197th (Lancashire Fusiliers) Brigade

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The 197th (2/1st Lancashire Fusiliers) Brigade was an infantry brigade formation of the British Army during the First World War. It was raised as a duplicate formation of the 125th (1/1st Lancashire Fusiliers) Brigade and was part of the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division, from those men in the Territorial Force who originally had not agreed to serve overseas. However, the brigade ended up seeing active service on the Western Front during the Battle of Poelcappelle, part of the Third Battle of Ypres. In March 1918, the brigade suffered extremely high and horrendous casualties during Operation Michael, the opening phase of the German Army's Spring Offensive. The brigade received such heavy casualties that it was reduced to a cadre and became a training brigade and saw no more active service for the rest of the war. The brigade was replaced in the 66th Division by the 1st South African Brigade.

After the war, the brigade was disbanded along with the rest of the Territorial Force. However, in the 1920s, the Territorial Army was formed, on a similar basis to the Territorial Force. By 1939 another war in Europe seemed inevitable and so the Territorial Army was doubled in size. The brigade, now reformed as the 197th Infantry Brigade, again became part of the 66th Division, which was also reconstituted. The brigade saw service in World War II originally with the 66th Division until it was broken up in June 1940 and 197th Brigade was transferred to the 59th (Staffordshire) Division, the Pithead Division, reforming it as standard infantry division. After spending many years training in the United Kingdom, the 59th Division landed in France in late June 1944 and became part of the British Second Army and fought in the Battle for Caen after the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944. However, both the brigade and division were broken up in late August 1944 due to a severe shortage of infantrymen throughout the Army and the men were sent as replacements to other British divisions in the 21st Army Group.

Formation in World War I[edit]

Not all the infantry battalions served in the brigade at the same time.

[1]

Formation in World War II[edit]

[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "64th (2nd Highland) Division". The Long Long Trail. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "59th (Staffordshire) Division". Robert Morss. Retrieved 6 April 2014.