Portal:British Army

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The British Army

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army that was created during the Restoration in 1660. The term British Army was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army. Therefore, Parliament approves the army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The army is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff.

The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars. Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War, the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. Read more...

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Porilaisten marssi Edelfelt.png
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours or standards, to act both as a rallying point for troops, and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago. It was formalised in the armies of medieval Europe, with standards being emblazoned with the commander's coat of arms.

As armies became trained and adopted set formations, each regiment's ability to keep its formation was potentially critical to its, and therefore its army's, success. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battlefield, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was.

In the British Army the medieval standards developed into the Colours of the Infantry, the Standards of the Heavy Cavalry, and the Guidons of the Light Cavalry.

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Selected biography

Arthur Edward Jeune (James) Collins (18 August 1885–11 November 1914), typically known by his initials AEJ Collins, was an English cricketer and soldier. He is most famous for achieving the highest-ever recorded score in cricket: as a 13-year-old schoolboy, he scored 628 not out over four afternoons in June 1899. Collins' record-making innings drew a large crowd and increasing media interest; spectators at the Old Cliftonian match being played nearby were drawn away to watch the junior school house cricket match in which Collins was playing.

Collins chose to follow an army career, passing his entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in September 1901 and representing the Royal Military Academy at both football and rugby as well as cricket, scoring a century in a match against Sandhurst. He joined the British Army the following year, being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1904. He played at Lord's in 1913 for Royal Engineers against Royal Artillery, scoring 58 and 36 runs in the two innings, but he never played first-class cricket. He also joined Clifton Rugby Football Club in February 1905, but never rose above the 2nd XV. of Clifton RFC. He served with the 2nd Sappers and Miners in India, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1907. He married Ethel Slater in the spring of 1914, and was sent to France when World War I broke out later that year.

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Selected unit

A Coldstream Guards sentry outside the Jewel House in the Tower of London
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards, is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division.

It is the oldest regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream on the Scottish border in 1650 when General George Monck founded the regiment. It is one of two regiments of the Household Division that can trace its lineage to the New Model Army, the other being the Blues and Royals.

The regiment is ranked second in the order of precedence, behind the Grenadier Guards. This is because the Grenadier Guards have served the Crown for a longer period of time. However, the Coldstream Guards is an older regiment, and because of this, has the motto Nulli Secundus (Second to None). The regiment has never been termed the "Second Regiment of Foot Guards" and, when parading with the other four regiments, is always on the extreme left of the line, with the Grenadier Guards on the extreme right. This ensures that the regiment is indeed "Second to None".

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Selected equipment

Army mlrs 1982 02.jpg

The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is a multiple rocket launcher, a type of rocket artillery.

The first rocket systems were delivered to the US Army in 1983. The system is in widespread use in the NATO countries and it has also been manufactured in Europe. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured, along with more than 700,000 rockets. The system has been used in the Gulf wars, where it proved itself as a practical and effective weapons system. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian army.

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Defence of Rorke's Drift
Credit: Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville
Photographed for Wikimedia Commons by LundenJensen
This painting is "Defence of Rorke's Drift" by Adolph Alphonse de Neuville. Painted in 1880, commissioned by the Fine Art Society and now located at the New South Wales Art Gallery.


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