WWII British Inf Brigade HQ Staffing Levels?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Speedy, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. I've recently found out that I had a grandfather who served in the Jewish Brigade HQ (I will hopefully be give his medal soon to look after as well). After the war he was awarded an MBE for his efforts.
    As far as I know he started the war as a TA second lieutenant and finished as a temporary Major at the HQ. He was infantry (either Loyal North Lancs or East Lancs I can't remember which).
    What I would like to know, in an effort to try and ascertain what his position was, is the make up of a typical inf brigade HQ during WWII.
    If anyone could help it would be much appreciated.
  2. Wow, 6 'staff' officers and 3 chaplins. Not a lot on the officer strength compared to a modern brigade HQ I think.
  3. As you can see by the Cdn 1944 one I added the Bde HQ had increased in size, 14 officers rather than 6 (excluding chaplains), with the addition of a couple of liaison officers and two more staff officers and a camp commandant. There would also normally be a defence platoon and a R SIGS detachment attached.
  4. Here's a slightly different take from another reference. Bear in mind that this is for a brigade within a division, independent ones had extra staff appointments.

    War Establishment II/141/2. January 1944.

    Brigadier, Commander

    Brigade Major
    Captain, GSO3
    Staff Captain
    Captain Liaison Officer
    2 X Lieutenant Liaison Officer
    serjeant clerk
    corporal clerk
    2 X clerk

    Captain RASC
    corporal clerk RASC
    batman driver RASC
    orderly RASC
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer RAOC
    Captain REME
    Warrant Officer Armourer REME
    2 X serjeant armourer REME
    Warrant Officer tyre repair plant operator REME
    corporal vehicle mechanic REME
    2 X vehicle mechanic REME

    Captain, Intelligence and Gas Duties
    Captain, Transport
    Subaltern, Camp Commandant
    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    transport serjeant
    intelligence serjeant
    intelligence corporal
    intelligence lance corporal
    corporal driver IC
    lance corporal driver IC
    4 X private driver IC
    10 X orderly
    2 X batman
    12 X batman driver
    sanitary dutyman

    3 X chaplain
    corporal cook ACC
    cook, officers mess ACC
    2 X cook ACC

    4 X motorcycle
    3 X car 2seater 4 X 2
    3 X car 4 seater
    6 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    1 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt Water
    1 X 15cwt Office
    1 X 15cwt personnel
    3 X lorry 3ton 4 X 4 GS

    By 1945 the 15cwt Office was replaced by a 3ton 4 X 4 Office

    Total weapons
    14 X pistol
    21 X Sten gun
    4 X Bren lmg
    37 X rifle

    By 1945 10 X rifle were deleted and 5 X Sten gun added

    The Command Group.
    This contained only the personnel and vehicles required to command and control an action.

    Lorry Command Vehicle LP 1 (Royal Signals)
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No19 and Wireless set No 19 HP
    Carries Bren lmg
    This vehicle is for forward control and rear link to Main Division.
    In action the Brigadier, Brigade Major and GSO3 have seats in this vehicle.

    Lorry Command Vehicle LP 2 (Royal Signals)
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wirele set No19 and Wireless set No19HP
    This vehicle is for service control and rear link to Rear Division.
    In action the Staff Captain has a seat in this vehicle.

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 4 (Royal Signals)
    operator, driver operator
    Carries Wireless set No 19 and No 19 HP
    This vehicle is for brigade commander’s reconnaissance

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Brigadier, Brigade Major, batman, driver IC
    Carries Wireless set No 22 from Divisional Signals
    This vehicle can be used as the normal out of action transport for the Brigadier, and as the Brigadiers office or sleeping vehicle.

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Captain liaison officer, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern liaison officer, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern liaison officer, batman driver

    Staff Group.
    This group may be further back than the command group and was responsible for implementing the brigadiers decisions and co ordinating the plan.
    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Staff Captain, batman, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    GSO3, batman driver
    15cwt truck GS
    Intelligence Officer, intelligence serjeant, intelligence coporal, intelligence lance corporal, batman
    Carries Bren lmg

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Transport Officer, batman driver
    Motorcycle 1
    transport serjeant
    Motorcycle 2
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Captain RASC, corporal clerk RASC, batman driver RASC
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly RASC

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Captain REME, batman driver

    15cwt Office
    staff serjeant clerk, clerk, batman driver
    15cwt personnel
    Company Serjeant Major, corporal clerk, orderly, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg

    The Administrative Group.

    Motorcycle 4
    Camp Commandant

    15cwt water truck
    sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    The driver IC is trained in water duties

    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    clerk, driver IC
    Carries petrol
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    company quartermaster serjeant, corporal cook ACC, 3 X cook ACC, 3 X orderly, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations
    Carries Bren lmg
    The driver IC is trained in water duties
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    operator REME, WO armourer REME, serjeant armourer REME, armourer REME, corporal vehicle
    mechanic REME, vehicle mechanic REME, driver IC

    Six orderlies are attached to Divisional Signals and are carried in the transport of that unit.

    War Establishment II/148/1. November 1943
    War Establishment II/148/2. April 1945

    This unit was responsible for the defence of the Brigade Headquarters area. It was commanded by the Camp Commandant.

    3 X corporal
    18 X rifleman
    3 X driver IC
    driver mechanic
    2 X cook ACC

    15cwt truck GS
    serjeant, 2 X cook, driver mechanic
    Carries baggage and supplies

    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC

    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC

    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC
  5. So, to look after 9 officers. 57 other ranks were required, including WOs and SNCOs.

    Or have I missed something. ?
  6. Bet they pumped out less useless "justify my empire/ Oh, oh! MS moment!" shit though and no rank inflation.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Yes, you've missed out the Brigade they were 'looking after'.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. During the course of the war the RA deployment pattern evolved, and in the second half of the war you'd generally find the field regt CO a short distance from the brigade comd. Obviously this wasn't reflected on the field regiment establishment and there may not have been any RA presence (at least from the field regt) when the CO and commander were out and about. Then there was an anti-tank bty comd, if the bde had a bty assigned from the divisonal regt then the BC may well have based himself at bde HQ, same applies to LAA.
  9. I think there is. The establishment table on Nigel Evans, well researched, web site shows a quite a few vehicles in the RHQ Party including the CO and a couple of R Signals communications vehicles, including a 15cwt which isn't likely to be following the Co around. He also has a subaltern who he can leave as an LO. These are separate from the Adjutants group and the RHQ Group. This looks like enough vehicles and radios to have a "Tac group" at Brigade HQ and an "FDC"
  10. As a follow up, I have just received his MBE citation from the National Archives and it turns out that he was the DAA/QMG for the Jewish Brigade.
    It would be very helpful if someone could give me the correct definition of 'DAA' and 'QMG' as obviously he wasn't the Quartermaster General!
    All help would be much appreciated.
  11. I think that would have made him the second senior staff officer in the Brigade. He would be responsible for Personnel and Administration (G1 = Assistant Adjutant) and Logistics (G4 = Quartermaster General). In the 1980s the title was Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS)
    • Like Like x 1