Battle Schools

In the Second World War, battle schools were established to teach tactics to troops in as realistic an environment as possible, with battle inoculation exercises and firepower demonstrations. This often included machine guns as part of the demonstrations, delivered by a trained machine gun platoon.

In the archive downloads, we have a copy of the Battle School training manual from 1942, originally formed at Barnard Castle, Durham – available from Other Official Publications.

The Home Guard included machine gun training as part of their battle schools and this is covered on the page dedicated to them.

In the Middle East, a battle school was established for the 18 Army Group, formed from the 1st and 8th Armies when then joined up in Tunisia in 1943. They included a machine gun section in their attached demonstration troops.


  • The National Archives, WO 24/947 War Establishments 1943 April to June.