War Establishments: Infantry and Armoured Division 1942

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by A Robson, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. A Robson

    A Robson Member

    Hello all,

    I'm looking for war establishments, preferably primary source, for a complete British infantry division (3 Infantry brigade basis rather than mixed) and a armoured division, towards the end of 1942.

    Any advice was to where to find them at TNA would be appreciated; having searched the forum and gone through the war establishments documents under WO 24/ I have so far only been able to locate headquarters without reference to total number of men expected in each division, but I may be missing something. At the moment all the information I can raise is for 1944.

    Anything that might be able to point me towards specific files would really help.
  2. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

  3. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    They are in the WO24 series, but quite spread out. A lot of the Inf Div WEs that are relevant were issued in 1941 for example, and some odds and sods go back further. There were also theatre specific tables for the Middle East if you're looking at North Africa. I think it comes to well over fifty WE tables for both formations, and there remain a few gaps in the national archive holdings.

  4. A Robson

    A Robson Member

    Thank you Gary. When you say spread out, do you mean individual tables, such as HQ, Brigades HQ, Brigades etc.; or do you mean entire tables for divisions?

    Do you have any idea of their name or establishment code?
  5. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Well I'm assuming you want to pull together all the constituent WE tables for both Inf and Armd Divs, which will list all the authorised numbers of personnel, transport and weapons by unit?

    If so you'll need to set a start and end date for the period you're looking at so you know which tables are involved. That's in part because the WEs are grouped together in date order at TNA, based on the date they were published in ACIs. As an example there were a run of tables for Armd Div units, namely Armd Div HQ, Armd Bde HQ, Armd Regt, Armd C Regts and Armd Div Sigs, all published during Aug-Sep-Oct 1942, which are split across WO24/944 and 945 if I recall correctly (my notes are not to hand on the WO24 date splits at present). However the Mot Bn WE is back in Feb 1940, so in another TNA piece.

    All the Inf Div WEs were published under the Volume II code, the Armd Div originally under Vol I, but branched into Vol II during the latter part of 1942.

    At a very rough count I'd estimate 36 tables for the Inf Div, up to the end of 1942 on Vol II WEs only, and another 14 for the Armd Div.

  6. A Robson

    A Robson Member

    Thanks Gary, so I am assuming that there is no fixed WE for the entire division, just its constituent establishments. I'm going to try going through field force committee 36 files, this organisation came up with the establishments, so the theory should be there. Hopefully some answers will be as well.

    At the moment, secondary sources (largely books) vary drastically for numbers, swinging from 10,000 to 18,000.
  7. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Right, so are you more looking at a Divisional level summary then?

    I know from a friend that there's something akin in WO32/10359, but don't know how many years are covered. Also the 1944-45 Div summaries found in Joslen are detailed in CAB44/243, but again I don't know whether this covers all years or just 1945.

    These I think are the closest to a Divisional WE, which lists subordinate units and formations. I think you only really see something like that for USA/USMC Div.

  8. A Robson

    A Robson Member

    Thanks Gary, using the terminology from that I've determined that's it's WO 212 that I'm after. I'll post what I locate.

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