1st Airborne Division

1st Airborne Division

The 1st Airborne Division was formed on 1st November 1941 with its Headquarters initially in King Charles Street London, until moving to Syrencote House at Figheldean in Wiltshire.

Its primary campaigns were brigade actions in North Africa and Sicily, landing as a division in Italy in 1943. It was not used for the D-Day landings and was on stand-by for numerous cancelled actions until the ill-fated MARKET-GARDEN Operation in September 1944. It was virtually wiped out during the fighting around Arnhem and Oosterbeek. It was disbanded on 15th November 1945 after participating in the Liberation of Norway and Denmark.

Order of Battle:

  • 1st  Parachute Brigade 1941 – 1945
  • 2nd Parachute Brigade 1942 – 1943
  • 3rd Parachute Brigade 1942 – 1943
  • 4th Parachute Brigade 1943 – 1944
  • 1st Airlanding Brigade 1942 – 1945
  • Division Troops


Attached Units:

  • 1st Polish Independent Para Brigade under Maj Gen S.Sosabowski 
  • 1st Wing Glider Pilot Regiment Lt.Col I.Murray
  • 2nd Wing Glider Pilot Regiment Lt.Col J.Place
  • Dutch liaison at Arnhem, LCdr A.Wolters and Lt M.Knottenbelt


Commanders:

  • Maj-Gen F ‘Boy’ Browning 1941-2
  • Maj-Gen Hopkinson 1943 (Killed in Italy) Temporarily replaced by Brig EE Down
  • Maj-Gen Roy Urquhart 1944-45

 

See also: HQ 1st Airborne Division

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Photos_28

Audio_51

Maps_7

Post-combat reports_12

Letters and Cards_2

  • Message to all troops from Major-General Hopskinson, Commander of the 1st Airborne Division.

    Message to all troops from Major-General Hopskinson, Commander of the 1st Airborne Division.

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  • Letter to Brigadier Prichard asking for aerial photos of railway line.

    Letter to Brigadier Prichard asking for aerial photos of railway line.

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Pre-combat reports_1

Official accounts_3

Messages_1

Newspaper extracts_4

  • Newspaper article relating to Padre A Harlow at Arnhem, 1944

    Newspaper article relating to Padre A Harlow at Arnhem, 1944

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  • Newspaper article about Pegasus 1 escape after Arnhem, 1944.

    Newspaper article about Pegasus 1 escape after Arnhem, 1944.

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Operation instructions_1

War Diaries_2

Medal Citations_6

  • Citation for the award of US Bronze Star to Captain MD Green, Arnhem, 1947.

    Citation for the award of US Bronze Star to Captain MD Green, Arnhem, 1947.

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  • Unendorsed citation for the award of the Military Cross to Captain MD Green, Arnhem, 1944.

    Unendorsed citation for the award of the Military Cross to Captain MD Green, Arnhem, 1944.

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  • Citation for King Haakon VII Liberty Cross Lt Col Tom Pearson, Norway, 1948.

    Citation for King Haakon VII Liberty Cross Lt Col Tom Pearson, Norway, 1948.

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  • Citation for King Haakon VII Liberty Cross awarded to Col Bruce Harvey, Norway, 1948.

    Citation for King Haakon VII Liberty Cross awarded to Col Bruce Harvey, Norway, 1948.

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Propaganda_1

  • Leaflet dropped by Germans to British in hiding at Arnhem, October 1944.

    Leaflet dropped by Germans to British in hiding at Arnhem, October 1944.

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Personal accounts_2

Documents_4

Group photos_6

Official documents_1

  • Special Order of the Day from Maj Gen Down, January 1944.

    Special Order of the Day from Maj Gen Down, January 1944.

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