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British Army Order of Battle 1989

The following order of battle is extracted from regiments.org (specifically the location data extracted from the national archive), and a question in Parliamentary Hansard about the role of TA units.

The British Army had 2 Forward Edge of Battle Divisions, the 1st and 4th. These would be the front line of the BAOR. The 3rd Division was the tactical reserve, without any major TA reinforcements, it was lighter, but much more mobile than the 1st and 4th. The 2nd Division was the deep reserve, almost entirely TA, and totally airmobile, they would counter any major penetration.

The Strategic Reserve at home comprised 3 Brigades ready for deployment to world trouble spots. The 3rd Commando Brigade was largely formed of Royal Marines and the 5th Airborne Brigade was comprised of Paratroopers. The 1st Infantry Brigade was the a home based Armour-Mechanised formation, and included the highest priority TA Battalion in the army, 1 Wessex, which had priority above the vast majority of regular units for equipment and training.

The regional forces were a general reserve. Of note is 54 Brigade, which on mobilisation of 2nd Infantry Division assumed control of the 15 and 49 Brigade areas, and the remaining units.

In addition to the forces listed in Northern Ireland, there were also roulemont units pulled from other formations, usually 4 major units, including armoured and artillery units in the infantry role.

British Army of the Rhine (1st British Army)

Corps Troops

4th Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters (From 49th (Eastern) Infantry Brigade) 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Recce)

Berlin Brigade 1st Battalion, Kings Regiment 1st Battalion, Light Infantry 1st Battalion, Royal Highland Fusiliers 1st Battalion, Black Watch

Artillery Division Various artillery regiments 8th Battalion, Queens Fusiliers (From 56th (London) Infantry Brigade)

1st Armoured Division

1st Queens Dragoon Guards (Recce) 4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment 10th Battalion, Parachute Regiment 15th Battalion, Parachute Regiment

7th Armoured Brigade (Fallingbostal, FRG) Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 2nd Royal Tank Regiment 1st Battalion, Staffordshire Regiment 4th Battalion, Royal Green Jackets (From 56th (London) Infantry Brigade)

12th Armoured Brigade (Osnabruck, FRG) 5th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards

4th Royal Tank Regiment 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment 1st Battalion, Royal Green Jackets

22nd Armoured Brigade (Hohne, FRG) Queens Own Hussars 1st Battalion, Scots Guards 2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment (Celle)

4th Armoured Division

16th/5th Queens Royal Lancers (Recce)

11th Armoured Brigade (Minden, FRG) 3rd Royal Tank Regiment (Hemer) 2nd Battalion, Queens Regiment 3rd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment 1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1/51st Highland Volunteers (From 51st (Highland) Infantry Brigade) 2/51st Highland Volunteers (From 51st (Highland) Infantry Brigade) 1/52nd Lowland Volunteers (From 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Brigade)

20th Armoured Brigade (Detmold, FRG) Blues and Royals 4th/7th Dragoon Guards

2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment (Lemgo) 5th Battalion, Queens Regiment (From 2nd (SE) Infantry Brigade) 5th/8th Battalion, Kings Regiment (From 42nd (NW) Infantry Brigade) 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales (From 160th (Welsh) Infantry Brigade)

33rd Mechanised Brigade (Paderborn, FRG) 1st Battalion, Royal Scots (Werle) 1st Battalion, Queens Lancashire Regiment 1st Battalion, Queens Own Highlanders

3rd Armoured Division (Soest, FRG)

4th Armoured Brigade (Munster, FRG) 14th/20th Kings Royal Hussars 15th/19th Kings Hussars 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards

6th Armoured Brigade (Soest, FRG) 1st Royal Tank Regiment (Hildersham, FRG) 2nd Battalion, Light Infantry 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Hemer, FRG) 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders (Hemer, FRG)

19th Mechanised Brigade (Colchester, UK) 17th/21st Lancers (Catterick)

1st Battalion, Kings Own Royal Border Regiment 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment

2nd Infantry Division (York, UK)

4th Battalion, Queens Lancashire Regiment (From 42nd (Northwest) Infantry Brigade) 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers (From 107th (Ulster) Infantry Brigade) 5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers (From 107th (Ulster) Infantry Brigade) 5th Battalion, Royal Green Jackets (From 56th (London) Infantry Brigade)

