Independent MG Companies provided fire support for the infantry brigades of Armoured Divisions and Independent Infantry Brigade Groups.
When first formed in 1941, the Independent Brigade Group Machine Gun Company had a Company Headquarters and three platoons, each of four guns, resulting in a Company of 12 Vickers machine guns transported by 15-cwt. trucks.
Later developments included a Flamethrower Platoon. In No. 1 Independent Machine Gun Company, this included six ‘Wasps’ which were Universal Carriers equipped with the flamethrower, one jeep, two 15-cwt trucks, a motor-cycle and a 3-ton lorry for carrying fuel. There was one No. 19 wireless set and it was commanded by a Lieutenant.
Several regiments provided companies as Independent Machine Gun Companies, including the 4th Bn, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. At one time, this Battalion was completely broken down to provide Independent Machine Gun Companies and the Battalion headquarters performed an administrative role only.
- Barclay, C.N. (1952) The History of The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in the Second World War, London: William Clowes and Sons Limited
- Bouchery, J (1999) The British Soldier: From D-Day to VE-Day. Part 2: Organisation, Weapons and Vehicles. Paris: Histoire & Collections
- Joslen, H.F. (1960) Orders of Battle of the British Army in the Second World War 1939-1945 London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
- The National Archives, WO 24/939, War Establishments January to June 1941.