British Army of the Rhine (BAOR)

#1
Three months after the end of World War II on the 25 August 1945 the 21st Army Group was redesignated “British Army of the Rhine"

Who thought of the term BAOR and why was it so named?
 
#3
Petriburg said:
Wasn't it also used by the occupation troops after WW1?
Yes it was.

Stolen from wiki:

There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after World War I, and the other after World War II.

The second British Army on the Rhine was formed on 25 August 1945 from 21st Army Group. Its original function was to control the corps districts which were running the military government of the British zone of occupied Germany. After the assumption of government by civilians, it became the command formation for the troops in Germany only, rather than being responsible for administration as well.

As the Soviet invasion threat increased, BAOR became more responsible for the defence of Germany than its occupation. It became the primary formation controlling the British contribution to NATO after the formation of the alliance in 1949. Its primary combat formation was British I Corps. From 1952 the commander-in-chief of the BAOR was also the commander of NATO's Northern Army Group NORTHAG in the event of a general war with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The BAOR was formerly armed with tactical nuclear weapons.

The 1993 Options for Change defence cuts resulted in BAOR being replaced by the 25,000 strong British Forces Germany (BFG) in 1994.
 
#4
Why was it called BAOR when the majority of its forces where based nowhere near the Rhine? (in relative terms)
 
#5
It sounded better than British Army German....BAG?

When I was in Germany I prefered the phrase "occupying forces" :)
 
#7
smudge67 said:
It sounded better than British Army German....BAG?

When I was in Germany I prefered the phrase "occupying forces" :)
Aren't the septics the only occupying forces these days ??
 
#8
saintstone said:
smudge67 said:
It sounded better than British Army German....BAG?

When I was in Germany I prefered the phrase "occupying forces" :)
Aren't the septics the only occupying forces these days ??
Possibly the only nation with a half decent presence!
 
#9
We're not talking about 27 Regt RCT then No?? :?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
TheBigUn said:
Why was it called BAOR when the majority of its forces where based nowhere near the Rhine? (in relative terms)
Because it was nearer the Rhine than the Wear?
 
#11
The first BAOR was so called because it was headquartered in Cologne, controling a zone on the left bank and a 'bridgehead' of 30 Km radius on the right bank of the Rhine. So it was legitimately 'of the Rhine'. I guess in 1945 the name got reused without much thought to the geography of the British zone.

Not unknown for a son to command the same regiment as his father, but to follow your father in a 4* appointment must be unique (bound to somebody here to say otherwise). As in -

CinC BAOR 1919-1920: General Sir William Robertson

CinC BAOR 1947-1948: General Sir Brian Robertson

IS
 
#12
Immature_Student said:
The first BAOR was so called because it was headquartered in Cologne, controling a zone on the left bank and a 'bridgehead' of 30 Km radius on the right bank of the Rhine. So it was legitimately 'of the Rhine'. I guess in 1945 the name got reused without much thought to the geography of the British zone.

Not unknown for a son to command the same regiment as his father, but to follow your father in a 4* appointment must be unique (bound to somebody here to say otherwise). As in -

CinC BAOR 1919-1920: General Sir William Robertson

CinC BAOR 1947-1948: General Sir Brian Robertson

IS
all the more amazing seeing as he was a fecking sapper!
 
#13
Immature_Student said:
The first BAOR was so called because it was headquartered in Cologne, controling a zone on the left bank and a 'bridgehead' of 30 Km radius on the right bank of the Rhine. So it was legitimately 'of the Rhine'. I guess in 1945 the name got reused without much thought to the geography of the British zone.

Not unknown for a son to command the same regiment as his father, but to follow your father in a 4* appointment must be unique (bound to somebody here to say otherwise). As in -

CinC BAOR 1919-1920: General Sir William Robertson

CinC BAOR 1947-1948: General Sir Brian Robertson

IS
Thanks IS :wink:
 
#15
oldnotbold said:
When set up wasn't it the British Army of Occupation of the Rhine?
I can't remember ever seeing BAOR spelt out as that in anything official (but my brain doesn't always register things) but I can recall plenty of references to 'the army of occupation' in British documents of 1918-19 as meaning our force in Germany. It would make sense if the official title distinguished us from other armies of occupation of the Rhine in 1918 - French and Americans had zones, I think the Belgians had a token presence.

IS
 
#16
I believe that it was actually first called British Army Over the Rhine, when it first formed around a tented camp around Buxtehiede . It was then moved to Koln
 
#17
A quick look through the National Archives catalouge doesn't turn up any entries for 'British Army of Occupation of the Rhine' in the post-WW1 era. Lots for 'British Army of the Rhine' and 'army of occupation of the Rhine' but nothing that combines the two.

If anybody is interested there were actually several British armies of occupation after WW1. The Army Estimates for 1919 list them as -

The Rhine, including France and Belguim

In Italy

In Bulgaria, Turkey, Causasus, etc

In Egypt and Palestine

In Mesopotamia and Persia

total cost of maintaining these was in excess of £152,000,000 although the Germans were being made to pay towards the cost of their occupation.

IS
 
#18
If my memory serves me right from conversations while driving young officers to TEWTs, the Rhine was to be the last line of defence if the Soviets ever crossed the East/West Border.
 
#20
When I joined and got my first posting to BAOR, it was a real army. 4 Armd Divs each with three Armd Bdes, you didn't need to 443 an area to go on exercise, they knew you were coming when the ground started to quake.

Unfortunately in so few years, BAOR has turned from 'British Army of the Rhine' to 'British Army Over the Road' :(
 

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