Portal:British Army

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The British Army

BritishArmyFlag2.svg

The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the governments and armed forces of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in the Acts of Union 1707. The new British Army incorporated regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland and was controlled by the War Office from London. As of 2006, the British Army includes roughly 107,730 active members and 38,460 Territorial Army members. The professional British Army has also been referred to as the Regular Army since the creation of the Territorial Army. The British Army is deployed in many of the world's war zones as part of a fighting force and in United Nations peacekeeping forces.

In contrast to the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, the British Army does not include "Royal" in its title, because of its roots as a collection of disparate units, many of which do bear the "Royal" prefix, such as the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers.

Selected article

Painting of the Battle by Jan Wyck
The Battle of the Boyne (Irish: Cath na Bóinne) was a turning point in the Williamite claim on the English throne.

The deposed King James VII of Scotland and James II of England and Ireland and his Jacobite supporters were defeated by James' nephew and son-in-law, William III and his supporters. By the invitation of Parliament, William had deposed James in 1688. Both Kings acted as Commander of their respective armies.

The battle took place on July 1, 1690 (OS) just outside the town of Drogheda on Ireland's east coast. Each army stood on opposing sides of the River Boyne. William's forces easily defeated those of James who led an army of mostly raw recruits. The symbolic importance of this battle has made it one of the best-known battles in British and Irish history and a key part in Irish Protestant folklore. It is still commemorated today, principally by the Orange Institution. As a consequence of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the battle is now commemorated on 12 July every year.

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Selected biography

Winston Churchill at a Conference at Quebec, August 1943
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. He has been studied to a unique extent as part of modern British and world history. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings.

During his army career Churchill saw combat with the Malakand Field Force on the Northwest Frontier, at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan and during the Second Boer War in South Africa. During this period he also gained fame, and not a small amount of notoriety, as a correspondent. At the forefront of the political scene for almost sixty years, Churchill held numerous political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade and Home Secretary during the Liberal governments. In the First World War Churchill served in numerous positions, as First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. He also served in the British Army on the Western Front and commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. During the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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Selected unit

Irish Guards, wearing bearskins, march to the Cenotaph (Whitehall, London, England) on June 12th 2005, for a service of remembrance for British soldiers
The Irish Guards is a regiment of the British Army, which is part of the Guards Division. The regiment has seen some truly "non-traditional" recruits, notably Zimbabwean Christopher Muzvuru, who qualified as a piper before becoming one of the regiment's two fatal casualties in Iraq in 2003.

Irish Guards officers tend to be drawn from the ranks of graduates of elite British public schools, particularly those with a Roman Catholic affiliation, such as Ampleforth College and Stonyhurst College.

One way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards is the spacing of buttons on the tunic. The Irish Guards have buttons arranged in groups of four. They also have a prominent blue plume on the right side of their bear skins.

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Selected equipment

The L118 Light Gun is a 105 mm towed howitzer, originally produced for the British Army in the 1970s and widely exported since, including to the United States, where a modified version is known as the M119A1. The proper name for it is "Gun, 105mm, Field, L118" but it almost always just called "the Light Gun"... Light Gun first entered service with the British Army in 1975. The new weapon was heavier than its predecessor, but new, more capable helicopters such as the Puma and Westland Sea King, which could carry the new weapon, were also entering service at the same time. However, a new vehicle, the Land Rover 101 Forward Control (Land Rover, One Ton) was designed as the prime mover in the field for the Light Gun and the Rapier air-defence missile launcher. Since the end of the 1990s, the British Army has been using Pinzgauer ATVs as their gun tractors. In arctic service, and elsewhere, the gun is towed by the Hägglunds Bv 206 and is fitted with skis when over snow.

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Sentries of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment
Credit: Philip Allfrey
Sentries of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in No.1 Dress Uniform being posted at Windsor.


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