1st Commonwealth Division

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by Cobber, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Information taken from Australia in the Korean war Combat operations 1950-1953

    This Division the first and so far only one of it's kind, was a wonderful experiment that worked very well during the Korean war. The fighting this formation took part in (except for a short time when first formed) was fighting trench warfare with endless patrols of no mans land. As well as defending against massive Chinese attacks, and of course partaking in Allied offensives. The 1st Commonwealth Div also spent much of it's time on the far left flank of the defensive line for much of the static war with US & NK units followed finally by US Marines on their left flank and they were flanked by the yellow Sea.
    Prior to the formation of the Division there were two Brit Brigades, 27th Brit Commonwealth and 29th British Bgd which had been used as independent brigades attached to which ever US formation was in the thick of it, for the 25th Bgd it was usually 1st Cav and 24th ID however they spent time with other formations. These two units 27th Brit Commonwealth and 29th Brit Bgds showed they were capable of taking the fight to the enemy and winning in almost any situation.

    From late may the three Brit and Commonwealth Bgdes the 28th Brit Commonwealth, the
    29th British and the 25th Canadian which had recently arrived in theatre and which had followed the Canadian
    1st Btn PPLCI. The Three Bgds came together along with the New Zealanders and also the Indians to create the 1st Commonwealth Division.
    The Govts of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa (Fighter planes) agreed to the formation in order to increase the political significance of their participation in the Korean war. Whether this worked for anyone but the Brits is debatable.
    Formation of the Division also facilitated the solution of Logistics and operational problems as the various contingents usually used common British style supplies and equipment and also shared similar operational doctrines and methods of command.
    The CO; Maj General Cassells new command became operational at midday on 28th July 1951.
    For the duration the Division was part of a US Corps with a varied allies from NK's, Turks and US troops situated on their flanks.
    Britain provided five infantry Btns on a 12 month rotation (this time period was used by most combatants along with Armour, Arty, AA Bty, Heavy Mortars, Air Observation Post Flight, Engineer Regt and most of the Divisional signals,
    2 transport Coys, Field Ambulance, Divisional Logistics and the majority of Commonwealth supply elements.
    However all these units had other Commonwealth Officers and Senior NCO's attached there were also similar attachments with HQ units.
    Canada provided a full Infantry Bgde with 3 Btns, Artillery, Armour, Engineers, Transport and Medical facilities which included a Field hospital.
    Australia provided one Infantry Btn followed by a second in March 1952 they then also provided most of the HQ including the CO for
    28th Bgde. Commwealth nations troops were posted through out all units in the Division for the experience.
    A substantial part of all the base organisation in Japan was manned and commanded by Australians, with Lt Gen Robertson commanding Commonwealth Forces Korea and BCOF. As for BCOF by 1950 Australians were about all the non Naval Commonwealth troops that remained in Japan.
    New Zealand provided one Artillery Regt for and one transport Ptn.
    India provided a field Ambulance for use in Korean war.

    The national contingents meshed smoothly and effectively, and this integrated formation proved to be outstanding successful. Some of this success was due to the nations sending their most outstanding officers to take senior command and staff appointments, this also transcended to the Fighting arms with the better NCO's and officers getting a go.

    The relations between the national contingents was particularly close and effective,

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