15th (Northeast) Infantry Brigade (York, UK) Queens Own Yeomanry (Recce) (Newcastle, UK) 6th (Northumbrian) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Newcastle, UK) 1st Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers (York, UK) 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers (Hull, UK) 7th (Durham) Battalion, Light Infantry (Durham, UK) 8th (Yorkshire) Battalion, Light Infantry (Sheffield, UK)

49th (Eastern) Infantry Brigade (Chilwell (Nottingham), UK) Royal Yeomanry (London, UK) 5th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment (Peterborough, UK) 7th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment (Leicester, UK) 3rd Battalion, Staffordshire Regiment (Wolverhampton, UK) 5th (Shropshire and Herefordshire) Battalion, Light Infantry (Shrewsbury, UK) 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Birmingham, UK)

24th Airmobile Brigade (Catterick, UK) 1st Battalion, Prince of Waless Own Regiment of Yorkshire 1st Battalion, Green Howards

United Kingdom Land Forces

Strategic Reserve

1st Infantry Brigade (Tidworth, UK) Royal Hussars (Tank) 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Recce) 1st Battalion, Queens Regiment 1st Battalion, Devon and Dorsets (Bulford) 1st Battalion, Wessex Regiment (From 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Brigade)

3rd Commando Brigade (Poole, UK) 40 Commando, Royal Marines (Taunton, UK) 42 Commando, Royal Marines (Bickleigh, UK) 45 Commando, Royal Marines (Arbroath, UK)

5th Airborne Brigade (Aldershot, UK) Life Guards (Recce) 1st Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles (Church Crookham) 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment

2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment

Headquarters, Northern Ireland

3rd Infantry Brigade (Omagh, UK) 1st Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters (Omagh, UK) 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers (Ballykinlar, UK) 2nd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Armagh, UK) 3rd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Down, UK) 11th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Craigavon, UK)

8th Infantry Brigade (Londonderry, UK) 3rd Battalion, Queens Regiment (Aldergrove, UK) 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment (Londonderry, UK) 1st Battalion, Royal Hampshire Regiment (Ballykelly, UK) 4th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Fermanagh, UK) 5th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Londonderry, UK) 6th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Tyrone, UK) 8th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Tyrone, UK)

39th Infantry Brigade (Lisburn, UK) 1st Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (Holywood, UK) 1st/9th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Down, UK) 3rd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Co. Down, UK)

7th/10th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (Belfast, UK)

Regional Forces

2nd (Southeast) Infantry Brigade (Canterbury, UK) 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets 6th/7th Battalion, Queens Regiment

42nd (Northwest) Infantry Brigade (Preston, UK) Duke of Lancasters Own Yeomanry 3rd Battalion, Light Infantry (Weeton) 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment (Chester)

43rd (Wessex) Infantry Brigade (Winchester, UK) Royal Wessex Yeomanry 2nd Battalion, Wessex Regiment 3rd Battalion, Devon and Cornwall Volunteers 6th (Devon and Cornwall) Battalion, Light Infantry

51st (Highland) Infantry Brigade (Edinburgh, UK) 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scots Borderers (Edinburgh) 3rd Battalion, Highland Volunteers

52nd (Lowland) Infantry Brigade (Glasgow, UK)

2nd Battalion, Lowland Volunteers

54th (East Anglian) Infantry Brigade (Grantham, UK) Formed from non 2 Div units Queens Own Mercian Yeomanry 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers 6th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters

56th (London) Infantry Brigade (London, UK) Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards 1st Battalion, Irish Guards 1st Battalion Welsh Guards

107th (Ulster) Brigade All units BAOR committed

143rd (West Midlands) Infantry Brigade (Shrewsbury, UK) 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Bulford)

160th (Welsh) Infantry Brigade (Cardiff, UK) 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales

Training Establishments Queens Royal Irish Hussars (Bovington, UK) 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales (Warminster, UK)

Overseas

Brunei 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles 1st Battalion, 10th Gurkha Rifles

Cyprus 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards

Bermuda Bermuda Regiment

Falkland Islands Falkland Islands Defence Force

Gibraltar 3rd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets Gibraltar Regiment

Hong Kong

48th Gurkha Brigade 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment 2nd Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles