World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

First Army (United Kingdom)

First Army
Emblem of the British First Army (1942–1943)
Active First World War
1914–1918
Second World War
1942–1943
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Army
Engagements World War I
Western Front
World War II
Operation Torch
Tunisia Campaign
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Douglas Haig
Sir Henry Rawlinson
Kenneth Anderson

The First Army was a formation of the British Army that existed during the First and Second World Wars. Despite being a British command, the First Army also included Indian and Portuguese forces during the First World War and American and French units during the Second World War.

Contents

  • First World War 1
    • Commanders 1.1
  • Second World War 2
    • Commanders 2.1
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5

First World War

The First Army was part of the British Army during the First World War and was formed on 26 December 1914 when the corps of the British Expeditionary Force were divided into the First Army under Lieutenant-General Sir Douglas Haig and the Second Army under Horace Smith-Dorrien.[1] First Army had the Ist, IVth and the Indian Corps under command.[2] The First Army suffered reverses at Vimy Ridge in May 1916 and at Fromelles the following month. From 1917, the First Army also included the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps. The First Army took part in the 1918 offensive that drove the Germans back and virtually ended the war.

Commanders

Second World War

The British First Army was also part of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed to command the American and British land forces which had landed as part of Operation Torch in Morocco and Algeria on 8 November 1942. It was commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Kenneth Anderson. First Army headquarters was formally activated on 9 November 1942 when Anderson arrived in Algiers to assume command of the redesignated Eastern Task Force.[3]

It initially consisted of American and British formations only. After the surrender of French forces following the German abrogation of their armistice agreement with Vichy France, French units were also added to its order of battle. It eventually consisted of four corps, the US II Corps, the British V Corps, British IX Corps and French XIX Corps.

After the landings, Anderson's forces rushed east in a bid to capture Tunis and Bizerte before German forces could reach the two cities in large numbers. They failed. Following that lack of success, a period of consolidation was forced upon them. The logistics support for the Army was greatly improved and bases for its accompanying aircraft greatly multiplied. By the time the British Eighth Army approached the Tunisian border from the east, following its long pursuit of Erwin Rommel's forces after El Alamein, First Army was again ready to strike.

Supported by elements of XII Tactical Air Command and No. 242 Group RAF, the First Army carried the main weight of the 18th Army Group's offensive to conclude the Tunisia Campaign and finish Axis forces in North Africa off. The victory was won in May 1943 in a surrender that, in numbers captured at least, equalled Stalingrad. Shortly after the surrender, the First Army was disbanded, having served its purpose.

Commanders

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The British Armies of 1914–1918
  2. ^ THE SILENT GENERAL: HORNE OF THE FIRST ARMY, Don Farr, P.39
  3. ^ Playfair, p. 153.
  4. ^ Meade, p.59
  5. ^ British Military History
  6. ^ Orders of Battle

References

  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount.  
  •  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.