3rd Infantry Division (United Kingdom)


3rd Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 3rd Infantry Division


caption=Insignia of the 3rd Division
dates= Since 18 June 1809
country= United Kingdom
allegiance=
branch= British Army
type=Infantry
role=
size=Five Brigades
command_structure= Land Command
current_commander= Major General BW White-Spunner CBE
garrison=Bulford, Wiltshire
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname= Iron Sides
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles= Napoleonic Wars
Crimean War
Second Boer War
World War I
World War II
- Battle of France
- D-day landings
- Battle of Normandy
- Operation Market Garden
- Overloon and Venraij
- Reichswald
- Rhine crossing
- Bremen
notable_commanders= Bernard Montgomery
K.A.N.Anderson
William Ramsden
anniversaries=

The British 3rd Infantry Division, known at various times as the "Iron Division", "3rd (Iron) Division" or as "Iron Sides" [cite book
last = Delaforce
first = Patrick
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Monty's Iron Sides
publisher = Allan Sutton Publishing
year = 1995
location = Stroud, Gloucestershire
pages = p.ix
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-7509-0781-9
] , was originally formed in 1809 by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington for service in the Peninsula War, and was known as the "Fighting 3rd" under Sir Thomas Picton during the Napoleonic Wars. The division is also sometimes referred to as the "Iron Division", a nickname earned during the bitter fighting of 1916, during World War I. The division's other battle honours include: the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimean War, the Second Boer War, the Battle of France (1940) and D-Day (1944). It was commanded for a time, during World War II, by General Bernard Montgomery. The division was to have been part of a proposed Commonwealth Corps, formed for a planned invasion of Japan in 1945-46, but was disbanded when the war was ended by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

During World War II, the insignia became the "pattern of three" — a black triangle trisected by an inverted red triangle.

Crimean War Formation

Commanding General:Lieutenant-General Sir Richard England

*5th Brigade: Brigadier-General Sir John Campbell
**4th King’s Own Royal Regiment
**38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot
**50th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot
*6th Brigade: Brigade-General Eyre
**1st Royal Regiment
**28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot
**44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot
*Two field batteries Royal Artillery

World War I

During the First World War it was a permanently established Regular Army division that was amongst the first to be sent to France at the outbreak of the war. It served on the Western Front for four years. During this time, it was nicknamed "The Iron Division". Its first commander during the war, Major-General Hubert Hamilton, was killed by shellfire near Béthune in October 1914.

World War I formation

; 7th Brigade (to 18 October 1915) :
*3rd Battalion, The Worcester Regiment
*2nd Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment
*1/4th Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment
*1st Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment
*2nd Battalion, the Royal Irish Rifles
*1/1st Battalion, the Honourable Artillery Company

The brigade moved to the 25th Division in October1915 and was replaced by the 76th Brigade.

; 8th Brigade :
*2nd Battalion, the Royal Scots Regiment
*8th (Service) Battalion, The East Yorkshire Regiment
*7th (Service) Battalion, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry
*1st Battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers

The following battalions joined the brigade for periods in 1914 and 1915.
*2nd Battalion, the The Royal Irish Regiment (1684) ("from August 1914 to March 1915")
*4th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment ("from August 1914 to November 1915")

The following battalions joined the brigade for periods in 1915 and 1916.
*13th (Service) Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment) ("from October 1915 to April 1916")
*1/5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment ("from October 1915 to February 1916")

The following battalions left the brigade for the 76th Brigade when itjoined the division in October 1915:
*2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment ("from October 1914")
*1st Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders ("from August 1914")
*1/4th Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders ("from February 1915")

; 9th Brigade :
*1st Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers
*4th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers
*12th (Service) Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment ("from November 1915")
*13th (Service) Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment) ("from April 1916")

Other battalions to serve with the brigade were:
*1/10th (Scottish) Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment) ("from November 1914 to January 1916")
*1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment ("from August 1914 to November 1915")
*1st Battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers ("from August 1914 to April 1916")

The brigade moved to the 28th Division for abrief period in early 1915.

; 76th Infantry Brigade (from 15 October 1915) :

*8th (Service) Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
*13th (Service) Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
*10th (Service) Battalion, the Royal Welch Fusiliers
*2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment
*1st Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders
*1/4th Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders ("until February 1916")

The brigade joined the division from the 25th Division in October 1915.

After the end of the First World War, the division was stationed in southern England where it formed part of the Southern Command. In 1937, one of its brigades was commanded by Bernard Montgomery. He assumed command of the division shortly before Britain declared war on Germany.

World War II

The Division was part of the ill-fated British Expeditionary Force evacuated from Dunkirk early in World War II.

After the evacuation, the Division spent four years training in the UK, in preparation for an eventual assault landing in Europe.

The Third Division was the first British division to land at Sword Beach on D-Day and fought through the Battle of Normandy, the Netherlands and later the invasion of Germany. For the campaign in Normandy, the division was commanded by Major General Thomas Rennie until 13 June, 1944; Major General L.G. Whistler, a highly popular commander, took command on 23 June 1944.

During the often intense fighting from Sword Beach to Bremen, the Division suffered 2,586 killed. [cite book
last = Delaforce
first = Patrick
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Monty's Iron Sides
publisher = Allan Sutton Publishing
year = 1995
location = Stroud, Gloucestershire
pages = p.206
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-7509-0781-9
]

World War II formation

; 8th Brigade :
*1st Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment
*2nd Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment
*1st Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment

; 9th Brigade :
*2nd Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment
*1st Battalion, the King's Own Scottish Borderers
*2nd Battalion, the Royal Ulster Rifles

; 185th Brigade :
*2nd Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment
*1st Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment
*2nd Battalion, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry

; Divisional Troops
*2nd Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment
*3rd Reconnaissance Regt. The Northumberland Fusiliers
*15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars
*92nd (Loyals) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

Post World War II

Post war, the Division was reformed on 1 April 1951, under the command of Sir Hugh Stockwell. It consisted of three recently reraised brigades, the 32nd Guards, the 19th Infantry, and the 39th Infantry. It served in the UK for many years; in 1968 it was part of the Army Strategic Command, comprising 5th, 19th, and 24th Brigades. It was an armoured division in the British Army of the Rhine from 1976 to 1991. When its sub-units were Task Force Echo (TFE) and Task Force Foxtrot (TFF), these changed around 1980 to 6 Armoured Brigade and 33 Armoured Brigade.

Current formation

On 1 September 1999 the Division was freed from its administrative and regional responsibilities and it become a deployable or "fly-away" division. [Soldier Magazine, December 1998, p.13]

As 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division it is now the only division at continual operational readiness in the United Kingdom (the other at operational readiness being 1st (UK) Armoured Division in Germany). It is based at Bulford in Wiltshire and reports to the Commander Field Army within Headquarters Land Command at Wilton, Wiltshire.

Under the divisional command are four ready brigades and one logistics support brigade:
*1 Mechanised Brigade
*12 Mechanised Brigade
*19 Light Brigade
*52 Infantry Brigade
*101 Logistic Brigade

Recent Commanders

Recent Commanders have been: [Whitaker's Almanacks]
*1999-2000 Major General FR Dannatt
*2000-2003 Major General JC McColl
*2003-2004 Major General GCM Lamb
*2005-2006 Major General A Shirreff
*2007-present Major General BW White-Spunner

References

External links

*Gregory Blaxland, The Regiments Depart: A History of the British Army 1945-70, William Kimber, London, 1971.
* [http://www.army.mod.uk/3div/organisation/index.htm 3 (UK) Division]
* [http://www.1914-1918.net/3div.htm The British Army in the Great War: The 3rd Division]


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