Where to find TO&E's?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Don Juan, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Given that Establishments were notified in ACIs, then if you want a comprehensive list then the first place to look is in ACIs. That said some ACIs may have been highly classified and used to notify highly classified Establishments, but these should all be in TNAs ACI series. There are other sources that listed new or revised Establishments, for example the monthly RA Notes that started in Jan 43 usually notified changes in at least some RA establishments.

    I'm happy to report that having an interest limited to a particularly large branch of the army, field unit establishments and post 1940 only, I've never had any need to go beyond WO 24/950, 951 so don't be put of by tales of umpty ump volumes, for most researchers it is not a problem. Of course it helps if you know what you are looking for. All the training establishments, base depots and organisations and the like are irrelevant to the field Order of Battle, depending on your criteria so too were the AA regts in AA Command UK, given that a significant proportion of HAA regts were each on different Establishments you can see why its useful to be clear on your area of interest!

    There are other ORBAT sources, for example WO 212/3 covers "Order of Battle for the Field Forces in the United Kingdom Part 2 Armoured Divisions and Royal Armoured Corps Series 3 Number 5 amended up to 14 Sep 42", and a further amendment to it. This lists all units, together with what I assume is their Unique Identification number, for example 9 Armd Div supply & transport comprised HQ 9 Armd Div RASC, 28 Armd Bde Coy, 7 Inf Bde Coy and 9 Armd Div Tps Coy. All the unit LADs are listed separately. WO 212/15 deals with infantry, etc divisions and bdes for the same period in UK.

    The next series of interest in WO 73, 'Strength of The British Army and of Other Military Forces in British Commands", these are quarterly statements. Those in the first half of the war provide the War Establishment number for each unit, the Estb strength and the actual strength, the later ones just give actual strength, the early ones are useful for identifying which is the relevant Establishment at reporting date. Note that these are organised by regiments and corps in theatres. Interestingly they also give the current number of PoW and Internees, for example for June 44 there were 1005 RA officers and 16403 ORs whereas 12 months earlier there were 1042 Offrs and 14712 ORs (updated ICRC info for those held by Japan?).

    Now, where are the AFG 1098 in TNA? I should also caution about Sheldrake's warning. He is clearly young :) and does not realise that the British Army changed it stores accounting arrangements in about 1968. The 'modern' accounting system is as he says, before that it was a lot simpler and generally units had what it said in the AFG 1098 (it helped that the equipment was a lot simpler and versions tended to last for longer because there was less of the 'this year's version' from industry).
    Don Juan and Aixman like this.
  2. Aixman

    Aixman WE addict Patron

    @ Mapshooter
    Thank you for adding hints on sources! ACIs would have been my next aim at Kew anyway. Now you spared me the research.

    @ Gary Kennedy
    You describe the hard way I experienced for decades. Now I am very happy with "the digital harvesting route".
    Looking forward to your posting!!!

    And generally:
    After having been interested in WEs for many years, I had no real idea what a huge number I would find in TNA in WO 24 only. My respect goes to the organizers in the pre-war and war years. While an interest for tanks and the development is too probable, I developped an interest on things like transport and providing, bridge building and training units over the years. And the British system as a whole.

    Concerning the matter "what should be and what is": If you think about the difference in the German forces, thinking about the difference in British or American forces is a waste.
  3. Aixman

    Aixman WE addict Patron


    Tabelle Organiche? - Sounds interesting! I never saw an original.
    Would you mind to post a sample for a nightmare in here or otherwise PM me one (or two ... ;) )?
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A simple guide. May be useful.

    War Establishment Tables.

    Generally bound in volumes containing three months worth of War Establishment tables. Dates used are when notified in Army Council Instructions and not the effective date.

    WO 24 946 January, February, March 1943
    WO 24 947 April, May, June 1943
    WO 24 948 July, August September 1943
    WO 24 949 October, November, December 1943

    WO 24 950 January, February, March 1944
    WO 24 951 April, May, June 1944
    WO 24 952 July, August September 1944
    WO 24 953 October, November, December 1944

    Each bound volume contains a list of contents at the front. Confusingly these are divided into ‘volumes’ as follows
    Volume I establishment tables refer to airborne units.
    Volume II establishment tables refer to divisional units.
    Volume III establishment tables refer to corps and army units.
    Volume IV establishment tables refer to line of communication and base units.
    Volume VIII establishment tables refer to GHQ units.

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  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

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  6. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Thanks again to mapshooter, Trux and Wills.

    My own interest is the development of British armour, and so a part of that is researching unloved vehicles like the Covenanter, Cavalier and Centaur - hence my interest in the home-based armoured divisions, circa '41-'43. There's a lot of "received wisdom" about these tanks that has gone unexamined for decades. I already know for one of them that the story that's generally told about it is very different from what actually happened.

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