Infantry Division (The Second World War)

During the Second World War, the majority of the British Army consisted of division of infantry, which included the supporting arms of artillery, engineers, logistics and medical support. They could operate as an independent organisation. Multiple divisions formed Corps, which then were part of Armies and Army Groups.

Machine gun capability within the Infantry Division was the Divisional (Machine Gun) Battalion.

infdiv.jpg

The alternative to the Machine Gun Battalion was the Divisional (Support) Battalion and this existed for a short period between 1942 and 1944.

The machine gun support to each infantry division consisted of the following units. Unless otherwise noted, they are organised as Divisional (Machine Gun) Battalions.

  • Guards Division.
  • 1st Infantry Division.
  • 1st London Division (redesignated 56th (London) Division 18 November 1940).
    • 1 Kensington.
      • 11 November 1941 to 20 May 1942.
    • 6 Cheshire.
      • 12 January 1943 to 31 August 1945.
  • 2nd Infantry Division.
    • 2 Manchester.
      • 11 November 1941 to 31 August 1945.
  • 2nd London Division (redesignated 47th (London) Division 21 November 1940).
    • Within 6th London Infantry Brigade.
      • 1 Kensington.
        • 3 September 1939 to 19 November 1939.
      • 2 Kensington.
        • 3 September 1939 to 3 May 1940.
      • 2/7 Middlesex.
        • 7 October 1939 to 31 March 1940.
      • 1/8 Middlesex.
        • 7 October 1939 to 25 November 1939.
      • 2/8 Middlesex.
        • 7 October 1939 to 3 May 1940.
  • 3rd Infantry Division.
  • 4th Infantry Division.
  • 5th Infantry Division.
    • 7 Cheshire.
      • 11 November 1941 to 31 August 1945.
  • 6th Infantry Division (redesignated 70th Infantry Division on 10 October 1941).
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 7th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 8th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 9th (Highland) Infantry Division (redesignated 51st (Highland) Infantry Division on 7 August 1940.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division.
  • 18th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 23rd (Northumbrian) Division.
  • 36th Infantry Division.
  • 38th (Welsh) Division.
    • 5 Cheshire.
      • 1 September 1944 to 31 August 1945.
  • 40th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.
  • 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division.
    • 6 Cheshire.
      • 11 November 1941 to 24 November 1942.
  • 45th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 46th Infantry Division.
  • 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division.
  • 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.
    • 2 Cheshire.
      • 1 February 1941 to 30 June 1945.
  • 51st (Highland) Infantry Division.
  • 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division.
  • 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division.
  • 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division.
    • Manchester.
      • 22 October 1944 to 31 August 1945.
  • 57th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division.
  • 61st Infantry Division.
  • 66th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 70th Infantry Division – see 6th Infantry Division.
  • 76th Infantry Division.
    • No specific machine gun support identified.
  • 77th Infantry Division.
  • 78th Infantry Division.
  • 80th Infantry (Reserve) Division.
    • 5 Cheshire.
      • 8 January 1943 to 31 August 1944.

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