4th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)


4th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 4th Infantry Division


caption=Insignia of the 4th Division
dates= 1809 - 1947
1956 - 1978
1995 -
country= United Kingdom
allegiance=
branch= British Army
type=Infantry
role=
size=
command_structure= Land Command
current_commander= Major General Peter Everson OBE
garrison=Aldershot
nickname=
motto=
colors=
mascot=
battles=Napoleonic Wars
Battle of Talavera
Battle of Albuera
Battle of Badajoz (1812)
Battle of Salamanca
Battle of Roncesvalles (1813)
Battle of Vitoria
Battle of the Pyrenees
Battle of Orthez
Battle of Toulouse (1814)
Crimean War
Battle of Alma
Battle of Inkerman
Battle of Balaclava
World War I
Le Cateau
Battle of Marne
Retreat from Mons
Battle of Aisne
First Battle of Ypres
Battle of Messines
Hill 60
Second Battle of Ypres
Battle of Albert
Battle of Le Transloy
Battle of the Somme
First Battle of the Scarpe
Third Battle of the Scarpe
Battle of Polygon Wood
Battle of Broodseinde
Battle of Poelcapelle
Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of Arras
Battle of Hazebroucke
Battle of Bethune
Advance in Flanders
Battle of the Scarpe
Battle of Drocourt-Queant
Battle of the Canal du Nord
Battle of the Selle
Battle of Valenciennes
World War II
Battle of France
Oued Zarga
the Medjez Plain
Tunis
Trasimene Line
Arezzo
Florence
Rimini Line
Monte Cassino
notable_commanders=General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien , GCB, GCMG, DSO, (26.5.1858 - 12.8.1930)
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Colville, (7.8.1770 - 27.3.1843)
Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow KCB, KCMG (5.5.1858 - 30.8.1940)
General Sir Alfred Dudley Ward, GCB, KBE, DSO,(27.1.1905 - 28.12.1991)
Field Marshal Sir Nigel Thomas Bagnall, GCB, CVO, MC (10.2.1927 - 8.4.2002)

anniversaries=
identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_label=Insignia of the 4th Division, replaced by current design in 1995.|

History

The 4th Infantry Division is a regular British Army division with a long history having been present at the Peninsula War the Crimean War , World War I , and during the Second World War.

Napoleonic Wars

The British 4th Division was originally formed in 1809 by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington for service in the Peninsula War. It fought in the Battle of Talavera and the Battle of Salamanca , Battle of Badajoz (1812) and the Battle of Roncesvalles (1813) , Battle of Vitoria , Battle of the Pyrenees , Battle of Orthez , Battle of Toulouse (1814).

At the Battle of Waterloo it was tasked with holding Wellington's right flank and took no active part in the fighting but did capture the town of Cambrai afterwards.

The commanding General at this time was Charles Colville ,In his novel "Les Misérables" Victor Hugo credits Colville with asking for the surrender of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo and receiving General Cambronne's reply of "Merd". [cite web|title=les miserables|url=http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/84/ Chapter XIV. The Last Square]

Formation at Waterloo

*Commanding General Major-General Sir Charles Colville

*4th Brigade Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Mitchell
**3rd Battalion, 14th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
**1st Battalion, 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fuziliers) Lieuteant-Colonel Sir Henry Walton-Ellis
**51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)

*6th Brigade Major-General George Johnstone)
**2nd Battalion, 35th (the Sussex) Regiment of Foot
**54th (the West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot
**59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
**1st Battalion, 91st Regiment of Foot

*6th Hanoverian Brigade Major-General Sir James Lyon
**Field Battalion Calenberg
**Field Battalion Lauenburg
**Landwehr Battalion Bentheim
**Landwehr Battalion Hoya
**Landwehr Battalion Nienburg

Crimean War

The Division was also called for service during the Crimean War fought between the allied forces of the United Kingdom, French Empire and the Ottoman Empire on one side and Russia on the other.It saw action in the Battle of Alma the Battle of Inkerman and the Battle of Balaclava ,fought on 25 October , 1854 ( famous for the Charge of the Light Brigade and the Thin Red Line ).

Formation During The Crimean War

Commanding General: Major General Sir George Cathcart

*7th Brigade: Brigadier General Torrens
**20th Foot
**21st Royal Scots Fusiliers
**68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)

*8th Brigade
**46th (South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot
**57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
*one field battery royal Artillery

World war I

As a permanently established Regular Army division it was amongst the first to be sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force at the outbreak of the First World War. It served on the Western Front for the duration of the war and was present during all the major offensives including the Battle of the Marne , Battle of Ypres , Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele.

