British Expeditionary Force Order of Battle (1940)
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British Expeditionary Force Order of Battle 1940

This is the British Expeditionary Force order of battle on 9 May 1940, the day before the German forces initiated the Battle of France.

First Expeditionary Force

General Headquarters (GHQ)

GHQ, British Expeditionary Force Headquarters Troops

  • Intelligence Section Intelligence Corps
  • General Headquarters Signals, Royal Signals
  • 2nd Wireless Company, Royal Signals
    • 100th Special Wireless Section (Providing support for GHQ)
    • 101st Special Wireless Section (Providing support for I Corps)
    • 102nd Special Wireless Section (Providing support for II Corps)
    • 103rd Special Wireless Section (Providing support for III Corps)
  • 1st Air Formation Signals, Royal Signals
  • 2nd Air Formation Signals, Royal Signals
  • 1st Air Liaison Signals Section Royal Signals
  • 4th Air Liaison Signals Section Royal Signals
  • 6th Air Liaison Signals Section Royal Signals
  • 7th Air Liaison Signals Section Royal Signals
  • 12th (The Prince of Wales's) Royal Lancers
  • 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
  • 7th Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment (Machine-Guns)
  • 14th Battalion The City of London Royal Fusiliers (company size) - garrison unit
  • 8th Battalion The Duke of Cambridge's Own Middlesex Regiment (Machine-Guns)
  • 9th Overseas Defence Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own West Yorkshire Regiment - garrison unit
  • 6th (Argyllshire) Battalion Princess Louises's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Machine-Guns)
  • 6th Battalion The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Pioneers)
  • 7th Battalion The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Pioneers)
  • 8th Battalion The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Pioneers)
  • 6th Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers)
  • 5th Movement Control Group Royal Engineers
  • 2nd Advanced Medical Depot, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 4th Advanced Medical Depot, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 9th Field Hygiene Section, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 9th Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 11th Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 13th Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 4th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 5th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 6th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 8th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 2nd Field Security Police Section Royal Military Police
  • 6th Field Security Police Section Royal Military Police
  • 30th Field Security Police Section Royal Military Police
  • 33rd Field Security Police Section Royal Military Police
  • Headquarters, G.H.Q. Troops, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 1st G.H.Q. Troops Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 2nd G.H.Q. Troops Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 3rd G.H.Q. Troops Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 1st Lines of Communication Railhead Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 2nd Lines of Communication Railhead Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 2nd Supply Personnel Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 3rd Petrol Depot, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 1st Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 2nd Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 3rd Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 4th Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 9th Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 13th Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 14th Troop Carrying Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 1st Motor Transport Works Services Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 2nd Motor Transport Works Services Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 3rd Motor Transport Works Services Company, Royal Army Service Corps
    • 4th Motor Transport Works Services Company, Royal Army Service Corps

1st Light Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade

Brigade manning armoured cars

2nd Light Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade

Brigade manning armoured cars

1st Army Tank Brigade

Brigade manning infantry and cavalry tank

Commander Royal Artillery

1st Anti-Aircraft Brigade

2nd Anti-Aircraft Brigade

3rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade

4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade

  • 4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade
    • 4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade Headquarters and Signals Section, Royal Signals
    • 4th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
    • 52nd (East Lancashire) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

5th Searchlight Brigade

Commander Royal Engineers

  • Commander Royal Engineers under Major General Ridley Pakenham Pakenham-Walsh
    • 100th (Monmouthshire) Army Field Company, Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
    • 101st (Monmouthshire) Army Field Company, Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
    • 216th (1st London) Army Field Company, Royal Engineers
    • 228th (West Riding) Field Company, Royal Engineers
    • 242nd (Lowland) Field Company, Royal Engineers
    • 223rd (2nd London) Field Park Company, Royal Engineers
    • 109th Workshop and Park Company, Royal Engineers
    • 1st Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers
    • 2nd Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers
    • 19th Army Field Survey Company, Royal Engineers
    • 119th Road Construction Company, Royal Engineers
    • 135th Excavator Company, Royal Engineers
    • 1st Boring Section, Royal Engineers
    • 2nd Boring Section, Royal Engineers
    • 1st Anti-Gas Laboratory, Royal Engineers
    • 58th Chemical Warfare Company, Royal Engineers
    • 61st Chemical Warfare Company, Royal Engineers
    • 62nd Chemical Warfare Company, Royal Engineers
    • 1st Tunnelling Group, Royal Engineers
      • 170th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers
      • 171st Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers
      • 172nd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers
      • 173rd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers

5th Infantry Division

I Corps

Corps Headquarters Troops

I Corps Artillery Troops

  • I Corps Artillery Troop
I Corps Commander Royal Artillery
I Corps Commander Medium Artillery

1st Infantry Division

2nd Infantry Division

A 2-pdr anti-tank gun of 44 Battery, 13th Anti-Tank Regiment, 2nd Division in the snow near Beuvry, 15 February 1940. The crew wear snow suits and the gun is camouflaged with white sheets.

