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The British Army is the principal
land warfare force
land warfare force
of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, a part of the
British Armed Forces The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom ...
. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 reserve personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the
English Army The E ...
that was created during the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
in 1660. The term ''British Army'' was adopted in 1707 after the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
between England and Scotland. Members of the British Army swear allegiance to the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
as their commander-in-chief, but the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for
the Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories, overseas territories, Provinces and territorie ...

the Crown
to maintain a peacetime
standing army A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers who may be either career soldiers or conscripts. It differs from Military reserve force, army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activate ...
. Therefore,
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...
approves the army by passing an
Armed Forces ActArmed Forces Act (with its variations) is a stock short titleIn certain jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other Westminster-influenced jurisdictions (such as Canada or Australia), as well as the United States and the Philippines, primar ...
at least once every five years. The army is administered by the
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
and commanded by the
Chief of the General StaffThe Chief of the General Staff (CGS) is a post in many armed forces (Military, militaries), the head of the Staff (military), military staff. List * Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (United States) * Chief of the General Staff (Abkhazia) * C ...
. The British Army, composed primarily of cavalry and infantry, was originally one of two ''Regular'' Forces within the British military (those parts of the British Armed Forces tasked with land warfare, as opposed to the naval forces), with the other having been the ''Ordnance Military Corps'' (made up of the
Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far be ...
,
Royal Engineers The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the ''Sapper A sapper, also called pioneer Pioneer commonly refers to a settler who migrates to previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited ...
, and the
Royal Sappers and Miners Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name)Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music and pop singer * Calvin Royal III, American ballet dancer * Darrell Royal (1924 ...
) of the
Board of Ordnance The Board of Ordnance was a British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Commissariat Department, stores and supply departments, as well as barracks and other departments were absorbed into the British Army when the Board of Ordnance was abolished in 1855 (various other civilian departments of the board were absorbed into the
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
). The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
and the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...

First
and
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
s. 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 Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
force or part of a
United Nations peacekeeping#REDIRECT United Nations peacekeeping Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a role held by the Department of Peace Operations as "a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create t ...
operation.


History


Formation

Until the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
, England never had a
standing army A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers who may be either career soldiers or conscripts. It differs from Military reserve force, army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activate ...
with professional officers and careerist corporals and sergeants. It relied on
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
organised by local officials or private forces mobilised by the nobility, or on hired mercenaries from Europe. From the
later Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the Periodization, period of European history lasting from AD 1250 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Eur ...
until the English Civil War, when a foreign expeditionary force was needed, such as the one that
Henry V of England Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422), also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styl ...

Henry V of England
took to France and that fought at the Battle of Agincourt (1415), the army, a professional one, was raised for the duration of the expedition. During the English Civil War, the members of the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an Parliament of England, English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament, which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640 after an Personal Rule, 11- ...
realised that the use of county militia organised into regional associations (such as the
Eastern Association The Eastern Association of counties was a Parliamentarian organisation during the English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a w ...
), often commanded by local members of parliament (both from the House of Commons and the House of Lords), while more than able to hold their own in the regions which Parliamentarians controlled, were unlikely to win the war. So Parliament initiated two actions. The
Self-denying Ordinance The Self-denying Ordinance was passed by the English Parliament on 3 April 1645. All members of the House of Commons or Lords who were also officers in the Parliamentary army or navy were required to resign one or the other, within 40 days fro ...
forbade members of parliament (with the notable exception of
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
) from serving as officers in the Parliamentary armies. This created a distinction between the civilians in Parliament, who tended to be Presbyterian and conciliatory to the Royalists in nature, and a corps of professional officers, who tended to be Independent (
Congregational Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches; Congregationalism) are Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Crit ...
) in theology, to whom they reported. The second action was legislation for the creation of a Parliamentary-funded army, commanded by Lord General
Thomas Fairfax Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (17 January 161212 November 1671), also known as Sir Thomas Fairfax, was an English politician, general and Parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War The English Civil War (1642 ...

Thomas Fairfax
, which became known as the
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Roundhead, Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1638 to 1651 Wars ...
(originally new-modelled Army). While this proved to be a war-winning formula, the New Model Army, being organised and politically active, went on to dominate the politics of the
Interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin ''i ...
and by 1660 was widely disliked. The New Model Army was paid off and disbanded at the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
of the monarchy in 1660. For many decades the alleged excesses of the New Model Army under
the Protectorate The Protectorate was the period during the Commonwealth (or, to monarchists, the Interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypal ...
of Oliver Cromwell were used as propaganda (and still feature in Irish folklore) and the Whig element recoiled from allowing a standing army. The militia acts of 1661 and 1662 prevented local authorities from calling up militia and oppressing their own local opponents. Calling up the militia was possible only if the king and local elites agreed to do so. and his
Cavalier Cavalier () was first used by Roundhead Roundheads were the supporters of the Parliament of England during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I of England and his supporte ...

Cavalier
supporters favoured a new army under royal control, and immediately after the Restoration began working on its establishment. The first
English Army The E ...

English Army
regiments, including elements of the disbanded
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Roundhead, Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1638 to 1651 Wars ...
, were formed between November 1660 and January 1661 and became a standing military force for England (financed by
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
). The
Royal Scots The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), once known as the Royal Regiment of Foot, was the oldest and most senior infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whos ...
and Irish Armies were financed by the parliaments of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
. Parliamentary control was established by the
Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights 1689, also known as the Bill of Rights 1688, is a landmark Act in the constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the ...
and
Claim of Right Act 1689 The Claim of Right is an Act passed by the Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the aut ...
, although the monarch continued to influence aspects of army administration until at least the end of the nineteenth century. After the Restoration Charles II pulled together four regiments of infantry and cavalry, calling them his guards, at a cost of £122,000 from his general budget. This became the foundation of the permanent English Army. By 1685 it had grown to 7,500 soldiers in marching regiments, and 1,400 men permanently stationed in garrisons. A
rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behavio ...
in 1685 allowed
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
to raise the forces to 20,000 men. There were 37,000 in 1678 when England played a role in the closing stage of the Franco-Dutch War. After
William William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...

