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In September 1939, the British Army was in process of expanded their anti-aircraft and mobile (including armoured) assets. Among these new changes was the formation of Anti-Aircraft Command which was formed on 1 April 1939, and the 1st Armoured Division formed in 1937. The list below will include the British Army units, colonial units, and those units which were in the process of formation. The list includes units which were in the process of formation, cadre sized, or had no units attached Also included are Territorial Army (TA) and Supplementary Reserve (SR) units

Contents

War Office[edit | edit source]

The War Office or WO as it was abbreviated, was the office of the British Government which controlled all of the Armed Forces of which were based around the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and Middle East.

Northern Command[edit | edit source]

Northern Command
Headquartered at York, covering the areas of: Berwick-upon-Tweed (except regulars), Northumberland, County Durham, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Rutlandshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire.

5th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

Northumbrian Area[edit | edit source]

Northumbrian Area, Darlington: comprising the counties of Northumberland, County Durham, North Riding of Yorkshire (excluding Catterick Area and Strensall Camp), East Riding of Yorkshire; also Berwick-upon-Tweed (except regulars).

23rd (Northumbrian) Motor Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

50th (Northumbrian) Motor Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

West Riding Area[edit | edit source]

West Riding Area: York, covering West Riding of Yorkshire, County Borough of York, Strensall Camp, Lincolnshire, Rutlandshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire.

46th (North Midland and Riding) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

49th (West Riding) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

Scottish Command[edit | edit source]

Scottish Command, Edinburgh covered Scotland and Berwick-upon-Tweed (so far as regards Regulars and Militia only).

Highland Area[edit | edit source]

Highland Area, Perth: covering the counties of Sutherland, Caithness, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Morayshire, Banffshire, Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire, Angus, Perthshire, Kinross-shire, Fifeshire, Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire, Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Buteshire, and Argyllshire.

9th (Scottish) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

51st (Highland) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

Lowland Area[edit | edit source]

Lowland Area, Darlington: comprising the counties of West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian, Berwickshire (including Berwick-upon-Tweed for Regulars and Militia only), Roxburghshire, Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Wigtownshire, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Peeblesshire, Selkirkshire; and (for Clyde and Forth Defences only), and Fifeshire.

15th (Scottish) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

Eastern Command[edit | edit source]

Eastern Command was one of two southern commands, itself overseeing the areas of: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex (except Purfleet and Rainham rifle ranges; and (when occupied by Foot Guards) the Guards' barracks at Warley Barracks), Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Middlesex, Kent, Sussex, and Surrey (less portion in the Aldershot Command and London District), and Woolwich Garrison (exclusive of the Territorial Army troops quartered there).

4th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

East Anglian Area[edit | edit source]

East Anglian Area covered the counties of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire (less the following: Colchester Garrison, Purfleet Rifle Range, and Rainham rifle ranges (when occupied by the Foot Guards) the Guards' Barracks at Warley Barracks which area under London District, That porition of Essex in Chatham Area from Grays Thurrock Station along main road to Stanford-le-Hope, thence north side of railway via South Benfleet to Southend-on-Sea borough boundary - thence a line drawn north-east to Lower Edward's Hall - thence road eastwords to Harp House - thence a line south-east to Southchurch Lawn - thence a line due north to River Roach - thence along south bank of River Roach and south bank of River Crouch to Foulness Point).

18th Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

Chatham Area[edit | edit source]

Chatham Area covered the areas of: Foulness Point (Essex) by a line drawn south to Shellness (Kent) thence a line drawn south-west to Ladydane thence along a road to Watling Street thence Watling Street to road Faversham, Leaveland, Challock Lees, Chaning, Lenham, Harrietsham, Elsfield, Hollingbourne thence Pilgrim's Way via Detling, Burham, Snodland thence via Pilgrim's Road to Trosley Towers thence along road Wrotham-Gravesent to Northumberland Bottom thence Watling Street to Southern Railway Bridge at Springhead thence northward along stream to River Thames, along south bank of River Thames to lighthouse on Swanscombe Marshes thence by a line drawn northeast across the River Thames to Grays Thurrock Station (Essex) thence along the main road to Stanford-le-Hope thence northside of railway via South Benfleet to Southend Borough boundary thence a line drawn northeast to lower Edward's Hull thence along road Eastwood to Harp House thence a line drawn south-east to Southchurch Lawn thence a line due north to River Roach, along south bank of River Roach and south bank of River Crouch to Foulness Point.

