British Army- The Land Armed Forces of the United Kingdom
History; Founding of the Army; Famous members; Notable units; Structure
Generals 1660-1809; Commanders-in-Chief; Chiefs of the General Staff; Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff

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British Army United Kingdom British Armies, Corps and Divisions in WWII UK Order Of Battle Montgomery Field Marshal Alexander Harold, Field Marshal Alan Brooke El Alamein Battle WW2

The British Army is the land armed forces of the United Kingdom.
In contrast to the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force the British Army does not include royal in its title, because of its roots as a collection of disparate units.

Table of contents
1 History
1.1 The Founding of the Army
1.2 The Army in the 18th and 19th centuries
1.3 The Army and the First World War
1.4 The Army and the Second World War
1.5 Modern British Army
2 Famous members of the British Army
3 Notable units of the British Army, past and present
4 Structure of the British Army
5 Captains-General of the British Army, 1660-1809
6 Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces, 1672-1904
7 Chiefs of the General Staff, 1904-1908
8 Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff, 1908-1964
9 Chiefs of the General Staff, 1964-present

The Founding of the Army
The British Army did not exist as a separate entity before the Act of Union of 1707 which united English and Scotland, but its origins date back to the aftermath of the English Civil War. Before the Civil War, the army was raised as required by the King, who would warrant gentlemen to raise companies, this being a direct throwback to the feudal concept of fief where a lord had to raise a certain quota of knights, men at arms and yeomanry. The only difference up to this point in time being that raising companies without a warrant could be considered treasonable (whereas feudal lords could raise their fief to fight each other).
After the Civil War, parliament assumed control of the Army, and standing companies based on Cromwellss New Model Army formed the concept of the first regiments. Cromwell's companies did not yet assume the unique names that came later to be associated with British Army Regiments, instead they would name their companies after psalms or biblical phrases, or were often identified with the gentleman (typically with the rank of colonel) who had raised the company, eg Monck's Regiment of Foot. This particular unit is notable because after the end of the Civil War it was barracked in London, and was involved in defending parliment when it voted for the restoration; this unit is now known as the Coldstream Guards.

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With the Restoration of Charles II the concept of standing regiments found favour with the King. As well as retaining some existing loyal standing units, he raised his own, one of the first being the First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards, nowadays shortened to Grenadier Guards. On Jan 26th 1661 Charles II issued the warrant that officially founded the British Army.

The oldest surviving regiment in the British Army is the Honourable Artillery Company (given a royal charter in 1537), now a Territorial Army unit. It is not considered the most senior, however, because it fought on the side of Parliament in the Civil War and so didn't have unbroken service to the crown. This honour instead goes to the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, which was founded in 1539. The oldest surviving regular unit is the Royal Scots, founded in 1633.

The Monarch is head of the Armed Forces and is the only person who can declare war and peace, though these powers are exercised today only on the advice of responsible Ministers. The Bill of Rights of 1689 purports to prevent a standing army in peacetime.

That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law.

No such prohibition applies to the Royal Navy. Parliamentary consent is currently given by the Army and Air Force Acts of 1955 and annual Continuation Orders passed by Parliament.

Modern British Army
In the aftermath of WWII, the Army concentrated most of its combat firepower in Germany. For the first time in its history, it maintained the bulk of its forces in continental Europe in peacetime, after they ceased being an army of occupation. The British Army of the Rhine was formed to control British formations in West Germany. It varied in size during its lifetime, but for a good proportion of the time, it consisted of four divisions, with about 55,000 men in total. Another unusual feature of the formation was that it had a British corps headquarters permenantly established in peacetime as a manoeuvre formation. This was I Corps. Usually in peacetime there are not enough British formations in one place to merit this level of headquarters being established.

The BAOR lasted until 1993, when it was disbanded as part of the Options for Change defence cuts. The Army has not completely pulled out of Germany. 1st Armoured Division is still based in the country.

Since 1962, when the last period of conscription (National Service) ended, the army has been a wholly professional force of volunteers. About one quarter of the Army is provided by the part-time members of the Territorial Army.

The standard issue individual weapon is the SA80, with the variant LSW providing extra firepower.

Notable units of the British Army, past and present

7th Armoured Division
11th Hussars
4th Indian Division
Honourable Artillery Company
Kings Royal Rifle Corps (formerly The Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps and the 60th Royal American Regiment)
Long Range Desert Group
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Special Air Service

Land units of the British Armed Forces which are not part of the British Army include;

Royal Marines
Special Boat Service
RAF Regiment

Captains-General of the British Army, 1660-1809
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle 1660-1670
office vacant 1670-1678
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth 1678-1679
office vacant 1679-1702
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough 1702-1711
James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormond 1711-1714
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough 1714-1717
office vacant 1717-1744
Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland 1744-1757
office vacant 1757-1799
Prince Frederick, Duke of York 1799-1809

Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces, 1672-1904
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth 1674-1679
office vacant 1679-1690
John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough 1690-1691
Meinhard Schomberg, 1st Duke of Leinster 1691-1711
James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormond 1711-1714
office vacant 1714-1744
John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair 1744
George Wade 1745-1748
office vacant 1748-1757
John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier 1757-1759
office vacant 1759-1766
John Manners, Marquess of Granby 1766-1769
office vacant 1769-1778
Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Lord Amherst 1778-1782
Henry Seymour Conway 1782-1783
Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Lord Amherst 1783-1795
Prince Frederick, Duke of York 1795-1809
Sir David Dundas 1809-1811
Prince Frederick, Duke of York 1811-1827
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 1827-1828
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill 1828-1842
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 1842-1852
Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge 1852-1856
Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge 1856-1895
Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley 1895-1900
Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts 1900-1904
Chiefs of the General Staff, 1904-1908
Sir Neville Lyttleton 1904-1908

Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff, 1908-1964
Sir William Nicholson 1908-1912
Sir John French 1912-1914
Sir Charles Douglas 1914
Sir James Murray 1914-1915
Sir Archibald Murray 1915
Sir William Robertson 1915-1918
Sir Henry Wilson 1918-1922
Frederick Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan 1922-1926
Sir George Milne 1926-1933
Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberg 1933-1936
Sir Cyril Deverell 1936-1937
John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort 1937-1939
Sir Edmund Ironside 1939-1940
Sir John Dill 1940-1941
Sir Alan Brooke 1941-1946
Sir Bernard Montgomery 1946-1948
Sir William Slim 1948-1952
Sir John Harding 1952-1955
Sir Gerald Templer 1955-1958
Sir Francis Festing 1958-1961
Sir Richard Hull 1961-1964

Chiefs of the General Staff, 1964-present
Sir Richard Hull 1964-1965
Sir James Cassels 1965-1968
Sir Geoffrey Baker 1968-1971
Sir Michael Carver, 1971-1973
Sir Peter Hunt 1973-1976
Sir Roland Gibbs 1976-1979
Sir Edwin Bramall 1979-1982
Sir John Stamier 1982-1985
Sir Nigel Bagnall 1985-1989
Sir John Chapple 1989-1992
Sir Peter Inge 1992-1994
Sir Charles Guthrie 1994-1997
Sir Roger Wheeler 1997-2000
Sir Michael Walker 2000-2003
Sir Mike Jackson 2003-present

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