British Divisional Organisations
The British Army deployed three major types of Divisional formation during the Second World War, the Infantry Division, the Armoured Division and the Airborne Division.
All three had a standard establishment which naturally changed during the course of the war. The precise organisation of Divisions was subject to variation dependent upon circumstances, most notably in the North African campaign.
The links below lead to descriptions of the three major types of British Division at particular points in the war.
The British Infantry Division 1939 to 1940
The British Infantry Division 1941 to 1942
The British Infantry Division 1943 to 1945
The British Armoured Division 1939 to 1940
The British Armoured Division 1941 to mid 1942
The British Armoured Division mid 1942 to 1945
The British Airborne Division 1943 to 1945
In 1940 a number of Infantry Division were reorganised as Motor Divisions. This saw them lose one of their Infantry Brigades and one Field Regiment, and adopt a Motorcycle Battalion in place of the Divisional Cavalry Regiment. There were also details changes to the service units. 50th Division saw service as such during the Dunkirk campaign. All Motor Divisions were reorganised as Infantry Divisions by 1941.
During 1942 five Infantry Divisions were reorganised as Mixed Divisions. The third Infantry Brigade was replaced by a Tank Brigade with three Tank Battalions, and again there were changes to their service units. 4th Division saw limited service in this form in North Africa in early 1943. All Mixed Divisions were returned to Infantry Divisions before the end of 1943.
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