Home Counties Area[edit | edit source]

Home Counties Area covered the areas of: Woolwich (exclusive of Territorial Army troops in London District), Counties of Kent (less areas in Chatham Area and the 4th Infantry Division stations of Dover, Shorncliffe, Hythe and Lydd), Sussex, Surrey (less the eastern boundaries of the parishes of Chobham, Horsell and Woking through Woking) including portions of the parishes of Stoke-next-Guildford, St. Nicholas, Arlington, to the west of the railway.

12th (Eastern) Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

Northern Ireland District[edit | edit source]

Northern Ireland District was one of two army districts, tasked with covering all of Northern Ireland.

Western Command[edit | edit source]

Western Command was the largest command by area covered, including: Wales and the Counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cheshire, and Beachley, Gloucestershire, and The Isle of Man.

Welsh Area[edit | edit source]

Welsh Area covered Wales and the Countries of Shropshire and Herefordshire, and Beachley (Glouchestershire).

38th (Welsh) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division (1/TA)[edit | edit source]

West Lancashire Area[edit | edit source]

West Lancashire encompassed: Lancashire, south and west of a line along the River Douglas and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, South-East to Worsley, Cheshire, and Staffordshire.

55th (West Lancashire) Motor Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

59th (Staffordshire) Motor Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

East Lancashire Area[edit | edit source]

East Lancashire Area comprised the areas of: Cumberland, Westmoreland and that part of Lancashire not included in West Lancashire Area.

42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

66th (2nd East Lancashire) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

London District[edit | edit source]

London District comprises County of London, Warley Barracks (Foot Guards only), Rainham Rifle Range, Purfleet, Woolwich (for Territorial Army Troops), Caterham Barracks, Pirbright, and (for regular troops) Combermere Barracks and Victoria Barracks.

1st London Motor Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

2nd London Motor Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

Southern Command[edit | edit source]

Southern Command comprised: Counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (except Victoria Barracks and Combermere Barracks and that portion of the county included in the Aldershot Command), Oxfordshire, Hampshire (except that portion included in the Aldershot Command), Wiltshire, Dorset, Devonshire, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire (expect Beachley) and Worcestershire.

1st Armoured Division[edit | edit source]

3rd Infantry Division (Mixed)[edit | edit source]

Salisbury Plain Area[edit | edit source]

Salisbury Plain Area comprising: The County of Wiltshire (withln the following boundaries): The Great Western Railway from the bridge over the River Avon at Freshford to the aqueduct of the Kennet and Avon Canal (1.5 miles west of Bradford-on-Avon), thence the Kennet and Avon Canal to Devizes, The Depot The Wiltshire Regiment, Devizes (on the north bank of the canal), thence the Kennet and Avon Canal to the County boundary at Froxfield, thence the county boundary from Froxfield to the road Fordingbridge-Salisbury at Downton. Thence the road Fordingbridge-Salisbury from the county boundary at Downton to Salisbury; Salisbury; the road Salisbury-Wilton-Great Wishford-Codford-Hegtesbury, the road Warminster-Frome to the county boundary at Whitbourne; thence the county boundary near Whitbourne to the Great Western Railway Bridge over the River Avon near Freshford. That portion of Hampshire including Tidworth and Western District land adjacent.

South Midland Area[edit | edit source]

South Midland Area comprising: Counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (except Victoria Barracks and Combermere Barracks and portions in Aldershot Command), Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire (except Beachley), Worcestershire, and Wiltshire north of the Salisbury Plain Area.

