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1st (UK) Armoured Division

The 1st (UK) Armoured Divsion is the only British Army division stationed in Germany, being part of the British Forces in Germany. Based at Herford Germany, the majority of British forces in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen, Germany, belong to the 1st (UK) Armoured Division. Although the Division is under direct command of Headquarters, Land Forces in the United Kingdom, it relies on the United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) for infrastructure, administrative and welfare support within Germany. 1 (UK) Armoured Division is also an important element assigned to NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and is capable of undertaking national or NATO operations ranging from peace-keeping duties to high intensity conflict.

Though formed first in 1940, the 1st (UK) Armoured Division traces its history to a division formed in 1809 by the Duke of Wellington in Portugal. That division was formed from 2 British brigades and one Hanoverian brigade of the King's German Legion. This gives the Division a historical link to Germany. The division was retitled 3 times since World War Two, becoming the 1st (UK) Armoured Division in 1993.

During the Second World War, the 1st Armored Division was part of the British Expeditionary Force in Europe and was among the units evacuated across the English Channel from Dunkirk.

In 1960, the Division was moved from the United Kingdom to a new station in Germany at Verden an der Aller. There it supported NATO forces in Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine (BOAR).

In 1990, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the British Government conducted a defence review, which reduced the size of the British Army from 155,000 personnel to 116,000. The impact of this restructuring was that the British Army of the Rhine was reduced to 1 (UK) Armoured Division and supporting troops. At that time, the Division consisted of its Headquarters, the 4th Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Brigade, 20th Armoured Brigade, its Divisional Artillery Group, and Divisional Troops.

When BOAR was disbanded in 1994 and replaced by the United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) in the mid-1990s, 1 (UK) Armoured Division was placed under the control of Headquarters, Land Command (subsequently Headquarters, Land Forces), though it relied on the United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) for administrative support.

Throughout the 1990s, the 1st (UK) Armoured Division continued to be an important deployable element. The Division spearheaded the British Army commitment in the Gulf War in 1991 and, subsequently, provided troops for the United Nation's and NATO's peace-keeping commitments in the Balkans.

By 2010 the 1 (UK) Armoured Division consisted of 2 Germany-based brigades: 7th Armoured Brigade in Bergen-Hohne Garrison, 20th Armoured Brigade in Paderborn Garrison. In addition, the 102nd Logistic Brigade in Gutersloh Garrison was under the operational control of the Division, though it was technically assigned to Headquarters, Theater Troops, which had been established in 2001. 4th Mechanised Brigade, previously 4th Armoured Brigade, was also assigned, but returned to UK from Osnabruck, Germany in August 2008. 4th Mechanized Brigade was also reassigned to the 3rd (UK) Division by 2011.

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Page last modified: 08-10-2012 18:35:08 ZULU