Portal:British Army

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The British Army

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army that was created during the Restoration in 1660. The term "British Army" was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army; hence the reason it is not called the "Royal Army". Therefore, Parliament approves the Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The Army is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff.

The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars. Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. Read more...

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The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest recognition for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces of any rank in any service, and civilians under military command. It is also the highest military award in the British honours system. The decoration is a cross pattée, 1.375 inches (35 mm) wide, bearing a crown surmounted by a lion, and the inscription "FOR VALOUR". This was originally to have been "FOR BRAVERY", until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria, who thought some might erroneously consider that only the recipients of the VC were brave in battle. The decoration, suspension bar and link weigh about 0.87 troy ounces (27 g). The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to the British Army and four to the Australian Army have been awarded since the start of the Korean War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting a variety of origins. Due to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal can reach over £400,000 at auction.

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Selected biography

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinborough at NASA in 2007
The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921), is the husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II.

Originally a royal Prince of Greece and Denmark, Prince Philip renounced these titles shortly before his marriage, though he retains the Greek flag (white cross on blue field) on his Shield of Arms. At the time of his engagement he was known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. On 20 November 1947, he married Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive to King George VI. Prince Philip is a member of the Danish-German House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which includes the royal houses of Denmark and Norway and the deposed royal house of Greece.

The day before his marriage, King George VI granted him the style of His Royal Highness and, on the morning of the marriage, created him Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. In 1957, Philip was created a Prince of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1952, the Duke was given the rank and titles Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. He was also made the Captain-General of the Royal Marines. As was the established tradition with all previous monarchs, the Queen as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces outranks, by virtue of being Sovereign, all military personnel.

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Selected unit

TRF of the Royal Gurkha Rifles
The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) is a regiment of the British Army, forming part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. The Royal Gurkha Rifles are now the sole infantry regiment of the British Army Gurkhas. Like the other Gurkha regiments of the British and Indian armies, the regiment is recruited from Gurkhas from Nepal, which is a nation independent of the United Kingdom and not a member of the Commonwealth. The regiment was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the four separate Gurkha regiments in the British Army:

The Royal Gurkha Rifles are considered to be some of the finest soldiers in the world, as is evidenced by the high regard they are held in for both their fighting skill, and their smartness of turnout on parade. Their standard of drill is considered to be on a par with that of the Foot Guards, so much so that on many occasions the regiment has mounted the guard at Buckingham Palace.

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Selected equipment

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare - Psg 90.jpg

The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare rifle is a family of bolt-action sniper rifles designed and manufactured by the British company Accuracy International. It has proved popular as a civilian, police and military rifle since its introduction in the 1980s.

Generally Artic Warfare rifles are outfitted with a Schmidt & Bender PM II telescopic sight with fixed power of magnification or with variable magnification. Variable telescopic sights can be used if the operator wants more flexibility to shoot at varying ranges, or when a wide field of view is required. Accuracy International actively promotes fitting the German made Schmidt & Bender PM II product line as sighting components on their rifles, which is almost unique for a rifle manufacturer. The German Army preferred a telescopic sight made by Zeiss over Accuracy Internationals preference.

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An early model British Mark I "male" tank, named C-15, near Thiepval, 25 September 1916.
Credit: Lt. Ernest Brooks
An early model British Mark I "male" tank, named C-15, near Thiepval, 25 September 1916. The tank is probably in reserve for the Battle of Thiepval Ridge which began on 26 September. The tank is fitted with the wire "grenade shield" and steering tail, both features discarded in the next models.


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Army Motor ReserveArmy Regulation BillThomas Best (soldier)Francis BlanchainRichard BonythonBernard Brocas (Royalist)Cannon KopjeCombined Operations DirectorateCommando Basic Training CentreDonkeymanDublin BrigadeHumphrey GaleGeneral Service Enlistment ActInfantry Junior Leaders BattalionCharles Morgan (army officer)John Norris (army officer)Donat Henchy O'BrienNarendra Bir SinghThirty CommitteePaul Mainwaring JonesSiege of CartagenaCounty Galway VolunteersGurkha Security Guards LimitedKeeni-Meeni ServicesLifeguard (mercenary company)James Patterson StewardSaladin SecurityTrident MaritimeEuan McPherson (commander in Lord Loudoun's army) • Headquarters Theatre Troops (British Army current unit) • Remote Radar Head (RAF radar station classification) • No. 11 Wing RAFNo. 23 Wing RAFNo. 51 Wing RAFOperations in Waziristan (1921–1924)870 Naval Air Squadron871 Naval Air Squadron881 Naval Air Squadron883 Naval Air Squadron
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Battle of GermantownRoulementAddiscombe Military AcademyHome Defence ExecutiveOperation AccumulatorWilliam RowanRichard James DacresFrederick HainesCádiz Expedition (1625)Battle of Skerki BankCádiz ExpeditionRichard Clement MoodyArthur Reid LempriereHenry Spencer PalmerRoyal Engineers, Columbia detachment8x57mm IS (nomenclature as "7.92mm" by Poland and GB?) • William VavasourBattle of Foz de Arouce
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