Pages: [1] 2 3 4

Listing of WWII British Units

When the British Empire, France and their allies declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, two days after its invasion of Poland, the Army was still unprepared. For example, few armoured formations had been organised, and their equipment and training were sketchy. Nearly 100,000 soldiers were based abroad, more than half of them in India and the garrisons East of Suez, such as Singapore. Others were based in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa. The smallest overseas command was the West Indies with a single battalion supported by indigenous units.

Many British leaders, including Winston Churchill, sought to avoid the costly battles of attrition which had characterised the Western Front in World War I. Churchill became Prime Minister in the middle of the Battle of France, which resulted in British troops being driven from the continent and left no realistic chance of re-establishing any Western Front for years. The number of British divisions was therefore kept low; perhaps 50 were formed in total (not counting administrative or anti-aircraft divisions), but probably no more than 30 were in existence at any one time. This allowed the Royal Navy and especially the Royal Air Force to be expanded and maintained at full strength.

The increasing use of technology saw the creation of new types of units. Some of these were formed at the instigation of the War Office; most notably the Army Commandos. Inspired by the German use of airborne units in their Blitzkrieg offensives, Airborne brigades and divisions were formed. The Parachute Regiment was established as the parent body for all troops parachuting into battle. Glider infantry or Airlanding units also formed part of the airborne divisions.

Other new units, mainly various types of "special forces" were originally formed on an ad hoc basis. The Long Range Desert Group was formed in the Middle East by officers who had been amateur explorers in the Sahara desert before the war. The first SAS units were also formed in the Middle East. From 1942, the Army Air Corps administered the Parachute Regiment, the Glider Pilot Regiment, the Special Air Service Regiment and the Air Observation Post Squadron, RA.

The regular forces also experienced a substantial expansion, not just including the many battalions created in existing regiments. Six cavalry regiments were formed from the cadres of existing regiments, along with two new infantry regiments, all of which would be disbanded during demobilisation in the aftermath of the war. A Reconnaissance Corps of over 20 regiments was also formed, which was absorbed by the Royal Armoured Corps in 1944.

The requirement for infantry was much less than in the previous world war, and many infantry battalions were converted into anti-tank and anti-aircraft units of the Royal Artillery, or armoured regiments in the Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Tank Regiment. Towards the end of the war, this trend had to be reversed; as the infantry strength declined, and the threat from enemy air forces disappeared, many soldiers in anti-aircraft units were drafted into the infantry.

Reenacting Tommy

There are many good British units out there today. Talk to them, ask questions, see how you might fit in with their program. When joining a group, it's always best to research them and not just "jump in." Our two cents.

To Get your Unit Listed Here

ou NEED to have a website for this listing, if you don't have one, let us know -- we may be able to help.

Click here to visit: Women's Impressions Main page

To add your unit link, please go to our link-add page.

 

If you find a problem in this time/area or would like your unit listed please feel free to e-mail the WW2 T/A webmasters: Harry Coombs or Rob Haught.

 

{Links}

Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Del.icio.us Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon

American Units

About the G.I.'s

The Americans, the "GI", Willy and Joe... GI or G.I. is a term describing members of the US armed forces or items of their equipment. It may be used as an adjective or as a noun. The term is often thought to be an initialism of "Government Issue" but the origin of the term is in fact galvanized iron after the letters "GI" that used to denote equipment such as metal trash cans made from it in U.S. Army inventories and supply records. During World War I, US soldiers sardonically referred to incoming German artillery shells as "GI cans". During World War I it was somehow assumed that GI stood for Government Issue and the term was applied to all military equipment and the soldiers themselves (another incorrect interpretation is General Infantry). The term reached even farther as its usage spread with the American troops during World War II.

G.I. reenacting today

There are a LOT of G.I. units -- their types seem to change with the popularity of differing movies that come out. There was an influx of infantry units after Saving Private Ryan, with another influx of Airborne, (especially the 506th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment)) after Band of Brothers. Anyway, give it a look, the noble G.I. is a great impression when done well!

How Can You List YOUR WW2 American Unit on reenactor.Net?

You do need to have a website for this listing--if you don't have one,
e-mail us and we'll add you to the overall unit listing he is doing. Do you want to add a link to YOUR unit's webpage on the WWII section of reenactor.Net? Click here!

