Anti-Aircraft Command

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Anti-Aircraft Command
Active 1939-1955
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Command
Garrison/HQ Bentley Priory

Anti-Aircraft Command was a British Army command of the Second World War that controlled the Territorial Army anti-aircraft artillery and searchlight formations and units defending the British Isles.


The formation of a body of anti-aircraft guns had been announced in 1938 but Anti-Aircraft Command was not formed until 1 April 1939 under General Sir Alan Brooke who then passed control to Sir Frederick Pile, another British Army officer. Pile would remain in command until the end of the war.

It was under the operational direction of RAF Fighter Command and occupied a headquarters known as Glenthorn in the grounds of Bentley Priory, home of Fighter Command.[1]

The majority of the guns of AAC were operated by regular British Army and Territorial Army units. Later as the war progressed, these were freed up by the use of men of the Home Guard (loading and firing the guns) and women of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (handling ammunition and operating gun directors).

Divisional organisation[edit]

Divisions under the command were:[2][3][4]

AA Command was also responsible for the Orkney and Shetland Defences (OSDEF)

Corps organisation[edit]

At the end of 1940 the Command created three Corps to supervise this expanding organisation:[2][4]

Group organisation[edit]

In October 1942 the corps and divisions were abolished and replaced by seven flexible AA Groups:[2]

(1st and 2nd AA Groups coincided with No. 11 Group RAF)

Later events[edit]

Later, 6th AA Group took over the Solent area to cover the preparations for Operation Overlord and was replaced in NE England by a new 8th Anti-Aircraft Group.

A new 9th Anti-Aircraft Group was formed to cover southern East Anglia during the flying bomb offensive (Operation Diver).

On 1 April 1943 AA Command took over control of smoke screens from the Ministry of Home Security. These installations were manned by the Pioneer Corps

On 1 December 1954 it was announced that AA Command would be disbanded with effect from 10 March 1955.[8]

General Officers Commanding-in-Chief[edit]

General Officers Commanding-in-Chief have included:[9][10][11]


  1. ^ Peter Wykeham, Fighter Command: A Study of Air Defence, 1914-1960, accessed 30 May 2008
  2. ^ a b c London Gazette
  3. ^ Orbat 3 September 1939
  4. ^ a b "RA 39-45 UK 1940". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  5. ^ "RA 39-45 1 AA Corps". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  6. ^ "RA 39-45 2 AA Corps". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  7. ^ "RA 39-45 3 AA Corps". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  8. ^ Beckett, Territorials: A Century of Service, TA100, 2008, 178.
  9. ^ Whitaker's Almanacks 1939 - 1955
  10. ^ Anti-Aircraft Command at
  11. ^ Army Commands


External links[edit]

See also[edit]