Complete order of the battle of 21 Army group

Discussion in 'Trux Discussion Area' started by Distinction of the badges, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Hi all,
    Can you please help me on the complete order of the battle of 21 Army group (including GHQ, LoC, Army, Corps troops )?
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  3. Hi CL1,
    The link you shared are the war establishment of the units served under 21 army group. But I want to know the name of these units and their superior units.
  4. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    It is near impossible, given composition of each Corps alone repeatedly shifts throughout the campaign.

    Divs reorganise etc.

    A mate compiled one on a weekly basis and admitted even then he had plenty of reservations as to its accuracy.
    Aixman likes this.
  5. Do you have this weekly basis compilation please? Can you please share with me?
  6. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    The most common and readily available resource for WWII British orders of battle is H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle Second World War, 1939-1945 (2 vols., HMSO). This is available at many large research libraries in the UK and a few in the United States as well. It covers assignments and organization of divisions and independent brigades down to battalion level. For smaller and non-divisional units and non-combat arms you will have to look elsewhere.
    CL1 likes this.
  7. Thanks. I have this copy. I am looking smaller and non-divisional units and non-combat arms units.
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Unsure of where else to put this

    Enclosed with correspondence dated September 1944, from TNA Series WO 373
    Strength (Offr & OR) of various formations within 21 Army Group
    Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 22.14.08.png
    Charley Fortnum, Chris C and TTH like this.
  9. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    That's rather curious. It shows 50th Div as the strongest infantry formation in 21st AG at 22,143. I would have expected that for June or July when the 50th usually had four infantry brigades under command (56th, 69th, 151st, 231st), but I am somewhat surprised to see it in September. By then the fourth brigade (56th) had gone to 49th Div.

    I see also that the three Canadian divisions are relatively weak. Is that because the lack of Canadian reinforcements was already starting to bite?
    Browno likes this.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi, I should've point out why I stated "enclosed with correspondence dated Sept 44". I realise that without a date the worth of the document is somewhat devalued.

    The WO 373 series is concerned with recommendations for medals/honours; this was found amongst discussion over distribution/volume of Croix de Guerre for "fighting units", qualifying dates being set from June to September 1944 - "D-Day to Liberation of Paris".

    Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 22.14.35.png

    Attached Files:

  11. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I think those figures also include First Reinforcements. Interesting that 50 Div is considerably higher than the rest and I can't think of a reason why either. Difference is very roughly 90 officers and 1500 ORs, so not a full Inf Bde. Also curious as to why the Canadian strengths are lower, they were certainly authorised more officers than British equivalents because of extra posts (paymasters mostly).

  12. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Seem to remember reading that the extra brigade was intended to swing west to meet up with USA forces.
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Good luck with that ;) As has been pointed out Jocelyn only deals with bigger units.

    When I started researching the Gunners I spent a while looking for a definitive order of battle for the Royal Artillery, in particular which batteries served in which regiments when. A long serving retired officer at the archives in the Academy told me that after WW2 a civil servant had been employed on this task, but reached retirement before the work was completed. <s> to Nigel Evans any anyone else who has pieced any of it together.

    I suspect the CAB series on 21 AG and WD may help as every unit or independent organisation which had an independent identity should have a war diary.
    Try this list Browse records of other archives | The National Archives
  14. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Just off the top of my head, other units that were attached to 21st Army Group at one point or another:

    1st Polish Armoured Div
    7th US Armored Div
    104th US Infantry Div
    1st Belgian Infantry Bde (Piron)
    Princess Irene Bde
    4 Special Service Bde
    1 Commando Bde

    I believe 101st and 82nd US Airborne Divs also came under 21st AG command during and after Operation Market Garden. Also, I Canadian Corps was transferred to 21st AG from Italy in early '45.
  15. Michael Dorosh

    Michael Dorosh Junior Member

    I realize this is a necropost, but the other poster who mentioned the reinforcement crisis was spot on. Canada resorted to overseas conscription in November 1944, something the government desperately didn't want to do, because of the manpower losses in Italy and Normandy. Also, as General Burns pointed out after the war, gross mismanagement of the reinforcement stream, but it was way too late to fix that by November, and the losses in Normandy certainly didn't help. 2 and 3 Cdn Div had the highest losses, I believe, of any CW infantry formations in NW Europe so the numbers shouldn't be a surprise. Note also the Canadian divisions included francophone battalions, which were even harder to reinforce.
    Browno and Chris C like this.

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