  • Click here for U.S Army Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Airborne Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Air Corps Units
  • Click here for U.S Marine Corps Units
  • Click here to visit the WW2 Women's Impressions Main page

To add your unit link, please go to our link-add page.


Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Del.icio.us Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon

Listing of WWII Canadian Units

 
 
CanadaLetsGo

Following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Canada's Parliament supported the government's decision to declare war on Germany on September 10, one week after the United Kingdom and France. Canadian airmen played a small but significant role in the Battle of Britain, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian merchant marine played a crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic. C Force, two Canadian infantry battalions were involved in the failed defence of Hong Kong. Troops of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division also played a leading role in the disastrous Dieppe Raid in August 1942. The 1st Canadian Division and tanks of the independent 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade landed on Sicily in July 1943 and after a 38-day campaign there, took part in the successful Allied invasion of Italy. Canadian forces played an important role in the long advance north through Italy, eventually coming under their own corps headquarters after 5th Canadian Armoured Division joined them on the line in early 1944 after the costly battles on the Moro River and at Ortona.

On June 6, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Division (supported by tanks of the independent 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade) landed on Juno Beach in the Battle of Normandy. Canadian airborne troops had also landed earlier in the day behind the beaches. Resistance on Juno was fierce, and casualties were high in the assault waves, in particular the first assault waves, which sustained a 50 percent casualty rate. By day's end, however, the Canadians had made the deepest penetrations inland of any of the five seaborne invasion forces. The Canadians went on to play an important role in the subsequent fighting in Normandy, with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division coming ashore in July and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division in August. In the meantime, both a corps headquarters (II Canadian Corps) and eventually an army headquarters—for the first time in Canadian military history—were activated. One of the most important Canadian contributions to the war effort was in the Battle of the Scheldt, where First Canadian Army defeated an entrenched German force at great cost to help open Antwerp to Allied shipping.

First Canadian Army fought in two more large campaigns; the Rhineland in February and March 1945, clearing a path to the Rhine River in anticipation of the assault crossing of that obstacle, and the subsequent battles on the far side of the Rhine in the last weeks of the war. The I Canadian Corps returned to northwest Europe from Italy in early 1945, and as part of a reunited First Canadian Army assisted in the liberation of The Netherlands (including the rescue of many Dutch from near-starvation conditions) and the invasion of Germany.

The Royal Canadian Air Force had three key responsibilities during the war: the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), Canada's contribution to training military aviators; the Home War Establishment (HWE), which provide 37 squadrons for coastal defence, protection of shipping, air defence and other duties in Canada, and the Overseas War Establishment (OWE), which provided 48 squadrons serving with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Far East.

RCAF airmen served with RAF fighter and bomber squadrons, and played key roles in the Battle of Britain, antisubmarine warfare during the Battle of the Atlantic, and the bombing campaigns against Germany. Even though many RCAF personnel served with the RAF, No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command was formed entirely of RCAF squadrons. Canadian air force personnel also provided close support of Allied forces during the Battle of Normandy and subsequent land campaigns in Europe. To free up RCAF personnel who were needed on active operational or BCATP training duties, the RCAF Women's Division was formed in 1941.

Of a population approximately 11.5 million, 1.1 million Canadians served in the armed forces in the Second World War. Of these, an officially recorded total of 42,042 members of the armed forces gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded. Many others shared the suffering and hardship of war.

You NEED to have a website for this listing, if you don't have one, let us know and we may be able to help.

 Sadly, there seems to be NO Canadian units left
or operating right now. Just sad!!
 

Marine Corps Legacy Museum -- A GREAT and "must-visit" website for anyone interested in the USMC. Not only on the 'Net, but please, visit their museum -- one of the few Marine museums left in the country as most seem to have been closed. This is a private non-profit museum and they do a damn good job in what they do! Give 'em a visit!

 

To add your unit link, please go to our link-add page.

 

If you find a problem in this time/area or would like your unit listed please feel free to e-mail the WW2 T/A webmasters: Harry Coombs or Rob Haught.

