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1st Mechanized Brigade (United Kingdom)
1st Mechanized
Insignia of 1st Mechanized Brigade
Country Great Britain
Branch British Army
Service history
Active 1914 - present day
Part of 3rd (UK) Mechanized Division
Battles 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
El Kourzia
Battle of Monte Cassino
Liri Valley -
Commanders Brig Rupert Jones MBE[1]

The 1st Mechanized Brigade is a British Army formation with a long history including service during the First and Second World Wars. It is based in the Wiltshire town of Tidworth.


World War IEdit

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 and was redesignated without the Guards reference in its title. 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.[2]

World War IIEdit

As the 1st Guards Brigade, it took part in the Battle of France in June 1940 and the subsequent Dunkirk evacuation. In 1942 it took part in Operation Torch: the allied landings in north western Africa, arriving in Algiers in November 1942.[2]

The brigade saw action at the Battle of Fondouk, Battle of El Kourzia and Battle of Tunis in April and May 1943. Subsequently, the 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.[2]

Post warEdit

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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[2] More recently it deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic.[2] 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.[3][4]

Commanders (World War II)Edit

Battles and Engagements (World War II)Edit

  • 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

Structure (World War II)Edit

Current FormationEdit

Brigade CommandersEdit

Recent commanders have included:[5]


External linksEdit

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