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Hampshire County Division
Hampshire County Division Insignia.jpg
Division insignia of the Hampshire County Division
Active 28 February 1941—31 December 1941
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Static Defence Division
Role Home Defence
Size Division
Part of V Corps
Division HQ Raglan Barracks, Devonport
Commanders
Current
commander
Major General George James Paul St. Clair

The Hampshire County Division was a formation of the British Army, raised in World War II and originally formed on 28 February 1941 by the redesignation of Hampshire Area.

History[edit | edit source]

On 28 February 1941, the Hampshire County Division was formed through the redesignation of the short-lived Hampshire Area, itself formed from the splitting of Southern Area.[1]

After formation, the new division was suborinated to V Corps, which was tasked with covering the coast in the counties of the old Southern Area: Dorset, Wiltshire (except that portion of the county included in the Salisbury Plain Area), and Hampshire (except those portions of the country included in the Aldershot Command, the Salisbury Plain Area and the Portsmouth Area).[1][2][3]

The division's one and only commander was Major General George James Paul St. Clair, who held the post from 28 February 1941 to 31 November 1941.[4][5]

Disbandment[edit | edit source]

On 22 June 1941, Germany launched a massive attack upon the Soviet Union; this attack all but removed the threat of a German invasion of the United Kingdom. However, the British still had to consider the threat due to the possibility that the Soviet Union could collapse under the German onslaught and the ease in which Germany could transfer troops back to the west. In late 1941, the arrival of autumn and winter weather meant that the threat of invasion subsided. This, coupled with the production of new equipment for the British Army, allowed the War Office to begin steps to better balance the army due to the large number of infantry units formed during the preceding year and a half. As part of this reform, the County Divisions were disbanded.

Therefore, on 25 November 1941 the division ceased to function, and on 31 December 1941, the Hampshire Division was disbanded and its tasked subsumed by HQ Southern Area.[5]

Organisation[edit | edit source]

Private of the 12th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment in training at Hengistbury Head near Bournemouth, Dorset. Wearing his gas mask, a soldier advances through a smoke screen.

The division's organisation was as follows.[5]

Division badge history[edit | edit source]

The badge is a reference to the famous "Hog's back" geographical feature in Hampshire. Cole claims that the badge appears on both rectangular and semi-circular grounds. The Division was formed 28 February 1941 by redesignation of Hampshire Area. It comprised only one Infantry Brigade (214 Independent (Home)) but in addition had three Sub-Areas. The Division ceased to function 25 November and was disbanded 31 December 1941.[8]

See also[edit | edit source]

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Footnotes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Cole, Howard (1973). Formation Badges of World War 2 Britain, Commonwealth and Empire. London: Arms and Armour Press. 
  • Frederick, J. B. M. (1984). Lineage book of British land forces 1660-1978 : biographical outlines of cavalry, yeomanry, armour, artillery, infantry, marines and air force land troops of regular and reserve forces (Volume I). Wakefield: Microform Academic. ISBN 978-1-85117-007-4. OCLC 18072764.
  • H. F. Joslen, Orders of Battle; Second World War 1939-1945, Reprinted in Middletown, Delaware by Permission of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, United Kingdom, (1960 edition), 2009, (re-printed, 2019). ISBN 978-1-84176-052-0.
  • Charles D. Pettibone, The Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II, Volume II - The British Commonwealth, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, Canada/Rochester, United States. 2006. ISBN 1-4120-8567-5.
  • Colin Basil, Official History of the Second World War Series; The Defence of the United Kingdom, 1957: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Template:British Divisions in World War II

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