William
and accession to the throne, England involved itself in the
War of the Grand Alliance The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is ...
, primarily to prevent a French invasion restoring James II (Mary's father). In 1689, William III expanded the army to 74,000, and then to 94,000 in 1694. Parliament was very nervous and reduced the cadre to 7000 in 1697. Scotland and Ireland had theoretically separate military establishments, but they were unofficially merged with the English force. By the time of the 1707
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
, many regiments of the English and Scottish armies were combined under one operational command and stationed in the Netherlands for the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was an early-18th-century European war, triggered by the death in November 1700 of the childless Charles II of Spain. It established the principle that dynastic rights were secondary to maintaini ...
. Although all the regiments were now part of the new British military establishment, they remained under the old operational-command structure and retained much of the institutional ethos, customs and traditions of the standing armies created shortly after the
restoration of the monarchy Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * The Restoration (1909 film), ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a f ...
47 years earlier. The order of seniority of the most-senior British Army line regiments is based on that of the English army. Although technically the Scots was raised in 1633 and is the oldest Regiment of the Line, Scottish and Irish regiments were only allowed to take a rank in the English army on the date of their arrival in England (or the date when they were first placed on the English establishment). In 1694, a board of general officers was convened to decide the rank of English, Irish and Scots regiments serving in the Netherlands; the regiment which became known as the
Scots Greys The Royal Scots Greys was a cavalry regiment Cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is one who fights as part of a military A military, also known co ...
were designated the 4th Dragoons because there were three English regiments raised prior to 1688 when the Scots Greys were first placed in the English establishment. In 1713, when a new board of general officers was convened to decide the rank of several regiments, the seniority of the Scots Greys was reassessed and based on their June 1685 entry into England. At that time there was only one English regiment of dragoons, and the Scots Greys eventually received the British Army rank of 2nd Dragoons.


British Empire (1700–1914)

After 1700 British continental policy was to contain expansion by competing powers such as France and Spain. Although Spain was the dominant global power during the previous two centuries and the chief threat to England's early transatlantic ambitions, its influence was now waning. The territorial ambitions of the French, however, led to the War of the Spanish Succession and the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. Although the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
is widely regarded as vital to the rise of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, the British Army played an important role in the formation of colonies,
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
s and
dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

dominion
s in the Americas, Africa, Asia, India and
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth ...

Australasia
. British soldiers captured strategically important territories, and the army was involved in wars to secure the empire's borders and support friendly governments. Among these actions were the Seven Years' War,. the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
,. the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second Opium War The Second Opium War (), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts ...
s, the
Boxer Rebellion The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement, was an armed and violent , , and insurrection in China between 1899 and 1901, towards the end of the . It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (''Yìhéquán''), kno ...

Boxer Rebellion
,. the
New Zealand Wars The New Zealand Wars took place from 1845 to 1872 between the New Zealand Colonial government and allied Māori people, Māori on one side and Māori and Māori-allied settlers on the other. They were previously commonly referred to as the Land ...
, the
Australian frontier wars "Australian frontier wars" is a term applied by some historians to violent conflicts between Indigenous Australians (including both Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders) and non-Indigenous settlers during the History of Australia ...
, the , the
first First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
s, the
Fenian raids#REDIRECT Fenian raids The Fenian raids were carried out by the Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny. It was a precursor to Clan ...
, the
Irish War of Independence The Irish War of Independence ( ga, Cogadh na Saoirse) or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary or ...
, interventions in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
(intended to maintain a
buffer state A buffer state is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalis ...
between British India and the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
) and the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
(to keep the Russian Empire at a safe distance by aiding Turkey).. Like the
English Army The E ...
, the British Army fought the kingdoms of Spain, France (including the Empire of France) and the Netherlands for supremacy in North America and the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
. With native and provincial assistance, the army conquered
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
in the of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
and suppressed a
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
uprising in
Pontiac's War Pontiac's War (also known as Pontiac's Conspiracy or Pontiac's Rebellion) was launched in 1763 by a loose confederation of Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian pe ...
. The British Army was defeated in the American Revolutionary War, losing the
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
but retaining
The Canadas The Canadas is the collective name for the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a Province, part of The Canadas, British Canada established in 1791 by the Ki ...
and
The Maritimes The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces, is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
as
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or adminis ...
, as well as
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
(originally part of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
, and which had been strongly sympathetic to the rebels early in the war). The British Army was heavily involved in the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, participating in a number of campaigns in Europe (including continuous deployment in the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurg ...

Peninsular War
), the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
, North Africa and
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...
. The war between the British and the
First French Empire The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, also known as the Napoleonic Empire, was the empire ruled by Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte, who established French hegemony over much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th cen ...
of
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
stretched around the world; at its peak in 1813, the regular army contained over 250,000 men. A coalition of Anglo-Dutch and Prussian armies under the
Duke of Wellington Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political fi ...

Duke of Wellington
and Field Marshal von Blücher finally defeated Napoleon at
Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium from which the battle took its name *London Waterloo station, the UK's largest an ...

Waterloo
in 1815. The English were involved politically and militarily in Ireland since receiving the
Lordship of Ireland The Lordship of Ireland ( ga, Tiarnas na hÉireann), sometimes referred to retroactively as Norman Ireland, was the part of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title= ...

Lordship of Ireland
from the pope in 1171. The campaign of English republican Protector
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
involved uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns (most notably
Drogheda Drogheda ( ; , meaning "bridge at the ford") is an industrial and port town in County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, north of Dublin. It is located on the Dublin–Belfast corridor The Dublin–Belfast corridor (population 3.3 mil ...
and
Wexford Wexford () is the county town of County Wexford, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Wexford lies on the south side of Wexford Harbour, the estuary of the River Slaney near the southeastern corner of the Ireland, island of Ireland. The town is linked ...

Wexford
) which supported the Royalists during the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
. The English Army (and the subsequent British Army) remained in Ireland primarily to suppress Irish revolts or disorder. In addition to its conflict with Irish nationalists, it was faced with the prospect of battling Anglo-Irish and Ulster Scots in Ireland who were angered by unfavourable taxation of Irish produce imported into Britain. With other Irish groups, they raised a volunteer army and threatened to emulate the American colonists if their conditions were not met. Learning from their experience in America, the British government sought a political solution. The British Army fought Irish rebels—Protestant and Catholic—primarily in
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
and
Leinster Leinster ( ; ga, Laighin or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic ...

Leinster
( Wolfe Tone's
United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client ...
) in the 1798 rebellion. In addition to battling the armies of other European empires (and its former colonies, the United States, in the War of 1812), the British Army fought the Chinese in the First and Second
Opium Wars The Opium Wars () were two wars waged between the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary' ...
and the
Boxer Rebellion The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement, was an armed and violent , , and insurrection in China between 1899 and 1901, towards the end of the . It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (''Yìhéquán''), kno ...

