia beached and burning, 5 February 1942. The convoy comprised four vessels bringing the remainder of the 18th Division to Singapore, and was the last convoy to reach the island before it fell.

This is the division's order of battle at the time of the Battle of Singapore, January 1942

53rd Infantry Brigade

Commander previous to Duke were Brig. M.D. Jephson and Brig. S. Collingwood.[1]

54th Infantry Brigade

  • Brigadier E.K.W. Backhouse
  • 4th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
  • 5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment

55th Infantry Brigade

Divisional Troops

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 53 Infantry Brigade at Orders of Battle.com

External links[edit]