48th (South Midland) Infantry Division

II Corps

II Corps Artillery Troops

II Corps Commander Royal Artillery
II Corps Commander Medium Artillery

3rd Infantry Division

4th Infantry Division

50th (Northumbrian) Motor Infantry Division

III Corps

III Corps Headquarters, Troops

Commander Royal Artillery, III Corps

Commander Royal Artillery, III Corps
Commander Medium Artillery, III Corps

Commander Royal Engineers, III Corps

42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division

44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division

Saar Force

(Major General Victor Fortune)

On 10 May 1940, this force, which was really just the 51st Division reinforced by various small units, was part of the Colonial Army Corps of the French Third Army in front of the Maginot Line.

Units attached to the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division in April 1940 to form Saar Force

51st (Highland) Infantry Division

Major General V. M. Fortune

Formations undergoing training and performing labour duties

12th (Eastern) Infantry Division

Major-General R. L. Petre[nb 4][3]

23rd (Northumbrian) Infantry Division[nb 4]

Major General W. N. Herbert

46th (West Riding) Infantry Division[nb 4]

Major General H. O. Curtis

HQ Lines of Communication British Expeditionary Force

(Major General Philip de Fonblanque)[4]

3rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade

Units arriving in France after 10 May 1940

1st Armoured Division

Major General R. Evans[nb 5]

Air Component

Air Vice-Marshal Charles Blount[7] (Data from Jackson 1974 unless indicated.)[8]
  • 85 Squadron: Hurricane (fighter)
  • 87 Squadron: Hurricane (fighter)
  • 607 Squadron: Gladiator (fighter, converting to Hurricane May 1940)
  • 615 Squadron: Gladiator (fighter, converting to Hurricane May 1940)
    • 3 Squadron: Hurricane (fighter; reinforcement, May 1940)
    • 79 Squadron: Hurricane (fighter; reinforcement, May 1940)
    • 504 Squadron: Hurricane (fighter; reinforcement, May 1940)
  • From 22 (Army Co-operation) Group[7]
  • 81 Squadron: Blenheim I (strategic reconnaissance)[7]
  • 57 Squadron: Blenheim I (strategic reconnaissance)[7]
  • 53 Squadron: Blenheim IV (bomber)
  • 59 Squadron: Blenheim IV (bomber)
  • 2 Squadron: Lysander (army co-operation)
  • 4 Squadron: Lysander (army co-operation)
  • 13 Squadron: Lysander (army co-operation)
  • 16 Squadron: Lysander (army co-operation)
  • 26 Squadron: Lysander (army co-operation)

Second Expeditionary Force

The following force was sent to France during the second week of June 1940 in an unsuccessful attempt to form a second British Expeditionary Force. This second formation was to be commanded by Lieutenant-General A. F. Brooke. All units were evacuated in late June 1940, during Operation Ariel.

52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division

Major General J. S. Drew

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Attached from I Corps.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Attached from G.H.Q. Troops.
  3. ^ Attached from II Corps Troops
  4. ^ a b c Although this division participated in the Battle of France, it was not adequately prepared for battle by May 1940. The division only had a skeleton headquarters staff, no organic artillery formations and few support units. Only a third of the infantry had received minimal training. The battalions lacked a carrier platoon and their full complement of heavy weapons.
  5. ^ The 1st Armoured Division arrived in France between 15-21 May.[] The division fought south of the Somme River and never linked up with the main body of the Expeditionary Force.[]
  6. ^ Detached from 1st Armoured Division on 21 May 1940 and dispatched to defend Calais.[5]
  7. ^ Detached from 3rd Armoured Brigade and attached to the 30th Infantry Brigade. The regiment was sent to defend Calais on 21 May 1940.
  8. ^ The QVR was sent, without their vehicles, to defend Calais on 21 May 1940 and attached to the 30th Infantry Brigade.[5]
  9. ^ The 20th (Guards) Infantry Brigade was dispatched from the United Kingdom to defend Boulogne on 21 May 1940.[6]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Attached from III Corps
  2. ^ http://aotn.dvrdns.org:5000/pkg/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/france.html
  3. ^ Ellis 2004, p. 21.
  4. ^ "HQ Lines of Communication British Expeditionary Force". Orders of Battle Military Unit Database. Archived from the original on 2012-05-16.
  5. ^ a b Glover, Michael (1985). The Fight for the Channel ports: Calais to Brest 1940, a Study in Confusion. London: L. Cooper. ISBN 978-0-43618-210-5.
  6. ^ Ellis 2004, p. 154.
  7. ^ a b c d Baughen 2016, p. 52.
  8. ^ Jackson 1974, p. 136.

References

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

British_Expeditionary_Force_order_of_battle_(1940)
 



 



 
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