How The British Army Worked
by spof moderator
The structure of the Army can be confusing and this website - The Long Long Trail - is a very good place to start. The home page is here http://www.1914-1918.net/ and for information on divisions, regiments and battalions, have a look here http://www.1914-1918.net/army.htm.
I've been working on a company of royal engineers, who seem to be supporting lots of different brigades. I've just looked through the recommended pages about army structures, but still confused. When we are tagging 'unit' or other unit activities, is unit a generic term? I have been tagging the brigade mentions as 'other units' but not sure if this is right now? Can I assume that any brigades engined are part of the same division?
by spof moderator
A Division was a unit. It had 3 Brigades which are also units. Each Brigade had 4 units of infantry battalions (3 after Feb 1918). To support them, the Division also had units of Engineers, Artillery, Medical etc.
If you see a Brigade mentioned, tag it as "Other Unit" as this is correct and will help in the futiue for any searches such as "Where was X Brigade in May 1917?"
Army = 3 or more Corps. Army commanded by a General or Field Marshal.
Corps= 3 or more Divisions. Corps commanded by a General or Lieutenant General.
Division= 3 or more Brigades. Division commanded by a Major General.
Brigade=3 or more Battalions. Brigade commanded by a Brigadier General.
Battalion=3 or more Companies. Battalion commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel (Company commanded by a Major).
In addition all of these units above Battalion level will have supporting arms such as Engineers, Artillery, Admin, Logistic, and Medical support, which can be integral to the unit or added for a particular task or operation. Brigade level and above will be mixed arms, with Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery as the fighting arms. The mix varies according to structure and task.