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

Map of the Western Front
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the German army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Both sides then dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France. This line remained essentially unchanged for most of the war.

Between 1915 and 1917 there were several major offensives along this front. The attacks employed massive artillery bombardments and massed infantry advances. However, a combination of entrenchments, machine gun nests, barbed wire, and artillery repeatedly inflicted severe casualties on the attackers and counter attacking defenders. As a result, no significant advances were made. In an effort to break the deadlock, this front saw the introduction of new military technology, including poison gas, aircraft, and tanks. But it was only after the adoption of improved tactics that some degree of mobility was restored. In spite of the generally stagnant nature of this front, this theater would prove decisive. The inexorable advance of the Allied armies in 1918 persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable, and the government was forced to sue for conditions of an armistice.

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Selected biography

Portrait of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough KG (26 May/24 June 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S), was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His rise to prominence began as a lowly page in the royal court of Stuart England, but his natural courage on the field of battle soon ensured quick promotion and recognition from his master and mentor James, Duke of York. When James became king in 1685, Churchill played a major role in crushing the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion; but just three years later, Churchill abandoned his Catholic king for the Protestant William of Orange.

Honoured at William's coronation, Churchill, now the Earl of Marlborough, served with distinction in Ireland and Flanders during the Nine Years' War. However, throughout the reign of William and Mary, their relationship with Marlborough and his influential wife Sarah, remained cool. After damaging allegations of collusion with the exiled court of King James, Marlborough was dismissed from all civil and military offices and temporarily imprisoned in the Tower of London. Only after the death of Mary, and the threat of another major European war, did Marlborough return to favour with William. Promoted to Captain-General of British forces, and later to a dukedom, Marlborough found international fame in the War of the Spanish Succession where his place in history as one of Europe's great generals was assured.

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Selected unit

British Army Spartan TAnk (as used by the Light Dragoons)
The Light Dragoons (LD) is a cavalry regiment in the British Army.

It was formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of two regiments, becoming the first dragoon regiment in the British Army for over twenty years:

The Light Dragoons are a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment with a history in the reconnaissance role which dates back to the early 18th century. Currently based in Swanton Morley, Norfolk, they are commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Angus Watson MBE.

They are highly experienced operationally with 14 tours of the Balkans during the 1990s. They have deployed twice to Iraq on Operation Telic in 2003 and 2005.

C Squadron deployed on a six-month operational tour of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Operation Herrick 5 with 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines.

In April 2007 the majority of the Regiment including elements of HQ Squadron, B Squadron complete and specialists from D Squadron were deployed for a six-month tour in Afghanistan with 12 Mechanised Brigade on Operation Herrick 6.

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Selected equipment

Starstreak.JPG

Starstreak is a British short range surface-to-air missile manufactured by Thales Air Defence Limited (originally Shorts Missile Systems), in Belfast. It is also known as Starstreak HVM where HVM stands for "High Velocity Missile". After launch the missile accelerates to approximately Mach 3.5, at which point it launches three laser beam riding submunitions. The use of three submunitions increases the likelihood of a successful hit on the target. Starstreak has been in service with the British Army since 1997.

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Blues and Royals Trooper
Credit: Adrian Pingstone
A Trooper of the Blues and Royals on mounted duty in Whitehall, London, England.


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