22nd Guards Brigade

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For the equivalent formation in the First World War, see 22nd Brigade (United Kingdom).
22nd Guards Brigade
200th Guards Brigade
201st Guards Motor Brigade
Active 1939–1946
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Garrison/HQ Mersa Matruh
Engagements Tobruk, Battle of Gazala, Medenine, Mareth Akarit, Enfidaville, Tunis, Salerno, Capture of Naples, Volturno Crossing, Monte Casino, Garigliano Crossing

The 22nd Guards Brigade was an infantry brigade of the British Army that saw very distinguished active service during the Second World War.

History[edit]

The 22nd Infantry Brigade was formed by the redesignation of the 29th Infantry Brigade on 3 September 1939 and in March 1940 became responsible for all the troops in the Mersa Matruh Garrison area. In February 1941 the unit was reformed and renamed the 22nd Guards Brigade on 20 March 1941. It was converted to the 200th Guards Brigade (14 January 1942) and then finally the 201st Guards Motor Brigade (25 May 1942).

The 201st Guards Brigade saw extensive service in the North African Campaign. It was forced to surrender on 20 June 1942 when Tobruk was captured by German and Italian forces. It was reformed as the 201st Guards Motor Brigade in Egypt on 14 August 1942.

In July 1943 the brigade, now commanded by Brigadier Julian Gascoigne, was attached to the 56th (London) Infantry Division to replace the 168th (London) Infantry Brigade of that division which was temporarily attached to the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division during the Sicilian invasion. With the rest of the 56th Division, the brigade landed at Salerno, the first stage of the Italian Campaign, on 9 September 1943, where they were involved in heavy fighting and sustained heavy losses. During the battle 27-year old Company Sergeant Major Peter Harold Wright of the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards was awarded the Victoria Cross. The brigade continued to fight in Italy, crossing the Volturno Line in October and in December at the Bernhardt Line. In early 1944, due to heavy casualties and a lack of Guards replacements, the brigade was eventually sent back to the United Kingdom, where it became a training brigade for the whole Brigade of Guards for the rest of the war.[1]

Order of battle[edit]

The brigade was composed as follows during the war:

  • 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards (from 28 February 1941, left 1 October 1941, rejoined 14 December 1941 and left 16 June 1942)
  • 1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (from 28 February 1941, left 23 May 1941)
  • 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards (from 11 March 1941, left 20 June 1942)
  • 22nd Guards Brigade Anti-Tank Company (formed 1 June 1941, disbanded 28 July 1941)
  • 1st Battalion, Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) (from 7 June 1941, left 21 September 1941)
  • 9th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) (from 29 September 1941, left 14 December 1941, rejoined 14 January and left 4 June 1942)

Upon reforming in August 1942 the 201st Guards Motor Brigade was composed as follows:

  • 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards (from 25 August 1942, left 23 June 1943, rejoined 22 July 1943 and left 12 March 1944, rejoined again 1 April 1945, left 3 August 1945)
  • 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards (from 25 August 1942, left 27 June 1943)
  • 9th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) (from 1 to 5 September 1942)
  • 6th Battalion, Grenadier Guards (from 7 October 1942, disbanded 17 November 1944)
  • 1st Battalion, Irish Guards (from 13 March 1944)
  • 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards (from 11 April, left 3 August 1945)

Commanders[edit]

  • Lieutenant Colonel E.G. Earle (3 October 1939 – 21 October 1939)
  • Brigadier J.T. Leslie (21 October 1939 – 26 July 1940)
  • Brigadier G. Dawes (26 July 1940 – 26 August 1940)
  • Brigadier A.R. Selby (26 August 1940 – 1 September 1940)
  • Brigadier I.D. Erskine (11 February 1941 – 5 October 1941)
  • Brigadier J.C.O. Marriott (20 October 1941 – 17 June 1942)
  • Brigadier G.F. Johnson (17 June 1942 – 20 June 1942)
  • Brigadier J.A. Gascoigne (14 August 1942 – 13 November 1943)
  • Brigadier R.B.R. Colvin (27 November 1942 – 5 January 1945)
  • Brigadier H.R. Norman (5 January 1945 – 31 August 1945)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "56 (London) Infantry Division (1943-45)" (PDF). British Military History. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) [1960]. Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1. 

External links[edit]