World War I formation

; 10th Brigade :
*1st Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment
*2nd Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders
*1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Fusiliers ("until August 1917")
*1/7th Battalion, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ("from January 1915 until March 1916")
*The Household Battalion ("from November 1916 until February 1918")
*3/10th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment ("from August 1917 until February 1918")
*2nd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) ("from 12th Bde. February 1918")

; 11th Brigade :
*1st Battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry
*1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment
*1st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade
*1/5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment ("until May 1915")
*1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment ("until February 1918")
*2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment ("from 12 Bde. July 1915 until May 1916")

; 12th Brigade :
*1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
*2nd Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers
*2nd Battalion, The Essex Regiment
*2nd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) ("from January 1916 to 10th Bde. February 1918")
*2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment ("from March 1915, to 11th Bde. July 1915")
*1/5th Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment ("from February 1915 until January 1916")
*1/2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment ("until January 1916")

From early November 1915 until February 1916 the 12th Brigade was swapped with the 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

World War II

The Division served during World War II and was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), together with the 3rd Infantry Division in formed the British II Corps. After the 1940 Battle of France and the evacuation at Dunkirk, it spent the next two years in the United Kingdom on Invasion duties and training for its next deployment which would be as part of the British First Army and Operation Torch, the landings on the North West African coast.

During the Tunisia Campaign it was involved in Operation Vulcan the final ground attack against Axis forces in North Africa.

After the Axis defeat in Africa it was next involved in the Italian Campaign, and fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

In November 1944 it was dispatched to Greece to provide assistance during the Greek Civil War.

Commanders During World War II

*Maj. Gen. D.G. Johnson
*Maj. Gen. T.R. Eastwood
*Maj. Gen. J.G. Swayne
*Maj. Gen. J.L.I. Hawkesworth
*Maj. Gen. H.J. Hayman-Joyce
*Maj. Gen. A.D.Ward
*Maj. Gen. C.B. Callander

World War II formation

; 10th Infantry Brigade :

*2nd Battalion, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
*2nd Battalion, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
*1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment ("until May 1940")
*1/6th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment

; 11th Infantry Brigade (until June 1942) :

*2nd Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers
*1st Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment
*1st Battalion, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
*5th Battalion, the Northamptonshire Regiment ("from January 1940")

; 12th Infantry Brigade :

*2nd Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers
*1st Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment ("until June 1940")
*1st Battalion, the Black Watch ("until March 1940")
*6th Battalion, the Black Watch ("from March 1940")
*1st Battalion, the Royal West Kent Regiment ("from September 1940")

; 21st Tank Brigade (June 1942 - December 1943) :

*48th Royal Tank Regiment
*12th Royal Tank Regiment
*145th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps

; 28th Infantry Brigade (from December 1943) :

*2nd Battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry
*2nd Battalion, the King's Regiment (Liverpool)
*1st Battalion, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
*2/4nd Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment

Support Units

*2nd Bn. The Northumberland Fusiliers (Machine-Gun Battalion)
*4th Reconnaissance Regt. Royal Armoured Corps

Post World War II

It was reformed from 11th Armoured Division on 1 April 1956, and took on 20th Armoured Brigade Group from the disbanding 6th Armoured Division in May 1958. At the time the Division also incorporated the (Canadian) 4th Infantry Brigade and the 4th Guards Brigade. It was redesignated 4th Armoured Division on 1 January 1978, parenting Task Force Golf and Task Force Hotel, and served as part of I (BR) Corps in Germany. Following the 1981-1983 Army reorganisation, I (BR) Corps consisted of 1st and 4th Armoured Divisions, which would have manned the front line against the anticipated attack by the Soviet 3rd Shock Army.It ceased this role on 1 July 1993.

Formation 1981 - 1983

*11th Armoured Brigade
*20th Armoured Brigade
*33rd Armoured Brigade

Current formation

The Division was reformed again in 1995 as a regenerative division - a military district in all but name - that serves as the parent formation for units in Southern England.

The Division's current insignia is a tiger. It is currently commanded by Major General PF Everson, from HQ at Steeles Road, Aldershot. Major General Everson reports to Lieutenant General Nick Parker, Commander Regional Forces, at HQ Land Command at Wilton. The Division is responsible for the administration of Aldershot Garrison and three Regional Brigades:

*2nd (South East) Brigade
*43rd (Wessex) Brigade
*145th (South) Brigade

For administrative purposes, the following formations are also under the administrative control of 4th Division:
*British Gurkhas Nepal
*British Garrison Brunei

Recent Commanders

Recent Commanders have been: [Whitaker's Almanacks]
*1995-1997 Major General NWF Richards
*1998-2001 Major General TJ Sullivan
*2001-2002 Major General AS Ritchie
*2003-2004 Major General DL Judd
*2004-2005 Major General JS Kerr
*2006-present Major General PF Everson

References

ee also

*List of British divisions in World War I

External links

* [http://www.army.mod.uk/4div/index.htm 4th Division website]
* [http://www.1914-1918.net/4div.htm The British Army in the Great War: The 4th Division]
* [http://www.regiments.org/formations/uk-div/div04.htm British Regiments and Formations Site]
* [http://www.unithistories.com/units_british/4InfDiv.html British Unit Histories]


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