Guards Armoured Division

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Guards Armoured Division


caption=Guards tanks cross the road bridge at Nijmegen during its capture.
dates=17 June 194112 June 1945
country=United Kingdom
allegiance=
branch=British Army
type=Armoured Division
command_structure=
ceremonial_chief=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
mascot=
battles= Operation Market Garden
notable_commanders= Maj Gen Sir Oliver Leese
Maj Gen Sir Allan Adair
anniversaries=

The Guards Armoured Division was a World War II British Army formation.

The Guards Armoured Division was formed on 17 June 1941. The division remained in the United Kingdom, training, until 26 June 1944, when it landed in Normandy as part of VIII Corps. Its first major engagement was Operation Goodwood, the attack by three armoured divisions towards Bourguebus Ridge in an attempt to break out of the Normandy beachhead. That was followed by Operation Bluecoat, the advance east of Caen as the Falaise pocket formed. Transferred to XXX Corps, the division liberated Brussels. It led the XXX Corps attack in Operation Market Garden, the ground forces' advance to relieve airborne troops aiming to seize the bridges up to Arnhem, capturing Nijmegen bridge in conjunction with American paratroopers. During the battle of the Bulge, it was sent to the Meuse as a reserve in case the Germans broke through the American lines. It endured hard fighting in Operation Veritable, the advance towards the Rhine through the Reichswald, and again in the advance through Germany. The division existed until 12 June 1945, when it was reorganised as an infantry division, the Guards Division.

Order of battle

Although its paper organisation remained one armoured brigade and one mechanised infantry brigade, after Normandy the division generally fought as four combined-arms battlegroups, two under each brigade headquarters.

5th Guards Armoured Brigade
*2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
*1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
*2nd Battalion, Irish Guards
*1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards (Mechanized)32nd Guards Brigade
*5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards
*3rd Battalion, Irish Guards
*1st Battalion, Welsh GuardsSupport Units
*2nd Battalion, Welsh Guards (Recce)
*14th Field Company, Royal Engineers
*615th Field Company, Royal Engineers
*53rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
*153rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
*21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
*94th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Component units

Artillery

* 153rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery 01/06/42-11/06/45
* 55th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery 08/06/42-11/06/45

* 21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery 01/06/42-29/05/45
* 75th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery 01/06/42-11/06/45

* 94th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery 01/06/42-11/06/45

Engineers

* 14th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers 04/08/41-11/06/45
* 15th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers 01/08/45-22/02/43
* 615th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers 01/03/43-11/06/43

* 148th Field Park Squadron, Royal Engineers 04/08/41-11/06/45

* 11th Bridging Troop, Royal Engineers 01/10/43-11/06/45

ignals

* Guards Armoured Division Signals, Royal Corps of Signals 18/06/41-11/06/45

couting forces

* 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment 15/09/41-27/02/43
* 2nd Battalion, The Welsh Guards 13/04/43-11/06/45

Divisional infantry

* 1st Independent Machine Gun Company 24/03/44-11/06/45

Brigades

* 5th Guards Armoured Brigade 15/09/41-11/06/45
* 6th Guards Armoured Brigade 17/09/41-03/01/43
* Guards Support Group 16/09/41-31/05/42
* 32nd Guards Infantry Brigade 01/06/42-11/06/45

List of higher formations the division served under

* War Office Control 17/06/41-14/09/41
* Southern Command 15/09/41-17/03/43
* VIII Corps 17/03/43-19/06/44
* XII Corps 19/06/44-27/06/44
* Second Army 27/06/44-04/07/44
* XII Corps 04/07/44-13/07/44
* VIII Corps 13/07/44-23/07/44
* Canadian II Corps 24/07/44-30/07/44
* VIII Corps 30/07/44-28/08/44
* XXX Corps 28/08/44-12/12/44
* XII Corps 13/12/44-20/12/44
* XXX Corps 20/12/44-17/01/45
* Canadian First Army 18/01/45-20/01/45
* XXX Corps 21/01/45-07/03/45
* Canadian II Corps 08/03/45-09/03/45
* XXX Corps 10/03/45-15/04/45
* XII Corps 16/04/45-27/04/45
* XXX Corps 28/04/45-11/06/45

Commanders

The Guards Armoured Division had two commanders:
* Major General Sir Oliver Leese, Baronet, KCB, CBE, DSO 17/06/1941-12/09/1942 (later Lieutenant-General)
* Major General Sir Allan Adair, Baronet, KCVO, CB, DSO, MC (acting CO until 21/09/1942) 12/09/1942-12/06/1945

References

*Boscawen, Robert. "Armoured Guardsmen: A War Diary, June 1944-April 1945". Barnsley, England: Pen & Sword, 2001.
*Sanders, J, British Guards Armoured Division 1941-1945, Osprey Vanguard, 1979


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