|III Anti-Aircraft Corps|
Formation sign of III Anti-Aircraft Corps. Sign is in Corps colours (red and white) and has crescents from the coat of arms of the GOC Lieutenant-General H. G. Martin.
|Active||11 November 1940 – 30 September 1942|
|Part of||Anti-Aircraft Command|
III Anti-Aircraft Corps was a high-level formation of Britain's Anti-Aircraft Command from 1940 to 1942. It defended Scotland, Northern Ireland and North East England during the Blitz and the middle years of World War II.
Origin[edit | edit source]
AA Command had been created in 1938 to control the Territorial Army's rapidly-expanding anti-aircraft (AA) organisation within Air Defence of Great Britain. On the outbreak of war in September 1939, it commanded seven AA Divisions, each with several AA Brigades, disposed around the United Kingdom. Continued expansion made this organisation unwieldy, so in November 1940 – during the Luftwaffe's nightly Blitz on London and other British cities – five further AA Divisions were organised, and all the divisions grouped under three corps headquarters directly subordinate to AA Command. III AA Corps covered North Eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and by February 1941 comprised four division-level headquarters and 11 brigades. Its boundaries roughly coincided with No. 13 Group and No. 14 Group of RAF Fighter Command.
Order of battle[edit | edit source]
Corps HQ: Edinburgh
- 36th (Scottish) Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Edinburgh, Forth)
- 51st Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade (North East Scotland)
- 52nd Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Sectors)
- 30th (Northumbrian) Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Tyne)
- 43rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Tees, Middlesbrough)
- 57th Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade (North East England sector layout)
- 3rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Northern Ireland)
- 42nd Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Clyde, Glasgow)
- 63rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade (West of Scotland Gun Defence Areas, sectors)
Orkney & Shetland Defence Force (OSDEF)[edit | edit source]
Intermediate Ammunition Depots[edit | edit source]
- Finchale, County Durham
Equipment Ammunition Magazines[edit | edit source]
- Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow
- Renfrew, near Glasgow
Operations[edit | edit source]
During its short existence, III AA Corps had to deal with the 1940–41 Blitz on industrial towns and cities such as Belfast, Clydebank, Greenock and Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as later raids on Middlesbrough and Sunderland. In August 1942, the 3rd AA Division HQ was sent south to assist in defending the South Coast of England against 'hit and run' attacks by the Luftwaffe.
Disbandment[edit | edit source]
The AA Corps and Divisional HQs were disbanded in October 1942 and a replaced by a more flexible system of AA Groups. The area covered by III AA Corps became the responsibility of two of the new groups: 6th AA Group (North East England and Scotland) and 7th AA Group (Northern Ireland); OSDEF remained directly subordinate to AA Command.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Cole p.54
- Pile's despatch.
- Routledge, p. 65.
- Farndale, p. 5.
- Robert Palmer, A Concise History of Anti-Aircraft Command (History and Personnel) at British Military History.[dead link]
- Routledge, p. 394.
- Routledge, p. 394; Table LXV, p. 396.
- Farndale, Annex D, pp. 257–9.
- AA Command structure at British Military History.[dead link]
- Order of Battle of Non-Field Force Units in the United Kingdom, Part 27: AA Command, 12 May 1941, The National Archives (TNA), Kew file WO 212/79.
- Order of Battle of Non-Field Force Units in the United Kingdom, Part 27: AA Command, 2 December 1941, TNA file WO 212/80.
- Order of Battle of Non-Field Force Units in the United Kingdom, Part 27: AA Command, 14 May 1942, with amendments, TNA file WO 212/81.
- Farndale, Annex J.
- Martin at Generals of World War II
- Routledge, pp. 387–404 & Map 35.
- Routledge, pp. 402–3.
- Routledge, p. 401 & Map 36.
References[edit | edit source]
- Cole, Howard (1973). Formation Badges of World War 2. Britain, Commonwealth and Empire. London: Arms and Armour Press.
- Gen Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The Years of Defeat: Europe and North Africa, 1939–1941, Woolwich: Royal Artillery Institution, 1988/London: Brasseys, 1996, ISBN 1-85753-080-2.
- Brig N.W. Routledge, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: Anti-Aircraft Artillery 1914–55, London: Royal Artillery Institution/Brassey's, 1994, ISBN 1-85753-099-3
- Sir Frederick Pile's despatch: 'The Anti-Aircraft Defence of the United Kingdom from 28 July 1939, to 15 April 1945' London Gazette 18 December 1947
External sources[edit | edit source]
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