48th (South Midland) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

61st (2nd South Midland) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

South-Western Area[edit | edit source]

South-Western Area comprising: Counties of Somerset, Dorsetshire, Devonshire and Cornwall, those portions of Wiltshire not included in South Midland and Salisbury Plain Areas, and that part of Hampshire lying west of the Southern Railway between the county boundary of Downton and the county boundary at Fordingbridge station.

43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division (TA)[edit | edit source]

45th (West Country) Infantry Division (2/TA)[edit | edit source]

Southern Area[edit | edit source]

Southern Area comprising: Hampshire (excluding those portions of the county Included in Aldershot Command and Salisbury Plain and South-Western Areas.).

Aldershot Command[edit | edit source]

Aldershot Command comprising: Encompassing the River Loddon where crossed by the Southern Railway at Loddon Brigde (south-east of Reading) along the railway through Wokingham, Bracknell and Ascot to Sunningdale – thence the eastern boundaries of the parishes of Chobham and Horsell to the railway at Woking – thence southward along the railway (omitting the portions of the parishes of Guildford and Artington to the west of the railway and the three small portions of Sussex lying to the north of the railway) to Liss – thence northward along the road leading to Reading, through Selborne, Alton and Odiham (but inclusive of the portions of the parishes of Alton and Chawton lying west of that road) – to Swallowfield – thence along the River Loddon to Loddon Brigde.

1st Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

2nd Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

Anti-Aircraft Command (TA)[edit | edit source]

Anti-Aircraft Command controlled all of the AA units (minus the regular 1st and 2nd AA brigades).

1st Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

1st AA Division covering London, Dover, and Slough.

2nd Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

2nd AA Division covering Kingston upon Hull, The Humber, Leeds, Sheffield, and Nottingham. Aligned with No. 12 Group RAF.

3rd Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

3rd AA Division covering the Firth of Forth, The Clyde, Scapa Flow, Tyne River, Tees River, and Belfast. Aligned with No. 13 Group RAF.

4th Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

4th AA Division covering Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Cardiff, and Newport. Aligned with No. 9 Group RAF.

5th Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

5th AA Division covering Bristol, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Isle of Portland, Southampton, and Cardiff. Aligned with No. 10 Group RAF.

6th Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

6th AA Division covering Thames and Medway and Harwich. Aligned with No. 11 Group RAF.

7th Anti-Aircraft Division[edit | edit source]

7th AA Division covering River Tyne, River Tees, and Middlesbrough.

Middle East Command[edit | edit source]

Middle East Command controlled all the forces based in: Sudan, Aden, Somaliland, Palestine, Transjordan, and Egypt.

British Troops in Aden[edit | edit source]

British Troops in Egypt[edit | edit source]

The Egypt Armoured Division[edit | edit source]

7th Infantry Division (Forming)[edit | edit source]

British Troops in Palestine and Transjordan[edit | edit source]

8th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

British Troops in The Sudan[edit | edit source]

The Army of India[edit | edit source]

The British Indian Army, or as it was known in the British Army as the 'Army of India' was the collective name for all the units and commands of the army based in India (excluding Burma and Ceylon). (ISF) for Imperial Service Force.

Auxiliary Forces, India[edit | edit source]

The Auxiliary Force (India) (AFI) was a part-time, paid volunteer organisation within the Indian Army in British India. Its units were entirely made up of European and Anglo-Indian personnel.