Click here to visit: Women's Impressions Main page

{Links}

Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Del.icio.us Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon

American WWII Airborne Units

Airborne, Definition of:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Airborne forces are military units, usually light infantry, set up to be moved by aircraft and 'dropped' into battle. Thus they can be placed behind enemy lines, and have an ability to deploy almost anywhere with little warning. The formations are limited only by the number and size of their aircraft, so given enough capacity a huge force can appear "out of nowhere" in minutes, an action referred to as vertical envelopment.

Conversely, airborne forces typically lack the supplies and equipment for prolonged combat operations, and are therefore more suited for airhead operations than long-term occupation; furthermore, parachute operations are particularly sensitive to adverse weather conditions. Advances in helicopter technology since World War II have brought increased flexibility to the scope of airborne operations, and helicopters have largely replaced large-scale parachute operations, and (almost) completely replaced combat glider operations. However, due to the limited range of helicopters and the limited number of troops that can be transported by them many countries retain Paratroopers as a valuable strategic asset.

 

U.S. Airborne Forces

The Allies had learned better tactics and logistics from their earlier airborne drops, and these lessons were applied for the assaults along the Western Front.

Operation Overlord: D-Day

One of the most famous of airborne operations was Operation Overlord on D-Day June 6, 1944. The task of the airborne forces was to secure the flanks of the landing beaches in Normandy. The British glider transported troops and paratroopers secured the Eastern flank in Operation Tonga of which Pegasus Bridge is the best remembered objective. Another objective was the Merville gun battery. The American glider and parachute infantry of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, though widely scattered by poor weather and poorly marked landing zones, secured the western flank in Operation Chicago and Operation Detroit with heavy casualties. All together the casualties of the Airborne at D-Day total around 23,000.

Reenacting the Airborne

There are many units today and some are different than others. Check out each group carefully to make sure that you'll fit in. Some units have differing levels of authenticity; some groups like to do more tactical stuff while other units prefer to do a lot of living history or "being there" type events. Look at a number of units before deciding. :-)

  • Click here for U.S Army Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Airborne Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Air Corps Units
  • Click here for U.S Marine Corps Units
  • Click here to visit the WW2 Women's Impressions Main page

You do need to have a website for this
listing--if you don't have one, let us know,
maybe we can help)

To add your unit link, please go to
our link-add page

{Links}

 

Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Del.icio.us Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon

U.S. Army Units

Willie and JoeThe Americans, the "GI", Willy and Joe... GI or G.I. is a term describing members of the US armed forces or items of their equipment. It may be used as an adjective or as a noun. The term is often thought to be an initialism of "Government Issue" but the origin of the term is in fact galvanized iron after the letters "GI" that used to denote equipment such as metal trash cans made from it in U.S. Army inventories and supply records. During World War I, US soldiers sardonically referred to incoming German artillery shells as "GI cans". During World War I it was somehow assumed that GI stood for Government Issue and the term was applied to all military equipment and the soldiers themselves (another incorrect interpretation is General Infantry). The term reached even farther as its usage spread with the American troops during World War II.

 

G.I. reenacting today

willie and joe

There are a LOT of G.I. units -- their types seem to change with the popularity of differing movies that come out. There was an influx of infantry units after Saving Private Ryan, with another influx of Airborne, (especially the 506th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment)) after Band of Brothers.

If you really are interested in Infantry units, there are many out there - same with Airborne. It's all what you're interested in. North and South, East and West, the units are there. Often, the "leg" units will be a local unit, for example, the 29th ID was in Maryland and Virginia... you'll see it reenacted more there. Same kind of thing with the 28th Keystone in Pennsylvania. Some units, like the 1st ID and 82nd Airborne transcend regions.

Anyway, give it a look, the noble G.I. is a great impression when done well!

 

How Can You List YOUR WW2 American Unit on reenactor.Net?

You do need to have a website for this listing--if you don't have one,
e-mail us and we'll explain how to do that.

To add your unit link, please go to
our link-add page.

 
  • Click here for U.S Army Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Airborne Units
  • Click here for U.S Army Air Corps Units
  • Click here for U.S Marine Corps Units
  • Click here to visit the WW2 Women's Impressions Main page

{Links}

Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Del.icio.us Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon
Pages: [1] 2 3 4