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6th Division

The Army outlined its plans to rebalance the Field Army to ensure that it can compete with and defeat adversaries both above and below the threshold of conventional conflict. The British Army decided to assemble experts in cyberwarfare and intelligence to form a 14,500-strong 6th Division that will focus on countering Russia's alleged "malign activity" online, as well as cyber threats coming from groups like Daesh.

According to Commander of the Field Army Lieutenant General Ivan Jones, some British servicemen had unsuccessfully attempted to abduct a minor and were confronted by local residents. "What happened was that a handful of incidents that happened after the exercise, regrettable stories of soldiers accused of vandalism or urinating in public, were exaggerated online locally and began to appear in local media. We need people on the ground from the new 6th Div who can quickly counter that".

The 6th Division will not just be reacting to "attacks" against the UK on social media, but conducting its own "proactive" offensives. The UK, along with many other western states, have repeatedly accused Russia of organising disinformation campaigns on social and regular media platforms, although Moscow has repeatedly denied doing so, pointing out that no credible proof was presented to substantiate such claims. London, in particular, claimed that Moscow had used internet trolls to affect the outcome of the Brexit referendum.

The 6th Division mobilized with its Headquarters at Cork -- two brigades in Ireland, namely, the 16th Infantry Brigade af Fermoy, and the 17th Infantry Brigade at Cork, and one Infantry Brigade -- the 18th -- at Lichfield. Divisional troops mobilized in Ireland. The order for mobilization was received af 10 p.m. on the 4th August 1914. On the 15th August units mobilized in Ireland commenced embarkation at Cork and Queenstownfor England, and the Division was concentrated in camps in the neighborhood of Cambridge and Newmarket by the 18th August. The period from the 18th August to the 7th September was one of hard training. On the 10 September 1914 it landed at St Nazaire and proceeded to the Western Front, where it remained throughout the war. The Division arrived in time to reinforce the hard-pressed BEF on the Aisne, before the whole army was moved north into Flanders.

The 6th Infantry Division was the last division planned as part of the BEF of 1914. It took part in the fighting on the Aisne and the Battle of Armentières in 1914; and then served in the Ypres salient for 18 months (including its recapture of Hooge in August 1915), before its translation to the Somme in 1916 to take part in the Battles of Flers-Courcelette, Morval and the Transloy Ridges. In 1917 it was involved in heavy fighting at Loos as a result of the Battle of Arras, and again in the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917. By November 1917 the Hindenburg Line was immensely strong and the trenches so wide that the tanks in use by the British could not cross them.

In 1918 it would bear the brunt of the German offensive as part of Third Army on 21 March, and would finish its war with Fourth Army in the Hundred Days campaign from the Hindenburg Line onwards. The Division passed through strenuous times and has seen some heavy fighting, especially in September 1918 between Holnon Wood and the Canal, and at Bohain and Vaux Andigny in October 1918. The Division was billeted around Bohain at the Armistice on 11 November 1918. It was selected to march into Germany as part of the occupation force and began to move 14-18 November to Solre-le-Chateau to assemble. It was with a great feeling of gratitude and elation that the Division are their Christmas dinner on the Rhine in December 1918.

On 3 November 1939 Divisional Troops on internal security duties in Palestine was redesignated 6th Division. Between 13 March and 7 June 1940, Divisional HQ moved back to Palestine to take command of units and formations already there. It returned to the Western Desert and on 8 June again took command of all troops in the area. On 17 June it was redesignated HQ Western Desert Force and the Division ceased to exist. On 17 February 1941 a new 6th Division was reformed in Egypt. It moved to Syria in June and took part in the battle for Damascus against Vichy French forces. It is possible that the Sign was adopted at this point. On 10 October 1941 the Division was redesignated 70th Division for security reasons.

The Division fought in the breakout from Tobruk in November 1941 after which it was withdrawn into reserve. In March 1942 the Division transferred to India as part of the build-up of forces to meet the threat of Japanese invasion. On 6 September 1943 the Division began to reorganize for the role of 'long range penetration' and on 25 October it handed over the reorganized units to 3rd Indian Division, or 'Special Force', known as the Chindits.

In the interests of the British effort in Afghanistan over three years the Army formed, used twice, and in early 2011 disbanded the headquarters of the Sixth Division, which was resurrected after a very long pause, going back to Suez. It did two turns of the handle, over two years in Afghanistan, in a three-year period.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2019 17:11:55 ZULU