20th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)


20th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 20th Armoured Brigade (The Iron Fist)
abbreviation= 20 Armd Bde


caption=British 20th Armoured Brigade Formation Symbol
dates= 2 September 1939 -
country= Great Britain
allegiance=
branch= British Army
type= Armoured Brigade
role=
size=
command_structure=1st (UK) Armoured Division
headquarters= Paderborn, Germany
equipment=
current_commander= Brigadier Tom Beckett
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
notable_commanders=
identification_symbol= "The Iron Fist" - A white mailed fist on a blue background
identification_symbol_2=
nickname= "The Iron Fist" [http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/BrigadesProudHeritageReflectedInNewName.htm]
patron=
motto= Fide, sed cui vide
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=

The British Army's 20th Armoured Brigade (The Iron Fist) is an armoured formation currently based in Paderborn, northern Germany, as part of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division.

History

World War II

The 20th Light Armoured Brigade was formed on 2 September 1939 as part of the Territorial Army. The Brigade initially served under the Southern Command and its original regiments were the 1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, and 1st and 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry. On 14 April 1940 it was re-titled the 20th Armoured Brigade; a title it has retained ever since.

The Brigade later came under the command of 6th Armoured Division, whose insignia was a white mailed fist with a black background. The mailed fist - a symbol of the hard punch that an armoured formation gives the enemy - was selected by General JT Crocker DSO MC as the Division's recognition flash from a design created by Lieutenant Colonel Broadhurst, an Australian serving on his staff as Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (Engineering).

On the 30 April 1943 the 20th Armoured Brigade was disbanded .

Post-World War II

On 15 September 1950 the Brigade reformed, moving to Münster in December 1951 where it again came under the command of 6th Armoured Division. In April 1958 the 6th Armoured Division disbanded. The surviving 20th Armoured Brigade assumed the insignia of the Division changing the background of the white fist from black to blue. In May 1958, 20th Armoured Brigade came under command of the 4th Armoured Division.

On 22 June 1974, 20th Armoured Brigade and the German 21st Panzer Brigade, based in Augustdorf, held a partnership parade to emphasise the confidence and understanding which exists between the allied forces of the NATO countries.

On 1 December 1977, the Brigade was renamed "Task Force Hotel". On 1 January 1980 Task Force Hotel was redesignated the 20th Armoured Brigade.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the Brigade merged with the 33rd Armoured Brigade in December 1992 as part of 'Options for Change', moving to Barker Barracks, Paderborn, where it came under the command of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division.

Headquarters 20th Armoured Brigade, with some elements of the Brigade deployed to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1995 to take command of Sector South West under the United Nations mandate. Based at Gronji Vakuf in central Bosnia, the commander was responsible for a large multi-national UN force as well as having responsibility for all forces in FRY. The end of the tour coincided with a declaration of peace and a shift in emphasis to a larger NATO force.

In October 1996 the Brigade returned to FRY as part of IFOR. It was initially based at Sipovo, moving to Banja Luka in December 1996, whilst overseeing the transition from IFOR to SFOR and OP RESOLUTE to OP LODESTAR. The brigade returned to Paderborn in April 1997.

In August 1999, the Brigade again deployed to Banja Luka on Op PALATINE. It returned to Paderborn in December 1999, and moved to their current location in Antwerp Barracks, Sennelager on 20 August 2001.

In 2004, the Brigade deployed to southern Iraq on Op TELIC 3 where it was based at Basra Palace.

20th Armoured Brigade was awarded the Freedom of the City of Paderborn by the town council on 28 May 2005. The right to exercise the freedom was presented "as a contribution for consolidation of the Anglo-German friendship, the joint solidarity in NATO and a further element for the building of the joint house Europe".

The Brigade returned to southern Iraq again in April 2006 during Op TELIC 8, and was situated in Basra, Al Amarah and Al Muthanna Provinces. During the seven month summer tour the troops contributed to the successful handover of security in two of the four Iraqi Provinces within the Multinational Division (South East).

Today

The Brigade today consists of several famous regiments and battalions of the British Army, including The Queen's Royal Hussars, a tank regiment equipped with the 62 tonne Challenger 2 main battle tank, and two armoured infantry battalions - The 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and The 5th Battalion The Rifles - both equipped with the Warrior Armoured Vehicles. 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards provide the reconnaissance role to the Brigade with their fast and agile Scimitar Armoured Vehicles.

The 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) is a Light Role Infantry Battalion based in Oxford Barracks, Münster. They have been part of 20th Armoured Brigade since returning from Op TELIC 9 in Iraq in 2007.

HQ 20 Armd Bde is currently located in Sennelager, on the outskirts of the city of Paderborn, north Germany. Since December 2007 it has been commanded by Brigadier Tom Beckett.

tructure

20th Armoured Brigade Units 2008
* 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200 Signal Squadron)
* The Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (Armoured)
* 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (Formation Reconnaissance)
* 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires) (Armoured Infantry)
* 5th Battalion, The Rifles (Armoured Infantry)
* 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th & 33rd/76th Foot) (Prince of Wales's) (Light Role Infantry)
* 26 Regiment, Royal Artillery (Self Propelled Artillery)
* 35 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers
* 3rd Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
* 110 Provost Company Royal Military Police

Notable commanding officers

* 1973-1975: Brigadier Maurice Robert Johnston

External links

* Official website of 20th Armoured Brigade [http://www2.army.mod.uk/20bde/index.htm British Army website]
* History of BAOR [http://baor-locations.com/historybaor.aspx BAOR locations]


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