Welcome to British Military History

This website covers the British Army and British Indian Army before, during and after the Second World War, in the time period from 1930 to 1956. It provides an overview of the Arms and Services, formations and units, orders of battle for various formations, chronology of key events, history and personnel of higher formations, some divisional histories, biographies of notable personnel and regiments of the British and British Indian Army.



Officially, the Second World War ended in 1945, but its legacy continues today some seventy years later. British troops are only now being withdrawn from bases in an independent European country, namely Germany. For many years, the U.K. maintained a sizeable military garrison in another country - why? Germany itself was reunified only as recently as 1990, after being divided in 1945. It was not until December 2006 that the U.K. finally paid off its financial debts accrued to the U.S.A. during the Second World War. Tensions continue between Japan, China and Korea that date from this period, and the origins of the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, and the European Convention on Human Rights, are other legacies of this global conflict.

Those who lived and fought during the war are becoming fewer. Memories fade and life moves on, but, just two generations back in history, the world was engulfed in a war of savage and brutal proportions. Millions died as man's capacity to inflict appalling horror on other men, women and children rose to new heights. Yet, for some, the Second World War brought opportunity, comradeship and a sense of purpose.

This web-site intends to provide an overview of the war on land from a British perspective for later generations  covering the various campaigns during the war that involved the British, Dominion and Empire armies. It covers the period from 1930 to 1950, and over time will cover up to 1956 and the Suez Crisis. The reason for this is to include the build up to the conflict, and the immediate aftermath. To many soldiers, the end of the war did not mean an end to armed conflict, as several small wars erupted in the Indian sub-continent, South East Asia and Palestine.

The focus is on the British Army, the pre-partition Indian Army (also known as the British Indian Army) and those of the Dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa). The British colonies in East and West Africa and the Far East also provided many soldiers to fight for the British Army, so are integral to this web-site. Without the support of countries in the British Empire, the United Kingdom would have struggled to prosecute the war. This is particularly the case in the Middle East and Far East.

The documents are written in a style that I hope readers will find interesting and informative. I am currently reading for a MA in British Military History (Second World War Studies) at the University of Birmingham. This has reinforced my awareness of the need to improve the credibility and academic integrity of the documents posted on this website. To this end, I am now including the sources used in writing new documents and revising existing documents over time. To give some structure to my workload, I use a project management system that I review monthly. I have my own collection of relevant books (being grateful to a tolerant family) and also use my local library to source others. I also visit the British Library, National Archives and regimental museums whenever possible to use primary sources.

The web-site is updated regularly. Any inaccuracies are mine, as are any comments contained on the web-site. I welcome constructive comments or feedback, as this process improves knowledge and understanding.

I hope that people researching their family history, military historians and others wishing to know more about British Army and British Indian Army during the Second World War will find this web-site informative and useful.

Regards: Rob PALMER - Webmaster and author.

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