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Template:Infobox military unitThe 13th Signal Regiment or officially 13th Cyber and Electromagnetic Signal Regiment (13 Signal Regiment), is a specialist signals unit of the Royal Corps of Signals within the British Army. Originally being formed in 1934, the regiment had a long history of service before being disbanded in 1994 following the initial Options for Change reforms.

The regiment will be reformed after the Army 2020 refines and will be part of the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade. This reformation comes as a result of the increased duties of the regiment's sister regiment, 14th Cyber and Electromegnetic Signal Regiment.


Early History


In World War I, the Wireless Observation groups of the Corps of Royal Engineers proved to be very successful. During this time, with the major expansion of modern warfare including the use of support artillery and tanks, a corps of signals seemed to be more and more necessary. From this expansion the Royal Corps of Signals were due to form in 1917 but was delayed until 1920. These groups were tasked with using the most up-to-date communications and phones to support troops on the front-line. These groups helped with the communications between the HQ facilities, the men on the front line, and supporting units.<ref name=":5">“History of the Royal Signals.” Royal Signals Museum,</ref><ref name=":0">Lord and Watson, Page 49</ref>


The 4th Wireless Signal Company (War Office Signals) where formed in 1934 at Aldershot to provide signal intelligence activities under the direct command of the War Office.<ref name=":5" /> After forming, the squadron had the following structure;<ref name=":0" /><ref name=":1">The Monthly Army List. (1937). [ebook] London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The General Staff, War Office, p.355. Available at: [Accessed 30 Aug. 2019].</ref>

  • Company Headquarters in Aldershot
  • No. 1 Section in Aldershot
  • No. 2 Section in Chatham<ref name=":1" />

In 1938 the company was re-titled as No. 2 Company, General Headquarters Signals. After this name change, the company expanded their responsibility to provide secure communications for General Headquarters, The War Office, and the General Staff.<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" /> The company was completely based in Aldershot by 1939.<ref name=":5" /><ref>Lord and Watson Page 241</ref>

World War II

Battle of France

In September 1939. the company went to France part of GHQ British Expeditionary Force.<ref name=":5" /> After this re-organisation, the group had the following roles and structure;<ref name=":0" />

In May 1940 the company started to retreat following the almost total destruction of the BEF. The company retreated to Dunkirk and was evacuated, after this the company was renamed as 1st Special Wireless Group on 18 July 1940.<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" />

Home Service

After being renamed to become 1 Special Wireless Group, they helped to train and form many of the new special wireless signal sections which would support the allied armies until the end of the war. Each of these new sections were provided to each Army HQ to provide wireless signals intelligence. This role was later expanded to help with both armies and corps. Following their re-organisation, the group was sent to the Middle East being under the control of the 2nd Special Wireless Group.<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" /> Just before moving to the Middle East, the group was composed of a group headquarters and two wireless companies.<ref>Lord and Watson Page 254</ref>

Normandy and End

As part of the run-up to the Invasion of Normandy, the group was put under control of the 21st Army Group.<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" /> During this time each section provided communications for each of the armies and corps, their structure was as follows;<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" />

Following the end of the war, the group was based in Minden and re-named as the 1st Special Wireless Regiment. In August 1946 the regiment moved to Peterborough Barracks then in 1950 in Nelson Barracks in Münster.<ref name=":5" /><ref name=":0" /><ref name=":2">“British Army Units from 1945 On.” British Army Units from 1945 on - 13 Regiment,</ref>

Cold War

In 1951 101 Wireless Troop effectively became an independent troop for special purpose signals intelligence along on the West-East German Border. Their first major operation was when this troop moved to Hildesheim with the task of building/finding a signals intelligence post close to the border. After the search, the troop found Langeleben and in 1951 the troop was temporally stationed here. By 1952, the troop permanently moved in.<ref name=":0" />

In 1953, it was decided to move the entire regiment west of the Rhine. This came after the analysis of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany were found to be larger than previously expected. By 1955, a brand new set of barracks were constructed in Birgelen named Mercury Barracks. This new set of barracks were based near the German-Dutch Border and specially built for the regiment and their tasks.<ref name=":0" /><ref name=":2" />

During this time, the regiment was expanded and now controlled three special wireless squadrons, two cipher and special operations troops, along with a specialist platoon from the Intelligence Corps. In 1957, 101 Wireless Troop was expanded to form 2 Squadron.<ref name=":0" />

In 1959, the 1957 Defence White Paper took effect, and the regiment was renamed as 13th (Radio) Signal Regiment. Eventually, in 1967 following the 1966 Defence White Paper, the regiment's squadrons gained new squadron titles with 2 Squadron being renamed as 225 Signal Squadron. Soon after this re-organisation, the regiment formed a specialist detachment in Berlin, this became known as Royal Signals Detachment, RAF Gatow. After being formed, the detachment was expanded into two new troops, F and G Troops. A detachment was then attached to 26 Signals Unit RAF. In 1970, this detachment was expanded two 2 Squadron.<ref name=":0" />

In 1974, Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, announced he would be increasing the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany massively and reform the armed forces. As a result of this, a new troop as part of 1 Squadron was formed in Gross Busborn in the Dannenberg Salient and tasked with reporting on movements and operations of the soviet forces across the border. In 1984, the regiment was granted the Freedom of Dannenburg.<ref name=":0" />

Finally, in 1992 the Options for Change were announced and the armed forces (namely the army) was extremely reduced in size and structure. In 1994 the regiment was deemed "in-active" and disbanded the next year.<ref name=":0" /> The structure of the regiment before disbandment was as follows;

  • Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron
  • No.1 Signal Squadron
  • No.2 Signal Squadron
  • No.3 Signal Squadron

Modern Day

In 2019 the regiment is to be reformed as a result of the Army 2020 Refine.<ref name=":3">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=":4">An Update from the Master of Signals. (2019). [ebook] pp.8 and 14. Available at: [Accessed 31 Aug. 2019].</ref> Upon formation, the regiment's name will be 13th Cyber and Electromagnetic Signal Regiment.<ref name=":3" /> After this change, the regiment will be tied with 14 Signal Regiment and be under the specially formed 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade. After fully forming up, the regiment will be co-located with 299 Special Communications Signal Squadron in Beachley Barracks.<ref name=":3" /><ref name=":4" />

Operations and Battles

See also


<references />


  • Lord, Cliff, and Graham Watson. The Royal Corps of Signals Unit Histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and Its Antecedents. Helion and Company, 2003. Template:ISBN
  • "Royal Signals". Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  • Watson, Graham E. and Rinaldi, Richard A. The British Army in Germany (BAOR and After): An Organisational History 1947-2004 Tiger Lily Publications LLC 2005. Template:ISBN