Formation Timelines

These diagrams show the changing composition of various formations, and the relative seniority of their component units, where applicable.

All data has been drawn from reputable sources, but I’ve had to use my own judgment to reconcile conflicting information in some instances, so some inaccuracies may remain.

Timelines are currently being overhauled to more accurately portray exact dates of unit movements, and incorporate changes to Arm of Service serial numbers. Thank you for your patience while I make these changes.


Independent Armoured Brigades 1944-45

Showing the changing composition of independent Armoured and Tank brigades active in NW Europe and Italy from March 1944 to May 1945.

Colour coded to show regimental seniority, in accordance with tactical signs.


Armoured Divisions 1944-45

Showing the changing composition of the armoured units of Armoured Divisions active in North West Europe and Italy from March 1944 to May 1945.

Colour coded to show regimental seniority, in accordance with tactical signs.


79th Armoured Division 1944-45

Showing the changing composition of the 79th Armoured Division and its component brigades from March 1944 to May 1945.

Not colour coded to show seniority, as units moved around so much that it would be almost impossible to paint an accurate picture!


All British Armoured Divisions – 1939-45

Showing the changing composition of all British Armoured Divisions, their component brigades, commanding officers, and the theatres in which they served, from September 1939 to August 1945.

Colour coded to show regimental seniority, in accordance with tactical signs.

Be aware that this is a VERY large image. Use the PDF version if you can!


Sources: 

  • Bouchery, J (2012) The British Soldier From D-Day to VE-Day
  • Taylor, D (2011) Warpaint: Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003 – Vol. 3
  • Bellis, M (1992) 21st Army Group Organisation & Markings
  • Bellis, M (1986) Divisions of the British Army 1939-45
  • Bellis, M (1986) Brigades of the British Army 1939-45
  • Wise, T (1973) Military Vehicle Markings – Part 2
  • Hodges, P (1971) British Military Markings 1939-45
  • Joslen, Lt-Col H F (1960) Orders of Battle The Second World War 1939-1945
  • “British Tank Markings in Normandy” – FlamesofWar.com
  • “Churchill Tanks in Normandy” – FlamesofWar.com
  • “British, Commonwealth and Polish tank formations in Italy 1944 and their Markings” – FlamesofWar.com
  • “Unit Signs – Armoured Divisions” – CanadianSoldiers.com
  • “Unit Signs – Independent Armoured Brigades” – CanadianSoldiers.com
  • “North West Europe 1944 – 1947” – BritishMilitaryHistory.co.uk
  • “Italy 1943 – 1945” – BritishMilitaryHistory.co.uk
  • “Orders of Battle” – OrdersOfBattle.com

Material from this site may be copied for free distribution providing acknowledgement of this source is given.

SquireBev – 2021



2 thoughts on “Formation Timelines”

  1. Great work! I was under the impression that the Skins replaced the CLY as the junior regiment in 22AB, despite their seniority, to avoid having to repaint every tank in the Brigade.

    Like

    1. You may well be right. I’ve yet to find a definitive answer on the extent to which seniority was actually observed when brigades were reorganised.

      Another one for the snagging list then!

      Like

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