Boxer Rebellion
, Māori tribes in the first of the New Zealand Wars, forces and
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
mutineers in the , the Boers in the first and second Boer Wars, Irish
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic ...
s in Canada during the
Fenian raids#REDIRECT Fenian raids The Fenian raids were carried out by the Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny. It was a precursor to Clan ...
and Irish separatists in the
Anglo-Irish War The Irish War of Independence ( ga, Cogadh na Saoirse) or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary ...
. The increasing demands of imperial expansion and the inadequacy and inefficiency of the underfunded British Army,
Militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
,
Yeomanry Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
and
Volunteer Force The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, L ...
after the Napoleonic Wars led to series of reforms following the failures of the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
. Inspired by the successes of the
Prussian Army The Royal Prussian Army (1701–1919, german: Königlich Preußische Armee) served as the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It became vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power. The Prussian Army had its roots in the cor ...
(which relied on short-term conscription of all eligible young men to maintain a large reserve of recently-discharged soldiers, ready to be recalled on the outbreak of war to immediately bring the small peacetime regular army up to strength), the ''Regular Reserve'' of the British Army was originally created in 1859 by
Secretary of State for War 150px, Edward Cardwell, later Viscount Cardwell, Secretary of State for War from 1868 to 1874; architect of the Cardwell Reforms The Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a secretary of state in the Government of t ...
, and re-organised under the ''Reserve Force Act, 1867''. Prior to this, a soldier was generally enlisted into the British Army for a 21 year engagement, following which (should he survive so long) he was discharged as a Pensioner. Pensioners were sometimes still employed on garrison duties, as were younger soldiers no longer deemed fit for expeditionary service who were generally organised in invalid units or returned to the regimental depot for home service. The cost of paying pensioners, and the obligation the government was under to continue to employ invalids as well as soldiers deemed by their commanding officers as detriments to their units were motivations to change this system. The long period of engagement also discouraged many potential recruits. The long service enlistments were consequently replaced with short service enlistments, with undesirable soldiers not permitted to re-engage on the completion of their first engagement. The size of the army also fluctuated greatly, increasing in war time, and drastically shrinking with peace. Battalions posted on garrison duty overseas were allowed an increase on their normal peacetime establishment, which resulted in their having surplus men on their return to a ''Home'' station. Consequently, soldiers engaging on short term enlistments were enabled to serve several years with the colours and the remainder in the Regular Reserve, remaining liable for recall to the colours if required. Among the other benefits, this thereby enabled the British Army to have a ready pool of recently-trained men to draw upon in an emergency. The name of the Regular Reserve (which for a time was divided into a ''First Class'' and a ''Second Class'') has resulted in confusion with the ''Reserve Forces'', which were the pre-existing part-time, local-service home-defence that were auxiliary to the British Army (or ''Regular Force''), but not originally part of it: the
Yeomanry Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
,
Militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
(or ''Constitutional Force'') and
Volunteer Force The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, L ...
. These were consequently also referred to as ''Auxiliary Forces'' or ''Local Forces''. The late-19th-century Cardwell and
Childers Reforms The Childers Reforms of 1881 reorganised the infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. ...
, which gave the army its modern shape and redefined its
regimental system A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries parami ...
. The 1907
Haldane Reforms The Haldane Reforms were a series of far-ranging reforms of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular fu ...
created the
Territorial Force The Territorial Force was a part-time volunteer component of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known a ...
as the army's volunteer reserve component, merging and reorganising the Volunteer Force, Militia and Yeomanry.


World Wars (1914–1945)

Great Britain was challenged by other powers, primarily the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
and the
Third Reich Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...
, during the 20th century. A century earlier it vied with Napoleonic France for global pre-eminence, and Hanoverian Britain's natural allies were the kingdoms and principalities of
northern Germany Northern Germany (german: Norddeutschland) is the region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomen ...
. By the middle of the 19th century, Britain and France were allies in preventing Russia's appropriation of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, although the fear of French invasion led shortly afterwards to the creation of the Volunteer Force. By the first decade of the 20th century, the United Kingdom was allied with France (by the Entente Cordiale) and Russia (which had a secret agreement with France for mutual support in a war against the
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n-led German Empire and the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
). When the First World War broke out in August 1914 the British Army sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), consisting mainly of
regular army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intens ...
troops, to . The fighting bogged down into static
trench warfare Trench warfare is a type of land warfare Ground warfare or land warfare is the process of military operations eventuating in combat that takes place predominantly on the battlespace land surface of the Earth, planet. Land warfare is categor ...

trench warfare
for the remainder of the war. In 1915 the army created the
Mediterranean Expeditionary Force The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) was part of the British Army during World War I The British Army during World War I fought the largest and most costly war in its . Unlike the and , the was made up exclusively of volunteers—as ...
to invade the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
via
Gallipoli The Gallipoli peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical bod ...
, an unsuccessful attempt to capture
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
and secure a sea route to
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
. The First World War was the most devastating in
British military history The Military history of Britain, including the military history of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
, with nearly 800,000 men killed and over two million wounded. Early in the war, the BEF was virtually destroyed and was replaced first by volunteers and then by a
conscript Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to Ancient history, antiquity and it continues in some countries to ...
force. Major battles included those at
the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 ...
and Passchendaele. Advances in technology saw the advent of the
tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tr ...

