2nd Anti-Aircraft Division (United Kingdom)
|2nd Anti-Aircraft Division|
|Active||15 December 1935–1 October 1942|
|Part of||Northern Command (1936–39)
Anti-Aircraft Command (1939–40)
2 AA Corps (1940–42)
2nd Anti-Aircraft Division (2 AA Division) was an Air Defence formation of the British Army from 1935 to 1942. It controlled anti-aircraft gun and searchlight units of the Territorial Army (TA) defending the East Midlands and East Anglia during The Blitz.
In December 1935 the TA's 46th (North Midland) Division (which also acted as HQ for the North Midland Area of Northern Command) was disbanded and its headquarters was converted into 2nd Anti-Aircraft (AA) Division to control the increasing number of AA units being created. At first it administered all AA units in Great Britain outside London and the Home Counties, which were covered by 1st AA Division. The new division was first organised at York, but shortly afterwards took over 46 Division's HQ at Normanton, Derby.
Order of Battle
General Officer Commanding: Major-General M.F. Grove-White
- 30th (Northumbrian) Anti-Aircraft Group organised 1 November 1936 in Sunderland
- 62nd (North and East Riding) Anti-Aircraft Brigade, Royal Artillery (RA) – AA guns
- 63rd (Northumbrian) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA – AA guns
- 64th (Northumbrian) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA – AA guns
- 37th (Tyne) Anti-Aircraft Battalion (Tyne Electrical Engineers), Royal Engineers (RE) – searchlights
- 47th (The Durham Light Infantry) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE – searchlights
- 31st (North Midland) Anti-Aircraft Group organised 1 November 1936 in Retford
- 66th (Leeds Rifles) (The West Yorkshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA (TA) – AA guns
- 67th (The York and Lancaster Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA (TA) – AA guns
- 43rd (The Duke of Wellington's Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 46th (The Lincolnshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 32nd (South Midland) Anti-Aircraft Group organised 1 November 1936 at Normanton
- 69th (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA (TA) – AA guns
- 40th (The Sherwood Foresters) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – AA guns
- 42nd (The Robin Hoods, Sherwood Foresters) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 44th (The Leicestershire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 45th (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 33rd (Western) Anti-Aircraft Group organised at Chester
- 65th (The Manchester Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA (TA) – AA guns
- 38th (The King's Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 39th (The Lancashire Fusiliers) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
- 41st (The North Staffordshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, RE (TA) – searchlights
40, 41, 42, 44 and 46 AA Battalions had previously been infantry battalions in 46th Division.
In 1938 the Royal Artillery replaced the traditional unit designation 'Brigade' by 'Regiment', which allowed the AA Groups to take the more usual formation title of Brigades.
As the expansion of air defences gathered pace after the Munich Crisis, new units and formations appeared. In November 1938, 31 and 33 AA Bdes transferred to the newly formed 7 AA Division and 4 AA Division respectively. In 1939, 30 AA Bde also joined 7 AA Division. They were replaced in 2 AA Division by new brigades. In April 1939, AA Command was formed to control all the AA gun and searchlight defences of the UK.
HQ: RAF Hucknall
- 32nd (South Midland) Anti-Aircraft Brigade at Derby
- 40th Anti-Aircraft Brigade organised 29 September 1938 at South Ealing, London'
- 41st (London) Anti-Aircraft Brigade organised 29 September 1938 in Chelsea, London
- 50th Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade organised 24 August 1939 at Hucknall
- 26 LAA Regt RA – mobile reserve
- 2 AA Divisional Signals, Royal Corps of Signals
- 2 AA Divisional Workshops Royal Army Ordnance Corps
In August 1940, all RE AA battalions became Searchlight regiments of the RA, and AA regiments became Heavy AA (HAA) regiments to distinguish them from the new Light AA (LAA) regiments.
General Officer Commanding:
- Major-General M.F. Grove-White (promoted to command 2 AA Corps on 12 November 1940)
- Major-General F.L.M. Crossman, DSO, MC (until disbandment)
- 32 AA Bde covering the East Midlands
- 50 AA Bde covering Derby & Nottingham
- 67 HAA
- 113 HAA (part)
- 28 LAA
- 38 LAA (part)
- 64 LAA (part)
- 42 S/L
- 38 S/L (part)
- 50 S/L
- 2 AA Divisional Signals
- 2 AA Division 1936–38 at British Military History
- Northern Command 1930–38 at British Military History
- Monthly Army List 1936–39.
- Sir Frederick Pile's despatch: 'The Anti-Aircraft Defence of the United Kingdom from 28th July, 1939, to 15th April, 1945' London Gazette 16 October 1947
- [2 AA Division 1939 at British Military History]
- AA Command 3 September 1939 at Patriot Files
- 2 AA Division 1940 at British Military History
- 2 AA Div at RA 39–45
- 15 AA Z Rgt at RA 39–45
- Norman E.H. Litchfield, The Territorial Artillery 1908–1988 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1992, ISBN 0-9508205-2-0.