Cavalry[edit | edit source]

Infantry[edit | edit source]

Contingents[edit | edit source]

  • Agra Contingent, Agra
  • Allahabad Contingent, Allahabad
    • Detachment, The Southern Regiment (United Provinces Horse)
    • Allahabad Rifles
  • Bangalore Contingent, Bangalore
    • Bangalore Armoured Car Company
    • The Bangalore Battalion
  • Bareilly Corps, Bareilly
  • Bombay Contingent, Bombay
  • Cawnpore Contingent, Cawnpore
    • Detachment, The Southern Regiment (United Provinces Horse)
    • 20th (Sawnpore) Field Battery, Indian Artillery
    • Cawnpore Rifles
  • Dehra Dun Contingent, Dehradun
    • 3 Platoon, 1 W/T Section and 4 Mortar Platoons
  • Delhi Contingent, Delhi
    • HQ, 1 Troop, 1 Company of Infantry, and 3 Mortar Platoons
  • Karachi Corps, Karachi
    • Sind Rifles
    • 2nd (Karachi) Machine-Gun Company
    • 3 DLS Sections and 1 W/T Section
    • 2 Mortar Platoons
    • 4th (Karachi) Fortress Company, Indian Engineers
  • Lucknow Contingent, Lucknow
    • Detachment, The Southern Regiment (United Provinces Horse)
    • Lucknow Rifles
    • 13th (Lucknow) Field Battery, Indian Artillery
  • Madras Contingent, Madras
  • Poona Contingent, Poona
  • Punjab Contingent, Lahore

Artillery[edit | edit source]

Engineers[edit | edit source]

Railway Troops[edit | edit source]

Western District (Independent)[edit | edit source]

Western District encompassed the states of: Baluchistan, Sind, Khairpur State, and Rajputana.

Northern Command[edit | edit source]

Northern Command comprised the areas of: The North-West Frontier Province; Waziristan District; Kashmir State; the Punjab (less districts of Rohtak and Gurgaon); the Punjab States including the Punjab Hill States [less Khairpur, Tehri (Garhwal), Pataudi, Dujana, and the Bawal District of the Nabha State.]

Kohat District[edit | edit source]

Lahore District[edit | edit source]

Peshawar District[edit | edit source]

Rawalpindi District[edit | edit source]

Waziristan District[edit | edit source]

Eastern Command[edit | edit source]

Eastern Command comprising: Delhi Province; Rohtak and Gurgaon districts, the United Provinces; Rajputana (less States of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Sirohi, Danta, Palanpur, Banswara, Partabgarh, Dungarpur, Shahpura, Kushalgarh, Nimbahera (Tonk); the combined Bundelkhand and Bagelkhand Agency of Central India; Piklon (Bhopal); Gwalior State (less detached Districts in Southern Command); Bihar and Orissa Province; Eastern States Agency (less States of Basar, Changbakhar, Chhuikhadan, Jashpur, Kanker, Kawardha, Khairagarh, Korea, Nandgaon, Raigarh, Sakti, Sarangarh, Surguja (Udaipur and Makrai); Bengal, Bengal States; Assam and Manipur States. Of the Punjab states; Pataudi, Dujana, Tehri (Garhwal) and the Bawal District of the Nabha State.

Lucknow District[edit | edit source]

Meerut District[edit | edit source]

Presidency & Assam District[edit | edit source]

Southern Command[edit | edit source]

Southern Command comprised the areas of the Western India States Agency – Central India States Agency (less combined Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand Agency) – Ajmer-Merwara – Jodhpur – Udaipur, Sirohi, Danta, Palanpur, Banswara, Partabgarh, Shahpurg, Kushalgarh, Nimbahera (Tonk) and Dungarpur States of Rajputana – Ujjain, Amjhera, Shajapur, and Mandasar districts of Gwalior StateBombay Presidency – Gujarat States Agency including Baroda StateDeccan State Agency, including Kolhapur State – Central Provinces – Bastar Changbakhar, Chhuikadan Jashpur, Kanker, Karwardho, Khairagarh, Korea, Nandgaon, Raigarh, Sakti, Sarangarh, Surguja, Udaipur and Makrai States of the Eastern States Agency – Hyderababd State, Madras PresidencyMysore State and Madras States Agency.

