Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review - Web Resources, British Army Units Since 1945

This is a MOD operated web site and does what it says on the tin pretty much. It lists every unit that has been part of the British Army since 1945. These are accessed through selecting the Arm of Service, you can then select from a list of unit titles and access data on the units operational, organisational and geographic deployment history. So simply put between dates Unit X was part of Y Brigade and based in VWX it deployed between dates to A,B, C operations.

The format can make generating brigade orbats a bit laborious although Brigade Name and Unit Title will return hits from google. It also helps if you understand what units were active in your period of interest, so you are not having to look at them all, as given the number of amalgamations and title changes since the end of the War there are a lot of units listed. It took me about an hour to check the Cold War Infantry Battalions to generate a list of the units in 19 Brigade, from an Infantry perspective.

The data for RA units and RE units is less well defined against formations but home stations and operational deployments are quite well covered. To some extent the problem is more difficult here as single batteries , squadrons and regiments might have a variety of relationships with different formations having: 
  • administrative relationships 
  • current operational relationships
  • wartime roles.

As well as generating lists of what units were in what formations at what times it's also handy for checking data and in that respect it's easier to consume so if you believe that x unit was in y formation at date its relatively easy to check if the data is there. I have assumed that as it's published by the MOD it has a degree of accuracy that other resources may lack, the assumption being it's generated from their own records. As I have found their can be a level of ambiguity between planned and actual deployments so as ever the source data is important in this respect.

Whilst not that user friendly due to the structure of the data and the fact that you can only view it from one perspective it is never the less an extremely valuable web resource for any one interested in the post war history of the British Army and provides a time efficient route to validating and generating data compared to what was available previously. Equally once you know what units were where or serving in what formation it becomes a lot easier to track down what the unit and formations were up to through a variety of regimentaly focused resources:
  • Regimental Museums
  • Regimental Magazines
  • Regimental History Web sites
  • Regimental association web sites
  • Regimental facebook pages
all of which contain a remarkable amount of information although sometimes a degree of persistence is required to get to the bottom of a problem.


British Army Units Since 1945
The Coaster Company - Great for Cap Badge Immmages for the British Army
Staffords Regimental History
Staffords Regimental Museum
4/7 RTR Regimental History


  1. Nice to see my old Regiment (QLR) taking first place. Can anyone guess the tasteless name we were given? Shame it was merged with another regiment in yet another round of cuts.

    1. That'll be because I was QLR as well.