3 (UK) Div

Just recently I read about 3 (UK) Div, which was the division I was in whilst in the army. I was with a regiment of the Royal Artillery, but after my special to arms training I was allocated a war posting to 3 Div as the TA Arty Int officer. (Territorial Army, Artillery Intelligence officer)

The British 3rd Infantry Division, known at various times as the Iron Division, 3rd (Iron) Division or as Iron Sides, was originally formed in 1809 by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington for service in the Peninsular War, and was known as the “Fighting 3rd” under Sir Thomas Picton during the Napoleonic Wars. The division is also sometimes referred to as the “Iron Division”, a nickname earned during the bitter fighting of 1916, during the First World War. The division’s other battle honours include: the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimean War, the Second Boer War, the Battle of France (1940) and D-Day (1944). It was commanded for a time, during the Second World War, by General Bernard Montgomery.

3 UK Div

3 UK Div

During the Second World War, the insignia became the “pattern of three” — a black triangle trisected by an inverted red triangle.  The division was to have been part of a proposed Commonwealth Corps, formed for a planned invasion of Japan in 1945-46, but was disbanded when the war was ended by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On 1 September 1999 the Division was freed from its administrative and regional responsibilities and it become a deployable or “fly-away” division.

As 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division it is now the only division at continual operational readiness in the United Kingdom (the other at operational readiness being 1st (UK) Armoured Division in Germany). It is based at Bulford in Wiltshire and reports to the Commander Field Army within Headquarters Land Command at Wilton, Wiltshire.

Under the divisional command are four ready brigades and one logistics support brigade:

  • 1 Mechanised Brigade
  • 12 Mechanised Brigade
  • 19 Light Brigade
  • 52 Infantry Brigade
  • 101 Logistic Brigade

3rd Mechanized Division (UK)

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