1st Armoured Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)
|1st Armoured Infantry Brigade|
Insignia of 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade
|Active||1914 - present day|
|Part of||3rd (UK) Mechanized Division|
|Engagements||World War I
Battle of Mons
First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Aisne
First Battle of Ypres
Battle of Aubers Ridge
Battle of Loos
Battle of the Somme (1916)
Battle of Pozières
Third Battle of Ypres
Battle of Épehy
World War II
Battle of France
Battle of Monte Cassino
Liri Valley -
|Brigadier Simon Wright|
Previously it has been designated 1st Guards Brigade, 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Mechanised Brigade (from the 1990s), and under Army 2020 will take up the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade title.
- 1 History
- 2 Current Formation
- 3 Brigade Commanders
- 4 References
- 5 External links
World War I
Initially as 1st (Guards) Brigade, the formation was part of 1st Division during World War I. On formation of the Guards Division in August 1915, the brigade lost 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards and 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, both to 2nd Guards Brigade, and was redesignated without the Guards reference in its title as the 1st Brigade. It was with the 1st Division throughout the war. It saw action at the Battle of Mons, the First Battle of the Marne, the First Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Passchendaele, the Battle of Aubers Ridge, the Battle of Loos, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Pozières and the Battle of Épehy.
Order of battle First World War
- 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards (until August 1915)
- 1st Battalion, Scots Guards (until August 1915)
- 1st Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
- 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (until August 1914)
- 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (from September 1914)
- 1/14th Battalion, London Regiment (from November 1914, left February 1916)
- 10th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment (from August 1915, disbanded February 1918)
- 8th (Service) Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment (from August 1915, left February 1918)
- 1st Machine Gun Company, Machine Gun Corps (formed 26 January 1916, moved to 1st Battalion, Machine Gun Corps 28 February 1918)
- 1st Trench Mortar Battery (formed 27 November 1915)
- 1st Battalion, Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) (from February 1918)
Second World War
As the 1st (Guards) Brigade, it was sent to France in September 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and it later took part in the Battle of France in May-June 1940 and the subsequent Battle of Dunkirk and were evacuated to England, spending the next few years on home defence anticipating a German invasion of England. On 11 April 1942 the brigade was redesignated and reorganised as 1st Independent Brigade Group (Guards), with its own support units, until August when it was transferred to the 78th Infantry Division. In late 1942 it took part in the North African Campaign in Operation Torch: the allied landings in north western Africa, arriving in Algiers in November 1942.
The brigade was transferred to 6th Armoured Division in early 1943 and saw action in the Tunisia Campaign at the Battle of Fondouk, Battle of El Kourzia and Battle of Tunis in April and May 1943. Subsequently, the 1st (Guards) Brigade served in the Italian Campaign for the rest of the war under command of various divisions, seeing action in the Battle of Monte Cassino (where the brigade played a holding "hinge" role during Operation Diadem) and the Battle of Liri Valley in May 1944.
Order of battle Second World War
- 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
- 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
- 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment (until 1 June 1941, rejoined 25 November 1942, left 22 February 1943)
- 1st Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company (formed 3 September 1939, disbanded 31 December 1940)
- 8th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (from 25 December 1942 until 16 February 1943)
- 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards (from 1 March 1943)
- 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment (from 9 March until 29 June 1945)
Commanders (World War II)
- Brig. M.B.Beckwith-Smith
- Brig. F.A.V. Copland-Griffiths
- Brig. S.A. Foster
- Brig. P.G.S. Gregson-Ellis
- Brig. J.C. Haydon
- Brig. C.A.M.D. Scott
- Brig. G.L. Verney
Battles and Engagements (World War II)
- Fondouk - 7th to 11 April 1943
- El Kourzia - 22nd to 26 April 1943
- Tunis - 5th to 12 May 1943
- Battle of Monte Cassino - 11th to 18 May 1944
- Liri Valley - 18th to 30 May 1944
After the War the brigade, having lost its 'Guards' title, was transferred to Palestine for internal security duties and then to Egypt for a few months before going back to Palestine in April 1946. Two years later as the British mandate over Palestine ended the brigade and division returned to Egypt. In October 1951, British forces pulled out of Egypt outside of the Suez Canal Zone, and later the brigade returned to the United Kingdom, though it was in Cyprus during the EOKA insurgency for a period in 1957-8.
By the early 1980s the brigade, having been based in the UK for many years, formed the nucleus of the UK Mobile Force earmarked to reinforce Allied Forces Northern Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. After the end of the Cold War it was reassigned as part of the new 3rd (UK) Division and subsequently became a Mechanized Brigade. In 1996 it was deployed to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, with Multi-National Division (South-West), in 2000 it deployed to Sierra Leone and in 2002 it deployed to Kosovo.
More recently it deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic. Under Army 2020, it will be renamed as 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade and remain at its present location in Tidworth, forming part of the Reaction Force.
- 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade Units 2014
Recent commanders have included:
- 1946-1947 Brigadier JNR Moore
- 1947-1949 Brigadier GF Johnson
- 1952-1954 Brigadier GC Gordon-Lennox
- 1997-1999 Brigadier J McColl
- 1999-2000 Brigadier JP Riley
- 2001-2002 Brigadier S Mayall
- 2012-2014 Brigadier Rupert Jones
- "History of 1st Mechanized Brigade" (PDF). British Army. 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Baker, Chris. "The British 1st Division in 1914-1918". 1914-1918.net. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "British Infantry Brigades 1st thru 215th 1939-1945" (PDF). US Army Combined Arms Center. 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Regular Army Basing Plan" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Army 2020 report" (PDF). British Army. July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "1 Armoured Infantry Brigade". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Mackie, Colin (June 2015). "III: Senior Army Appointments: 1860-" (PDF). gulabin.com. p. 223. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
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