Portal:British Army

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The British Army

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army that was created during the Restoration in 1660. The term "British Army" was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army; hence the reason it is not called the "Royal Army". Therefore, Parliament approves the Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The Army is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff.

The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars. Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. Read more...

Selected article

The Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
The Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, was Napoleon Bonaparte's last battle. His defeat put a final end to his rule as Emperor of the French. Waterloo also marked the end of the period known as the Hundred Days, which began in March 1815 after Napoleon's return from Elba, where he had been exiled after his defeats at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and the campaigns of 1814 in France.

After Napoleon returned to power, many states which had previously resisted his rule formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilise armies to oppose him. The first two armies to assemble, close to the French north eastern border, were a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher and an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon chose to attack them in the hope of destroying them before they, with other members of the Seventh Coalition (who were not such an immediate threat), could join in a coordinated invasion of France. The campaign consisted of four major battles - Quatre Bras (16 June), Ligny (16 June), Waterloo (18 June), and Wavre (18 June-19 June) - with Waterloo proving decisive.

It rained heavily overnight on 17 June, so Napoleon delayed giving battle until noon on 18 June to allow the ground to dry out. Wellington's army positioned across the Brussels road on the Mont St Jean escarpment withstood repeated attacks by the French until in the evening they counter-attacked and drove the French from the field. Simultaneously the Prussians — arriving in force — broke through Napoleon's right flank adding their weight to the attack. Losses were heavy on all sides.

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Selected biography

Montgomery wearing his famous beret with two cap badges
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (/məntˈɡʌməri ... ˈæləmn/; 17 November 1887– 24 March 1976), often referred to as "Monty", was an Anglo-Irish British Army officer. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign during World War II, and troops under his command played a major role in the expulsion of Axis forces from North Africa. He was later a prominent commander in Italy and North-West Europe, where he was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord until after the Battle of Normandy.

Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. The 3rd Division was deployed to Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Montgomery predicted a disaster similar to that in 1914, and so spent the Phony War training his troops for tactical retreat rather than offensive operations. During this time, Montgomery faced serious trouble from his superiors after again taking a very pragmatic attitude towards the sexual health of his soldiers - outraging the clergy by stating openly in a memo that in his opinion "when a man wanted a woman, he should have one" - but was defended from dismissal by his superior Alan Brooke, commander of II Corps.

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Selected unit

Queen Royal Lancer's Tactical Recognition Flash (TRF)
The Queen's Royal Lancers is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of two other regiments:

From its formation, the regiment served in the armoured role with first Challenger 1, then Challenger 2. However, in 2005, as part of the re-organisation of the army, the regiment started converting to the formation reconnaissance role, re-equipping with the FV107 Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle.

The regiment is organised into a total of four squadrons, each of which perpetuates one of the antecedent regiments:

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Selected equipment

The L118 Light Gun is a 105 mm towed howitzer, originally produced for the British Army in the 1970s and widely exported since, including to the United States, where a modified version is known as the M119A1. The proper name for it is "Gun, 105mm, Field, L118" but it almost always just called "the Light Gun"... Light Gun first entered service with the British Army in 1975. The new weapon was heavier than its predecessor, but new, more capable helicopters such as the Puma and Westland Sea King, which could carry the new weapon, were also entering service at the same time. However, a new vehicle, the Land Rover 101 Forward Control (Land Rover, One Ton) was designed as the prime mover in the field for the Light Gun and the Rapier air-defence missile launcher. Since the end of the 1990s, the British Army has been using Pinzgauer ATVs as their gun tractors. In arctic service, and elsewhere, the gun is towed by the Hägglunds Bv 206 and is fitted with skis when over snow.

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