British Airborne Armoured and Reconnaissance Services

British Airborne Armoured and Reconnaissance Services

Following the formation of Airborne Forces in 1940, as commanders expanded the scope of Airborne operations it became clear that to function effectively, Airborne operations required their own Reconnaissance forces, and to combat well-armed opponent, a versatile Armoured support. The first Airborne Recce unit was established in 1941, with the first Armoured counterpart arriving in 1943. From then on Reconnaissance and Armoured support has proved a vital part of Airborne Forces in several iterations up to the present day.

The Army Council had established the new Reconnaissance Corps in 1941, to replace the Light Cavalry units which preceded them. The Corps were intended as an elite formation manning fast vehicles required to take heavy punishment whilst delivering concentrated fire power, with operations effectively co-ordinated by complex but efficient wireless communication. Press publicity put the Corps on a par with Commandos and Paratroopers. Whilst this was skilful publicity, the Corp's designated function was to go forward to obtain and pass back information. In fact because of its fire power and mobility, it was often used as an attack force or emergency defence force as circumstances demanded.

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