3rd Parachute Brigade

3rd Parachute Brigade

The 3rd Parachute Brigade was formed in England on 7th November 1942 and became part of the 1st Airborne Division. In April 1943 it was reassigned as the nucleus brigade to the newly created 6th Airborne Division, formed in anticipation for D-Day.

The 3rd Brigade jumped over Normandy during the night of the 6th June 1944 in the area of the flooded Dives, its 9th Battalion assaulted the key Merville gun battery and it participated in the heavy defensive fighting around Ranville and Breville before the 6th Airborne Division was withdrawn back to the UK after the break out in August.

The Brigade fought in the Ardennes during the winter fighting of 1944-5 and in March 1945 participated in the Rhine Crossing operation. It spearheaded the subsequent advance through Germany to the Baltic and was the first unit to meet with the Russians at Wismar in May 1945.

The 3rd Parachute Brigade’s final operational tour was internal security operations with the 6th Airborne Division in Palestine between 1945 to 1947. It was disbanded in October 1947 on its return to the UK.

Order of Battle:

  •  7th Battalion Parachute Regiment: 7 November 1942
  • 8th Bn Parachute Regiment: 7 November 1942
  • 9th Bn Parachute Regiment: 5 December 1942
  • 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion: 11 August 1943 - 31 May 1945
  • 3rd Bn Parachute Regiment: 7 August 1945

Commanders:

  • Brigadier Sir Alexander Stanier, Bt. : 7 November 1942
  • Brig Gerald Lathbury: 8 December 1942
  • Lt Col S J L Hill (acting) : 25 April 1943
  • Brig S J L Hill : 4 May 1943
  • Col R G Parker (acting) : 20 December 1944
  • Brig S J L Hill : 30 December 1944
  • Brig G W Lathbury : 2 July 1945
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