tank
(and the creation of the
Royal Tank Regiment The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the World War I, First World War. Today, it is the Armoured warfare, armoured regiment of the British Army's 12th Armoured Infantr ...
) and advances in aircraft design (and the creation of the
Royal Flying Corps "Through Adversity to the Stars" , colors= , colours_label= , march= , mascot= , anniversaries= , decorations= , battle_honours= , battles_label=Wars , battles=First World War , disbanded=merged with RNAS The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) ...
) which would be decisive in future battles. Trench warfare dominated Western Front strategy for most of the war, and the use of
chemical weapons A chemical weapon (CW) is a specialized munition that uses chemicals formulated to inflict death or harm on humans. According to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), "the term chemical weapon may also be applied ...
(disabling and poison gases) added to the devastation. The
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
broke out in September 1939 with the Russian and
German Army The German Army () is the land component of the armed forces of Federal Republic of Germany, Germany. The present-day German Army was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German ''Bundeswehr'' together with the German Navy, ''Marine' ...
's
invasion of Poland The invasion of Poland (1 September – 6 October 1939), also known as the September campaign ( pl, Kampania wrześniowa), 1939 defensive war ( pl, Wojna obronna 1939 roku) and Poland campaign (german: Überfall auf Polen, Polenfeldzug), was an ...
.. British assurances to the Poles led the British Empire to declare war on
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
. As in the First World War, a relatively small BEF was sent to France but then hastily evacuated from
Dunkirk Dunkirk ( , ; french: Dunkerque ; vls, label=French Flemish, Duunkerke; nl, Duinkerke(n) ) is a Communes of France, commune in Nord (French department), Nord, a Departments of France, French department in northern France. It lies from the Bel ...
as the German forces swept through the Low Countries and across France in May 1940.. After the British Army recovered from its earlier defeats, it defeated the Germans and Italians at the
Second Battle of El Alamein The Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October – 11 November 1942) was a battle of the Second World War that took place near the Egyptian Railway station, railway halt of El Alamein. The First Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Alam el Halfa ...
in
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...
in 1942–1943 and helped drive them from Africa. It then fought through
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
and, with the help of American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Indian and Free French forces, and took part in the on 6 June 1944; nearly half the Allied soldiers were British. In the
Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nati ...
, the British Army rallied against the Japanese in the Burma Campaign and regained the British Far Eastern colonial possessions.


Postcolonial era (1945–2000)

After the Second World War the British Army was significantly reduced in size, although
National Service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service. Conscription is mandatory national service. The term ''national service'' comes from the United Kingdom's National Service (Armed Forces ...

National Service
continued until 1960. This period saw
decolonisation Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
begin with the and
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...
of India and Pakistan, followed by the independence of British colonies in Africa and Asia. The Corps Warrant, which is the official list of which bodies of the British Military (not to be confused with ''naval'') Forces were to be considered Corps of the British Army for the purposes of the Army Act, the Reserve Forces Act, 1882, and the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act, 1907, had not been updated since 1926 (Army Order 49 of 1926), although amendments had been made up to and including Army Order 67 of 1950. A new Corps Warrant was declared in 1951. Although the British Army was a major participant in 1st Commonwealth Division, Korea in the early 1950s and Suez Crisis, Suez in 1956, during this period Britain's role in world events was reduced and the army was downsized. The British Army of the Rhine, consisting of I Corps (United Kingdom), I (BR) Corps, remained in Germany as a bulwark against Soviet invasion. The
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
continued, with significant technological advances in warfare, and the army saw the introduction of new weapons systems. Despite the decline of the British Empire, the army was engaged in Aden Emergency, Aden, Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, Indonesia, EOKA, Cyprus, Mau Mau Uprising, Kenya and Malayan Emergency, Malaya. In 1982, the British Army and the Royal Marines helped liberate the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War, conflict with Argentina after that country's invasion of the British territory. In the three decades following 1969, the army was heavily deployed in Northern Ireland's Operation Banner to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (later the Police Service of Northern Ireland) in their conflict with republican paramilitary groups. The locally recruited Ulster Defence Regiment was formed, becoming home-service battalions of the The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment), Royal Irish Regiment in 1992 before it was disbanded in 2006. Over 700 soldiers were killed during the Troubles. Following the 1994–1996 Provisional Irish Republican Army, IRA ceasefires and since 1997, demilitarisation has been part of the peace process and the military presence has been reduced. On 25 June 2007 the 2nd Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment left the army complex in The Troubles in Bessbrook, Bessbrook, County Armagh, ending the longest operation in British Army history.


Persian Gulf War

The British Army contributed 50,000 troops to the coalition which fought Iraq in the Gulf War, Persian Gulf War, and British forces controlled Kuwait after its liberation. Forty-seven British military personnel died during the war.


Balkan conflicts

The army was deployed to Yugoslavia in 1992. Initially part of the United Nations Protection Force, in 1995 its command was transferred to the Implementation Force (IFOR) and then to the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR); the commitment rose to over 10,000 troops. In 1999, British forces under SFOR command were sent to Kosovo and the contingent increased to 19,000 troops. Between early 1993 and June 2010, 72 British military personnel died during operations in the former Yugoslavian countries of Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.


The Troubles

Although there have been permanent garrisons in Northern Ireland throughout its history, the British Army was deployed as a peacekeeping force from 1969 to 2007 in Operation Banner. Initially, this was (in the wake of Unionism in Ireland, unionist attacks on nationalist communities in Derry and Belfast) to prevent further loyalist attacks on Catholic communities; it developed into support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and its successor, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) against the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, there was a gradual reduction in the number of soldiers deployed. In 2005, after the PIRA declared a ceasefire, the British Army dismantled posts, withdrew many troops and restored troop levels to those of a peacetime garrison. Operation Banner ended at midnight on 31 July 2007 after about 38 years of continuous deployment, the longest in British Army history. According to an internal document released in 2007, the British Army had failed to defeat the IRA but made it impossible for them to win by violence. Operation Helvetic replaced Operation Banner in 2007, maintaining fewer service personnel in a more-benign environment. Of the 300,000 troops who served in Northern Ireland since 1969, there were 763 British military personnel killed and 306 killed by the British military, mostly civilians. An estimated 100 soldiers committed suicide during Operation Banner or soon afterwards and a similar number died in accidents. A total of 6,116 were wounded. Sierra Leone The British Army deployed to Sierra Leone for Operation Palliser in 1999, under United Nations resolutions, to aid the government in quelling violent uprisings by militiamen. British troops also provided support during the 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic.


Recent history (2000–present)


War in Afghanistan

In November 2001, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with the United States, the United Kingdom deployed forces in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
to topple the Taliban in Operation Herrick. The 3rd Division (United Kingdom), 3rd Division were sent to Kabul to assist in the liberation of the capital and defeat Taliban forces in the mountains. In 2006 the British Army began concentrating on fighting Taliban forces and bringing security to Helmand Province, with about 9,500 British troops (including marines, airmen and sailors) deployed at its peak—the second-largest force after that of the US. In December 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the combat mission would end in 2014, and troop numbers gradually fell as the Afghan National Army took over the brunt of the fighting. Between 2001 and 26 April 2014 a total of 453 British military personnel died in Afghan operations. Operation Herrick ended with the handover of Camp Bastion on 26 October 2014, but the British Army maintains a deployment in Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral.


