New website -

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Historic Steve, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Have been working away with Bluebell Minor and (currently locked) over several years trying to piece together the early days of BAOR, a missing piece of our history from the late 1940s, folks talk about WW2 but the chat normally disappears shortly after VE day 8 May 45, many forum members have helped and some regimental histories give a brief account of occupation duties, however JPW and myself quickly realised that memories cannot always be relied on, enter documents from the public records office in Kew and have been able to piece together an Order of Battle from 8 May 45 to 1948, in brief:

    21st Army Group
    2nd Army
    4 x Corps
    14 x Divisions
    84 x Brigades including HQ Corps, Divisional and Army Group Royal Artillery who were at brigade strength

    This is just the British formations; need to add the Canadian, Polish, Dutch, Belgium, Norwegian and Danish troops, who were part of 21st Army Group later British Army of the Rhine, by early 1948, HQ British Army of the Rhine was down to just:

    2nd Infantry Division
    Hamburg District
    Hannover District
    7th Armoured Brigade
    4th Army Group Royal Artillery
    31st Independent Infantry Brigade
    Norwegian Brigade Group
    Danish Infantry Brigade Group

    Life did change with the start of the Cold War however 1949 can wait for now!

    My first attempt at building a website, be gentle with me and your input will be appreciated, this will “under construction” for several years and will complement when it starts up again

    BIG thanks to the forum members who have helped this project along, along with the services offered by Lee Richards Lee has been most helpful and has sifted through numerous files at Kew making this all possible
    alberk, JDKR, Chris C and 10 others like this.
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Very nice beginning. I wish you all the luck in expanding the site.
    Historic Steve likes this.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'll be following Steve.
    Couldn't agree more that the immediate postwar period gets neglected somewhat (every time I want to learn more about the ACC confirms it).
    More power to you. Good luck with something uncommon & interesting.
    Lindele and Historic Steve like this.
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Well done Steve, but watch out. I had plans to follow up my website with two supplements. Five years later, and not a hope of doing so due to the busy traffic from the first. Good luck going forward.
    Historic Steve likes this.
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Best of luck, Steve - it seems like a decent sized undertaking.

    My dad did his national service in 1950 in Berlin as part of the Berlin Brigade (or whatever it was called then, as it seems to have changed names quite a few times).

    I have occasionally looked around for info on his army life and found sod all (it doesn't help that the US Army had a Berlin Brigade for a long time).

    I was going to ask about the Aussie contingent, but those were a couple of RAAF units so out of your purview.....
    Historic Steve likes this.
  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Well done Steve, great to see it coming to fruition.

    Historic Steve likes this.
  7. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    Looks very interesting and for me will be a great help with that missing period between the end of the war and demob. Great piece of work. Brian
    Historic Steve likes this.
  8. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Eventually there will a page for British Troops Berlin for now up to 1948

    Jul 45 – HQ 7th Armoured Division with 121st Infantry Brigade
    Oct 45 – 131st Infantry Brigade
    Mar 46 – 130th Infantry Brigade
    Jun 46 – 5th Guards Brigade
    Oct 46 – British Troops Berlin
    Names according to Wikipedia
    Feb 49 – Area Troops Berlin
    Oct 53 – Berlin Infantry Brigade Group
    Dec 63 – Berlin Infantry Brigade
    Apr 77 – Berlin Field Force
    Jan 81 to Sep 94 – Berlin Infantry Brigade
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Thanks Steve - can't remember where I got this from, but it pretty much matches what you have from Wiki

    Feb49 - Oct53 Area Troops Berlin

    Manchester Barracks - Berlin

    1st Bn Manchester Regiment - Commanded by Lieut Colonel Charles Archdale. Arrived in July 1948. Went on to Wavell Barracks, Berlin - April 1950.

    1st Manchesters were stationed at Dunham Park, Altrincham in the early summer of 1948 and moved back to Germany on 1st July. Stationed in Manchester Barracks, Wuppertal - a fine pre-war German Army barracks.

