Infantry Battalion war establishment 1938-39

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Pember, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    I would be most grateful if anyone can share with me the organisation table for the British war establishment of an infantry (rifle) battalion, as it was at the outbreak of war.

    I understand this was as per Army Council Instructions II/1931/12B/3 published in Army Council Instructions on 6 Apr 1938, with organisational table of 6 Sep 1939.

    Any assistance shall be greatly appreciated!
  2. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Its also worth questioning how much equipment any of them received. 1 HLI had a single wooden anti-tank gun used for storing beer until 1939, and many of their other weapons were proxies... just like unit strengths could be 2-300 below establishment.
  4. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    Thank you for the replies!

    I am particularly interested in the detailed breakdown of the organisation of the HQ Company, before changes which apparently happened as per ACI of 10th April 1940. According to another source the numbers for HQ Coy were 5 officers and 210 men, referencing the earlier ACI of 6th April 1938 (rather than the 6 officers and 215 men on the mentioned website).

    Any pointers?
  5. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    IMG_6302 (Copy).JPG IMG_6303 (Copy).JPG IMG_6304 (Copy).JPG IMG_6305 (Copy).JPG

    Just to start with the tables.
    I am quite sure that I have the original table, too. But they are within a batch of pix from my visit to Kew last month. I only started today to put them into a catalogue. Allow some days, please ...

  6. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Just found it, as the last batch were "only" 9,500 Pix ...
    IMG_9831 (Copy).JPG IMG_9832 (Copy).JPG IMG_9833 (Copy).JPG IMG_9834 (Copy).JPG IMG_9835 (Copy).JPG IMG_9836 (Copy).JPG

    The original pix are of higher resolution, so if you encounter problems let me know.

    All the best
    Deacs likes this.
  7. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    The ACI extracts are extremely useful - thank you very much Aixman!

    One thing which is not so clear is how many privates were there in the various elements of Bn HQ. It seems clear the Regt Aid Post had 20 privates and the Intelligence Section likely 6 privates. Does anyone know how many of the remaining 10 privates would have been with the Bn HQ itself and the Regt Police?

    Any further insights appreciated!
  8. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    That seems to be easier, after some calculating.
    There are 36 privates in Battalion Headquarters.

    The tradesmen and non-tradesmen are given for the rank and file (corporals, lance-corporals and privates).
    There are 38 tradesmen and non-tradesmen in Battalion Headquarters.

    Two of which are corporals in the Medical Section. That leaves 18 stretcher bearers for the privates. As there are 20 privates in the Medical Section, one is the the Regimental Medical Officer's orderly (footnote l allows a lance-corporal, but is a private in the sense of the stretcher bearer's privates' figure 20), and the other is his (R.M.O's) batmen (footnote j).

    So privates in Battalion Headquarters are:
    18 stretcher bearers
    1 batman (for R.M.O.)
    1 R.M.O's orderly (allows for lance-corporal)
    6 Intelligence section
    5 batmen (for 4 officers and the R.S.M.)
    3 regimental police
    2 clerks
    36 privates total

    Hope that helps!

    Do you need the pix still with a higher resolution?

  9. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    Thank you!

    ..and, yes, it would be great to receive if not too much trouble.
  10. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

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  11. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    Thank you Aixman for the calculation!

    & Wills for the link to pamphlet!

    Greatly appreciated...
  12. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron


    Thank you for the link! Very valuable information!


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