Iraq War

In 2003 the United Kingdom was a major contributor to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, invasion of Iraq, sending a force of over 46,000 military personnel. The British Army controlled southern Iraq, and maintained a peace-keeping presence in Basra. All British troops were withdrawn from Iraq by 30 April 2009, after the Iraqi government refused to extend their mandate. One hundred and seventy-nine British military personnel died in Iraqi operations. The
British Armed Forces The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom ...
returned to Iraq in 2014 as part of Operation Shader to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State (ISIL).


UK operations and military aid to the civil authorities

The British Army maintains a standing liability to support the civil authorities in certain circumstances, usually in either niche capabilities (e.g. explosive ordnance removal) or in general support of the civil authorities when their capacity is exceeded. In recent years this has been seen as army personnel supporting the civil authorities in the face of the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak, the 2002 firefighters strike, widespread flooding in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014, Operation Temperer following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 and, most recently, Operation Rescript during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Modern army


Personnel

The British Army has been a volunteer force since national service ended during the 1960s. Since the creation of the part-time, reserve
Territorial Force The Territorial Force was a part-time volunteer component of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known a ...
in 1908 (renamed the Army Reserve in 2014), the full-time British Army has been known as the Regular Army. In July 2020 there were just over 78,800 Regulars, with a target strength of 82,000, and just over 30,000 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), Army Reservists, with a target strength of 30,000. All former Regular Army personnel may also be recalled to duty in exceptional circumstances during the 6-year period following completion of their Regular service, which creates an additional force known as the Regular Reserve (United Kingdom), Regular Reserve. The table below illustrates British Army personnel figures from 1710 to 2020.


Equipment


Infantry

The British Army's basic weapon is the 5.56 mm SA80, L85A2 or SA80, L85A3 assault rifle, with some specialist personnel using the L22A2 carbine variant (pilots and some tank crew). The weapon was traditionally equipped with either iron sights or an optical SUSAT, although other optical sights have been subsequently purchased to supplement these. The weapon can be enhanced further utilising the Picatinny rail with attachments such as the L17A2 UGL, L17A2 under-barrel grenade launcher. Some soldiers are equipped with the 7.62mm Lewis Machine and Tool Company#L129A1, L129A1 sharpshooter rifle, which in 2018 formally replaced the L86 LSW, L86A2 Light Support Weapon. Support fire is provided by the L7 (machine gun), L7 general-purpose machine gun (GPMG), and indirect fire is provided by L16 81mm mortars. Sniper rifles include the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare, L118A1 7.62 mm, L115A3 and the AW50F, all manufactured by Accuracy International. The British Army utilises the Glock, Glock 17 as its side arm.


Armour

The army's main battle tank is the Challenger 2. It is supported by the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle as the primary armoured personnel carrier and the many variants of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) and FV432, Bulldog. Light armoured units often utilise the MWMIK, Supacat "Jackal" MWMIK and Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle, Coyote for reconnaissance and fire support.


Artillery

The army has three main artillery systems: the M270_Multiple_Launch_Rocket_System, Multi Launch Rocket System (MLRS), the AS-90 and the L118 light gun. The MLRS, first used in Operation Granby, has an range. The AS-90 is a 155 mm self-propelled armoured gun with a range. The L118 light gun is a 105 mm towed gun. To identify artillery targets, the army operates weapon locators such as the Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Radar, MAMBA Radar and utilises artillery sound ranging. For air defence it uses the Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) Rapier (missile), Rapier FSC missile system, widely deployed since the Falklands War, and the Very Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) Starstreak (missile), Starstreak HVM (high-velocity missile) launched by a single soldier or from a vehicle-mounted launcher.


Protected mobility

Where armour is not required or mobility and speed are favoured the British Army utilises protected patrol vehicles, such as the Panther variant of the Iveco LMV, the Ocelot (vehicle), Foxhound, and variants of the Cougar (MRAP), Cougar family (such as the Ridgeback, Husky and Mastiff). For day-to-day utility work the army commonly uses the Land Rover Wolf, which is based on the Land Rover Defender.


Engineers, utility and signals

Specialist engineering vehicles include bomb-disposal robots and the modern variants of the Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers, including the Titan bridge-layer, Trojan Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers, Trojan combat-engineer vehicle, Terrier Armoured Digger and Python Minefield Breaching System. Day-to-day utility work uses a series of support vehicles, including six-, nine- and fifteen-tonne trucks (often called "Bedfords", after a historic utility vehicle), heavy-equipment transporters (HET), close-support tankers, quad bikes and ambulances. Tactical communication uses the Bowman (communications system), Bowman radio system, and operational or strategic communication is controlled by the Royal Corps of Signals.


Aviation

The British Army Air Corps, Army Air Corps (AAC) provides direct aviation support, with the Royal Air Force providing support helicopters. The primary attack helicopter is the Westland WAH-64 Apache, a Licensed production, licence-built, modified version of the US AH-64 Apache which replaced the Westland Lynx AH7 in the anti-tank role. Other helicopters include the Westland Gazelle (a light surveillance aircraft), the Bell 212 (in jungle "hot and high" environments) and the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat, a dedicated intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) helicopter. The Eurocopter Dauphin, Eurocopter AS 365N Dauphin is used for special operations aviation, and the Britten-Norman Islander is a light, fixed-wing aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance and command and control. The army operates two unmanned aerial vehicles ('UAV's) in a surveillance role: the small Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk III and the larger Thales Watchkeeper WK450. File:Challenger_2-Megatron_MOD_45161542.jpg, alt=Large, camouflaged tank, Challenger 2 main battle tank File:MCV-80.jpg, alt=Tank with painted camouflage, Warrior IFV File:AS90 Self Propelled Gun - Tankfest 2009.jpg, alt=Self-propelled artillery gun, AS-90 File:GUNNERS ON TARGET FOR EXERCISE STEEL SABRE IN NORTHUMBERLAND MOD 45159595.jpg, alt=Rocket launcher, M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) File:Apache WAH64D Helicopter MOD 45149194.jpg, alt=Helicopter in the air, AgustaWestland Apache File:An upgraded Laser Light Module Mk 3 mounted on the SA-80 Mk2. MOD 45158979.jpg, alt=Soldier holding an assault rifle, SA80, L85A2 assault rifle


Current deployments


Low-intensity operations


Permanent overseas postings


Structure

Army Headquarters (United Kingdom), Army Headquarters is located in Andover, Hampshire, and is responsible for providing forces at operational readiness for employment by the Permanent Joint Headquarters. The command structure is hierarchical, with overall command residing with the
Chief of the General StaffThe Chief of the General Staff (CGS) is a post in many armed forces (Military, militaries), the head of the Staff (military), military staff. List * Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (United States) * Chief of the General Staff (Abkhazia) * C ...
(CGS), who is immediately subordinate to The Chief of Defence Staff, the head of the British Armed Services. The CGS is supported by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff (United Kingdom), Deputy Chief of the General Staff. Army Headquarters is further organised into two subordinate commands, Commander Field Army, Field Army and Commander Home Command, Home Command, each commanded by a Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), lieutenant general. These two Commands serve distinct purposes and are divided into a structure of Division (military), divisions and brigades, which themselves consist of a complex mix of smaller units such as Battalion, Battalions. British Army units are either full-time 'Regular' units, or part-time Army Reserve (United Kingdom), Army Reserve units.


Field Army

Led by Commander Field Army, the Field Army is responsible for generating and preparing forces for current and contingency operations. The Field Army comprises * 3rd (United Kingdom) Division which is the United Kingdom's strategic land warfare asset. It is held at continual operational readiness and comprises ** 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom), 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade, **12th Armoured Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom), 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, **20th Armoured Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom), 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, **101st Logistic Brigade, **1st Artillery Brigade (United Kingdom), 1st Artillery Brigade, **25 (Close Support) Engineer Group, 25th Engineer Group, **7th Air Defence Group.: **11th Signal Brigade and Headquarters West Midlands * 1st (United Kingdom) Division is the British Army's more versatile force that provide a range of capabilities. It is organised to be light, agile, lethal and expeditionary in nature and can operate effectively at home in the UK and overseas. It comprises ** 4th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East, 4th (Infantry) Brigade, ** 7th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, 7th (Infantry) Brigade, ** 11th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East, 11th (Infantry) Brigade, **51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, 51st (Infantry) Brigade, **8th Engineer Brigade (United Kingdom), 8th Engineer Brigade, **102nd Logistic Brigade, **104th Logistic Support Brigade, **2nd Medical Brigade (United Kingdom), 2nd Medical Brigade; * The 6th (United Kingdom) Division is the British Army's Information Manoeuvre and Unconventional Warfare force which orchestrates intelligence, counter-intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare, information operations and unconventional warfare. It comprises **1st Signal Brigade (United Kingdom), 1st Signal Brigade, **1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, **77th Brigade (United Kingdom), 77th Brigade **Specialised Infantry Group. * 16 Air Assault Brigade is the British Army's Airborne forces who are specially trained and equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter and air-landing. * Land Warfare Centre (United Kingdom) which is responsible for driving adaptation in order to deliver success on operations.


Home Command

Home Command is the British Army's supporting command; a generating, recruiting and training force that supports the Field Army and delivers UK resilience. It comprises * Army Personnel Centre, which deals with personnel issues and liaises with outside agencies. * Army Personnel Services Group, which supports personnel administration * HQ Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command, which is responsible for all recruiting and training of Officers and Soldiers. * London District Command, which is the main headquarters for all British Army units within the M25 corridor of London. It also provides for London's ceremonial events as well as supporting operational deployments overseas. * Regional Command, which enables the delivery of a secure home front that sustains the Army, notably helping to coordinate the British Army's support to the civil authorities, overseeing the British Army's Welfare Service, and delivering the British Army's civil engagement mission. * Standing Joint Command, which coordinates defence's contribution to UK resilience operations in support of other government departments.


Other Units


Special Forces

The British Army contributes two of the three special forces formations to the United Kingdom Special Forces directorate: the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR). The SAS consists of one regular and two reserve regiments. The regular regiment, 22 SAS, has its headquarters at Stirling Lines, Credenhill, Herefordshire. It consists of 5 squadrons (A, B, D, G and Reserve) and a training wing. 22 SAS is supported by 2 reserve regiments, Artists Rifles, 21 SAS and 23 SAS, which collectively form the Special Air Service (Reserve) (SAS [R]), who in 2020 were transferred back under the command of Director of Special Forces after previously being under the command of the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade. The SRR, formed in 2005, performs close reconnaissance and special surveillance tasks. The Special Forces Support Group, under the operational control of the Director of Special Forces, provides operational manoeuvring support to the United Kingdom Special Forces.


Local units

The British Army historically included many units from what are now separate Commonwealth realm. When the English Empire was established in North America, Bermuda, and the West Indies in the early 17th century there was no standing English Army, only the Militia (English), Militia,
Yeomanry Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
, and Sovereign's Bodyguard, Royal bodyguards, of which the Militia, as the primary home-defence force, was immediately extended to the colonies. Militia (British Dominions and Crown Colonies), Colonial militias defended colonies single-handedly at first against indigenous peoples and European competitors. Once the standing English Army, later the British Army, came into existence and began to garrison the colonies, the colonial militias fought side by side with it in a number of wars, including the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
. Some of the colonial militias rebelled during the American Revolutionary War, American War of Independence. The militia fought alongside the regular British Army (and native allies) in defending British North America from their former countrymen during the War of 1812. Locally raised units in strategically located Imperial Fortress colonies (including: Nova Scotia before the Canadian Confederation;
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
- which was treated as part of
The Maritimes The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces, is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
under the Commander-in-Chief at Nova Scotia until Canadian Confederation; Gibraltar; and Malta) and the Channel Islands were generally maintained from army funds and more fully integrated into the British Army as evident from their appearances in British Army lists, unlike units such as the King's African Rifles. The larger colonies (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, etc.) mostly achieved Dominion, Commonwealth Dominion status before or after the First World War and were granted full legislative independence in 1931. While remaining within the British Empire, this placed their governments on a par with the British government, and hence their military units comprised separate armies (e.g. the Australian Army), although Canada retained the term "militia" for its military forces until the Second World War. From the 1940s, these dominions and many colonies chose full independence, usually becoming Commonwealth realms (as member states of the Commonwealth are known today). Units raised in Self-governing colony, self-governing and Crown colony, Crown colonies (those without local elected Legislatures, as was the case with British Hong Kong) that are part of the British realm remain under British Government control. As the territorial governments are delegated responsibility only for internal government, the UK Government, as the government of the Sovereign state, retains responsibility for national security and the defence of the fourteen remaining British Overseas Territories, of which six have locally raised regiments: * Royal Bermuda Regiment * Royal Gibraltar Regiment * Falkland Islands Defence Force * Royal Montserrat Defence Force * Cayman Islands Regiment * Turks and Caicos Regiment File:Falklandsdf.jpg, alt=Line of soldiers near water, Falkland Islands Defence Force on parade in June 2013 File:Detachment of Falkland Islands Defence Force.jpg, alt=Soldiers marching down a street in black uniforms, Detachment of the Falkland Islands Defence Force in ceremonial dress File:US President JF Kennedy inspects Bermuda Rifles 1961.jpg, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, escorted by a Bermuda Militia Artillery officer, inspects a Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, Bermuda Rifles guard in 1961, four years before the units amalgamated File:RSM of the Bermuda Regiment 1992.jpg, WO1 Herman Eve, RSM of the Royal Bermuda Regiment in 1992 File:Bermuda Regiment Band.png, Bandsmen of the Royal Bermuda Regiment File:Bermuda Regiment PNCO Cadre Promotion Parade.jpg, alt=Soldiers in white-and-black dress uniforms, Royal Bermuda Regiment on parade File:Changing of the Guard duo - Royal Gibraltar Regiment.jpg, alt=Two soldiers in red dress uniforms, Changing of the guard, Royal Gibraltar Regiment (2012) File:Royal Gibraltar Regiment.jpg, alt=Four soldiers marching in red-and-blue dress uniforms, Royal Gibraltar Regiment in London, April 2012


