24th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

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24th Infantry Brigade
(Guards)
(Airmobile)
Active World War I
1914 - 1918
World War II
1939 - 1945
1945 - 1999
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Major General Sir Colin McVean Gubbins
Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning

The 24th Infantry Brigade was a British Army formation from the First World War to 1999.

History[edit]

1914 - 1918[edit]

The Brigade was first formed as part of the 8th Infantry Division by battalions returning from overseas stations to reinforce British forces on the Western Front in France. The Brigade moved to France with the rest of the 8th Division in November 1914 and fought there for the entire war.

1939 - 1945[edit]

In 1940 as 24th Guards Brigade, under the command of Brigadier Colin Gubbins, it was part of Lieutenant General H.R.S. Massey's unsuccessful British force that was sent to Norway in April. It arrived in Narvik on April 15, 1940 and was evacuated on June 8, 1940.

In 1942-1943 the Brigade formed part of the British 1st Infantry Division and the British 6th Armoured Division during the fighting in Tunisia and Algeria. From December 7, 1943 to August 31, 1945 it served in the Italian Campaign mainly with the 6th South African Armoured Division. As 24th Guards Brigade it was part of the force that liberated Trieste in 1945, but soon afterwards lost its 'Guards' title as the Guards units were withdrawn from the brigade and became 24th Independent Infantry Brigade, the infantry element of the Trieste Garrison - BETFOR (British Element Trieste Force).

Post World War II[edit]

The Brigade was withdrawn from Trieste in October 1954. In 1960 as 24th Infantry Brigade Group the brigade's commander, Brigadier D.G. Horsford, was rushed from Kenya to Kuwait to take command of the British land forces assembled to dissuade President Kassem of Iraq from invading the country (Operation Vantage). By December 1963 Kenya gained its independence, and the Brigade was reduced to two battalions, 2nd Battalion Scots Guards and 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment, both at Kahawa, plus 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders at Gilgil. It was involved in putting down indigenous army mutinies which sprang up in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda (see Ugandan People's Defence Force), and Kenya itself in January 1964. Brigade Headquarters left Kenya for Aden at the end of October 1964, and stayed there until the final British evacuation of Aden in November 1967. On its return home it joined 3rd Infantry Division in 1968 as part of Army Strategic Command and was based at Crownhill Fort in Plymouth, now restored and a museum. The accommodation being across the A386 in Plumer barracks, on Fort Austin Avenue.

The Brigade arrived in Northern Ireland at the start of The Troubles in mid-1969 and was back again in June 1970. The brigade was soon afterward reorganised as 24th Airportable Brigade at Streatlam Camp, Barnard Castle, County Durham. At this time the Brigade headquarters consisted of elements from various units. There was a large contingent of Royal Corps of Signals (210 Signal Squadron), Royal Pioneer Corps, Intelligence Corps and Royal Army Ordnance Corps. After its reformation in 1983, It became part of the 2nd Infantry Division. It had the war role of putting an airmobile anti-tank barrier in the face of any Soviet breakthrough of I (BR) Corps defences in Germany. 1st battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment pioneered this new airmobile role and served with UNPROFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, as part of the 'Rapid Reaction Force. It combined with elements of 5th Airborne Brigade to become 16 (Air Assault) Brigade.

Commanders[edit]

Order of battle 1939 - 1945[edit]

Notes[edit]

Additional information from 24149293 Signalman C. O. Napier. 210 signal squadron 1969 to 1972.

References[edit]