    To Berlin and Wavell Barracks in April 1950, to Malaya in 1951 - 1954. Back to Berlin in 1955 and then to Minden in 1956, returning to the UK in 1957 prior to amalgamation with the Liverpool Regiment in 1958.
    Historic Steve likes this.
  10. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Have achieved the first part of the project, recording the WW2 formations of 1 Corps (from 21 May 45 1 Corps District) from VE day to disbandment, with armoured, artillery and infantry major units showing their higher command, locations (when known) and disbandment, have decided that the other units will appear when the other Corps are completed in the same way

    Special thanks to forum members for their help, especially Diane (DBF) with her Guards War Diary copies, an impossible task for me to purchase copies for all units so if any member can help with unit documentation post May 45 would be appreciated
    PsyWar.Org, Rob Dickers and dbf like this.
  11. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    dbf and Ramiles like this.
  12. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hi Steve,

    when I was about 6 or so I lived in Hannover and my dad worked for the Brits as a plumber.

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Steve ;-)

    It looks great. And very easy to search / browse etc. e.g. saw for instance - for the SRY ;-)

    8th Armoured Brigade

    "16 May 45 – returns to 8th Armoured Brigade Karlshöfenerberg south-west of Bremervörde"

    Stefan... do you know for whom - or which regiment your dad worked for as a plumber, and when?

    The SRY for instance did employ Germans in civilian roles - i.e. - e.g. -

    Re. George, the man to tidy up
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Historic Steve likes this.
  14. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day


    Your Dad would have been employed by the Royal Engineers, on checking your profile guessing you mean late 40s early 50s, according to documentation for Hannover District late 1948 (nothing newer) there were two units 208/275 Deputy Chief Royal Engineer (Construction & Maintenance) in Hannover-Südstadt
  15. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Thanks Steve,
    it was Hannover -Suedstadt, because, this is the part of Hannover where all the well of Germans lived and I guess Jewish families were living too before 1936. It was and is called called kHannover- Keefeld and Hannover-Kirchrode.
    I have pics from the time when our family was inveted for a christmas dinner , I belive in the British Hospital. in Ha nnover- Eilenriede.

  16. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Some additional information. I diged out a couple of pics and one of them is marked : Weihnachten (christmas) 1955. So I guess my dad worked for the British troops from 1950 onwards.
    I will post the pics in a couple of days, may be someoneregognises the british officer/seargant in the front.

  17. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    attached is the photo from X-mas1955. (I was 10 at the time)
    Who is the guy in uniform, rank?
    The Germans, like my dad were all working for the British forces. I belive, it was taken in the British Military Hospital, or some other place in Hannover.


    Attached Files:

    Ramiles likes this.
  18. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Have found a Christmas Card from 1945 so have recycled for today. Merry Christmas everybody!
    BAOR Xmas card 1945.JPG
    Many thanks to forum members with information that has helped me build the website (still under construction) with a special mention for Lee@arcre for visiting Kew to record the files that I require, unable to obtain every unit documentation so any detail will be gratefully received post VE Day

    21st Army Group later British Army of the Rhine
    Lindele, Charley Fortnum, dbf and 2 others like this.
  19. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Another batch of diaries copied today for you Steve. They will be with you by the morning.

    Tricky Dicky and Historic Steve like this.
  20. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Thanks to DBF and 30th Corps War Dairies, on the 3 May 45 the railway bridge over the River Oste at Hechthausen was found to be destroyed and the B73 road bridge to the north was damaged but after a 90 foot Bailey Overbridge enabled the advance of Guards Armoured Division to Cuxhaven on 8 May 45…the railway bridge would have been reinstated by Royal Engineers Army Troops and it is still exists today, seeking to confirm which unit built it, the railway from Hamburg to Cuxhaven was double track, however became single track just before and after this Heavy Girder Bridge, Deutsche Bahn now intend to upgrade the line from Stade to Cuxhaven with overhead electrification and believe this bridge will be replaced.

    My research has found that 167 Railway Bridging Company arrived in the 30th Corps area 24 May 45 and part of a not numbered HQ Railway Construction and Maintenance Group, this company could be responsible, back in 3 May 45 the company was part of 3 HQ Railway Construction and Maintenance at Spijk on the Dutch/Germany border, unable to locate a War Dairy for the company, so looking for help!

    Attached Files:

    dbf likes this.

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