Levels of Command

The structure of the British Army beneath the level of Divisions and Brigades is also hierarchical and command is based on rank. The table below details how many units within the British Army are structured, although there can be considerable variation between individual units: Whilst many units are organised as Battalions or Regiments administratively, the most common fighting unit is the combined arms unit known as a Battlegroup. This is formed around a combat unit and supported by units (or sub-units) from other capabilities. An example of a battlegroup would be two companies of armoured infantry (e.g. from the 1st Battalion of the Mercian Regiment), one squadron of heavy armour (e.g. A Squadron of the
Royal Tank Regiment The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the World War I, First World War. Today, it is the Armoured warfare, armoured regiment of the British Army's 12th Armoured Infantr ...
), a company of engineers (e.g. B Company of the 22nd Engineer Regiment), a Battery of artillery (e.g. D Battery of the 1st Regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery) and smaller attachments from medical, logistic and intelligence units. Typically organised and commanded by a battlegroup headquarters and named after the unit which provided the most combat units, in this example, it would be the 1 Mercian Battlegroup. This creates a self-sustaining mixed formation of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units, commanded by a lieutenant colonel.


Recruitment

The British Army primarily recruits from within the United Kingdom, but accept applications from all British citizens. It also accepts applications from Irish citizens and Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth citizens, with certain restrictions. Since 2018 the British Army has been an equal-opportunity employer (with some legal exceptions due to medical standards), and does not discriminate based on race, religion or sexual orientation. Applicants for the Regular Army must be a minimum age of 16, although soldiers under 18 May not serve in operations, and the maximum age is 36. Applicants for the Army Reserve must be a minimum of 17 years and 9 months, and a maximum age of 43. Different age limits apply for Officers and those in some specialist roles. Applicants must also meet several other requirements, notably regarding medical health, physical fitness, past-criminal convictions, education, and regarding any tattoos and piercings. Soldiers & Officers in the Regular Army now enlist for an initial period of 12 years, with options to extend if they meet certain requirements. Soldiers & Officers are normally required to serve for a minimum of 4 years from date of enlistment and must give 12 months' notice before leaving.


Oath of allegiance

All soldiers and commissioned officers must take an oath of allegiance upon joining the Army, a process known as attestation. Those who wish to swear by God in Abrahamic religions, God use the following words: Others replace the words "swear by Almighty God" with "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm".


Training

Candidates for the Army undergo common training, beginning with Recruit training, initial military training, to bring all personnel to a similar standard in basic military skills, which is known as Phase 1 training. They then undertake further specialist trade-training for their specific Regiment or Corps, known as Phase 2 training. After completing Phase 1 training a soldier is counted against the Army's trained strength, and upon completion of Phase 2 are counted against the Army's fully trained trade strength. Soldiers under the age of 17 and 6 months will complete Phase 1 training at the Army Foundation College. Infantry Soldiers will complete combined Phase 1 & 2 training at the Infantry Training Centre (British Army), Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, whilst all other Soldiers will attend Phase 1 training at the Army Training Centre Pirbright or Army training regiment, Army Training Regiment, Winchester, and then complete Phase 2 training at different locations depending on their specialism. Officers conduct their initial training, which lasts 44 weeks, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), before also completing their Phase 2 training at multiple different locations.


Flags and ensigns

The British Army's official flag is the 3:5 Aspect ratio, ratio Union Jack. The Army also has a non-ceremonial flag that is often seen flying from military buildings and is used at recruiting and military events and exhibitions. Traditionally most British Army units had a set of flags, known as the Colours, standards and guidons, colours—normally a Regimental Colour and a Queen's Colour (the Union Jack). Historically these were carried into battle as a rallying point for the soldiers and were closely guarded. In modern units the colours are often prominently displayed, decorated with Battle honours of the British and Imperial Armies, battle honours, and act as a focal point for Regimental pride. A soldier re-joining a regiment (upon recall from the reserve) is described as ''re-called to the Colours''. File:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg, alt=Union Jack, Official Army flag File:Flag of the British Army.svg, alt=The British Lion, the crown and crossed swords on a red background, Non-ceremonial army flag; "Army", in gold letters, sometimes appears below the badge. File:British Army Ensign01.svg, alt=Flag with Union Jack and crossed swords on a blue background, Ensign for general use by the Royal Logistic Corps File:British Army Ensign00.svg, alt=Same as previous flag, with the British lion and the crown, Ensign flown by the Royal Logistic Corps from vessels commanded by commissioned officers File:Royal Engineers Ensign.png, alt=Union Jack and stylised, winged hand on a blue background, Ensign of the Corps of
Royal Engineers The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the ''Sapper A sapper, also called pioneer Pioneer commonly refers to a settler who migrates to previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited ...