Bombay District[edit | edit source]

Deccan District[edit | edit source]

Madras District[edit | edit source]

Army in Burma[edit | edit source]

BAF - Burma Auxiliary Forces or BFF - Burma Frontier Force

Atlantic Region[edit | edit source]

The Atlantic region covered: Falkland Islands, Newfoundland (still under control of the British at this point, not part of Canada yet), Saint Helena, and Bermuda.

Caribbean[edit | edit source]

The Caribbean region covered: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.

South America[edit | edit source]

The South America Region covered the areas of British Guiana and British Honduras.

Mediterranean Region[edit | edit source]

The Mediterranean Region consisted of the colonies which were NOT part of Middle East Command. These regions included: Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, and Iraq.

Gibraltar[edit | edit source]

Malta[edit | edit source]

Iraq[edit | edit source]

Cyprus[edit | edit source]

China Command[edit | edit source]

China Command covered the British interests in: Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tientsin.

Shanghai Area[edit | edit source]

Tientsin Area[edit | edit source]

Malaya Command[edit | edit source]

Malaya Command covered British Malaya, British Singapore, and British Borneo.

Penang Fortress[edit | edit source]

Federated Malay States Volunteer Force[edit | edit source]

  • Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Port Dickson
    • Headquarters, Volunteer Forces
    • Federated Malay States Volunteer Force Signal Section
    • Federated Malay States Volunteer Force Armoured Car Squadron, Ipoh
    • 1st Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Ipoh
    • 2nd Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Kuala Lumpur
    • 3rd Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Seremban
    • 4th Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Kuantan
    • Light Field Battery, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, Kuala Lumpur
    • Federated Malay States Volunteer Force Engineer Company

Singapore Fortress[edit | edit source]

Indian Ocean[edit | edit source]

The Indian Ocean area covered the islands of Ceylon and Mauritius.

Ceylon[edit | edit source]

Mauritius[edit | edit source]

Pacific Ocean Region[edit | edit source]

The Pacific Ocean region comprised the areas of: Fiji, Sarawak, and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.

Royal West African Frontier Force[edit | edit source]

The Royal West African Frontier Force or also known as the West African Force comprised troops from the areas of Colony of Nigeria, Gold Coast Protectorate, Colony of Sierra Leone, Gambia Protectorate, and the Cameroons Mandate.

East African Force[edit | edit source]

The East African Force comprised troops, and was tasked with covering the following areas: Uganda Protectorate, Kenya Colony, Tanganyika Mandate, Northern Rhodesia Protectorate, Southern Rhodesia Colony, and Nyasaland Protectorate.

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • J.B.M. Frederick, Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660-1978, Volume I, 1984: Microform Academic Publishers, Wakefield. ISBN 1-85117-007-3.
  • J.B.M. Frederick, Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660-1978, Volume II, 1984: Microform Academic Publishers, Wakefield. ISBN 1-85117-008-1.
  • 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 978-1-85532-168-7.
  • 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.
  • Brigadier N.W. Routledge, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: Anti-Aircraft Artillery 1914–55, London: Royal Artillery Institution/Brassey's, 1994. ISBN 978-1843424741.
  • Normand E. H. Litchfield, The Territorial Artillery 1908 - 1988, 1992: The Sherwood Press, Nottingham, UK. ISBN 978-0754829881.
  • Watson, Graham E; Rinaldi, Richard A (2018). "The Corps of Royal Engineers: Organization and Units 1889–2018". United States: Tiger Lily Books. ISBN 9781717901804. .
  • Cliff Lord & Graham E. Watson, The Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920–2001) and its Antecedents, Helion & Company, Solihull, UK, 2002. ISBN 9781874622925.
  • Major General Reginald Francis Heaton Nalder, The Royal Corps of Signals: A History of its Antecedents and Development, Royal Signals Institution, London, 1955. ISBN 978-0950121826.
  • Dr. Leo Niehorster, British Army, 3 September 1939
  • The Monthly Army List, September 1939.
  • The Monthly Army List, October 1939.
  • Rob Palmer, British Army Military History Website.

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