Ranks and insignia

Most ranks across the British Army are known by the same name regardless of which Regiment they are in. However, the Household Cavalry call many ranks by different names, the
Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far be ...
refer to Corporals as Bombardiers, and Private soldiers are known by a wide variety of titles; notably trooper, gunner, guardsman, sapper, signalman, fusilier, craftsman and rifleman dependant on the Regiment they belong to. These names do not affect a soldier's pay or role.


Reserve forces

Following the 1855 absorption of the ''Ordnance Military Corps'' (including the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Sappers and Miners), along with the originally civilian Commissariat, Commissariat Department, ordnance stores, transport, barracks and other departments from the abolished
Board of Ordnance The Board of Ordnance was a British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Yeomanry Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
was a mounted force that could also be mobilised in times of war or emergency.
Volunteer Force The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, L ...
units were also frequently raised during wartime and disbanded upon peace. This was re-established as a permanent (ie, in war and peace) part of the Reserve Forces in the 1850s. It differed from the Militia in a number of ways, most particularly in that volunteers did not commit to a term service, and were able to resign with fourteen days notice (except while embodied). The Reserve Forces were raised locally (in Britain, under the control of Lord-Lieutenant, Lords-Lieutenant of counties, and, in British Overseas Territories, British colonies, under the colonial governors, and members originally were obliged to serve only within their locality (which, in the United Kingdom, originally meant within the county or other recruitment area, but was extended to anywhere in Britain, though not overseas). They have consequently also been referred to as ''Local Forces''. As they were (and in some cases ''are'') considered separate forces from the British Army, though still within the British military, they have also been known as ''Auxiliary Forces''. The Militia and Volunteer units of a colony were generally considered to be separate forces from the ''Home'' Militia Force and Volunteer Force in the United Kingdom, and from the Militia Forces and Volunteer Forces of other colonies. Where a colony had more than one Militia or Volunteer unit, they would be grouped as a Militia or Volunteer Force for that colony, such as the Jamaica Volunteer Defence Force. Officers of the Reserve Forces could not sit on Courts Martial of regular forces personnel. The Mutiny Act did not apply to members of the Reserve Forces. The ''Reserve Forces'' within the British Isles were increasingly integrated with the British Army through a succession of reforms over the last two decades of the Nineteenth Century and the early years of the Twentieth Century, whereby the Reserve Forces units mostly lost their own identities and became numbered Militia or Volunteer battalions of regular British Army corps or regiments. In 1908, the Yeomanry and Volunteer Force were merged to create the
Territorial Force The Territorial Force was a part-time volunteer component of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known a ...
(changed to ''Territorial Army'' after the First World War), with terms of service similar to the army and Militia, and the Militia was renamed the ''Special Reserve'', After the First World War the Special Reserve was renamed the Militia, again, but permanently suspended (although a handful of Militia units survived in the United Kingdom, its colonies, and the Crown Dependencies). Although the Territorial Force was nominally still a separate force from the British Army, by the end of the century, at the latest, any unit wholly or partly funded from Army Funds was considered part of the British Army. Outside the United Kingdom-proper, this was generally only the case for those units in the Channel Islands or the Imperial Fortress colonies (Nova Scotia, before Canadian confederation;
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
; Gibraltar; and Malta). The Bermuda Militia Artillery, Bermuda Militia Infantry, Bermuda Volunteer Engineers, and the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps), by example were paid for by the War Office and considered part of the British Army, with their officers appearing in the ''Army List'' unlike those of many other colonial units deemed auxiliaries. Today, the British Army is the only Home British military force, including the various other forces it has absorbed, though British military units organised on Territorial Army lines remain in British Overseas Territories that are still not considered formally part of the British Army, with only the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and the Royal Bermuda Regiment (an amalgam of the old Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps) appearing on the British Army order of precedence, British Army order-of-precedence and in the Army List, as well as on the Corps Warrant (the official list of those British military forces that are considered corps of the British Army).


Uniforms

The British Army uniform has sixteen categories, ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress to evening wear. No. 8 Dress, the day-to-day uniform, is known as "Personal Clothing System – Combat Uniform" (PCS-CU) and consists of a Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) windproof smock, a lightweight jacket and trousers with ancillary items such as Long underwear, thermals and Raincoat, waterproofs. The army has introduced tactical recognition flashes (TRFs); worn on the right arm of a combat uniform, the insignia denotes the wearer's regiment or corps. In addition to working dress, the army has a number of parade uniforms for ceremonial and non-ceremonial occasions. The most-commonly-seen uniforms are No.1 Dress (full ceremonial, seen at formal occasions such as at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace) and No.2 Dress (Service Dress), a brown khaki uniform worn for non-ceremonial parades. Working Headgear, headdress is typically a beret, whose colour indicates its wearer's type of regiment. Beret colours are: * Khaki—Foot Guards, Honourable Artillery Company, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, Royal Anglian Regiment, Royal Welsh * Light grey—Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps * Brown—King's Royal Hussars * Black—
Royal Tank Regiment The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the World War I, First World War. Today, it is the Armoured warfare, armoured regiment of the British Army's 12th Armoured Infantr ...
* Dark (Rifle green, rifle) green—The Rifles, Royal Gurkha Rifles, Small Arms School Corps * Maroon beret, Maroon—Parachute Regiment (United Kingdom), Parachute Regiment * Beige—Special Air Service * Sky blue—Army Air Corps (United Kingdom), Army Air Corps * Cypress green—Intelligence Corps (United Kingdom), Intelligence Corps * Scarlet—Royal Military Police * Green—Adjutant General's Corps * Navy blue—All other units * Emerald grey—Special Reconnaissance Regiment


See also

* Army Cadet Force (ACF) * British Army order of precedence * Corps Warrant * British Army uniform * British campaign medals * British military history * Army 2020 Refine * Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 * List of British Army installations * List of British Army regiments *
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
* Modern equipment of the British Army * Red coat (British army), Redcoat * Royal Air Force *
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
* "Rule, Britannia!" * Army Reserve (United Kingdom) * United Kingdom Special Forces * British military bands * Tommy Atkins


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * French, David. ''Army, Empire, and Cold War: The British Army and Military Policy, 1945–1971'' (2012) DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548231.001.0001 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:British Army British Army, 1707 establishments in Great Britain British Armed Forces, Army Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) Military of the United Kingdom Organizations established in 1707 Wars involving the United Kingdom