British Initial Order of Battle

Chiefs of Staff Committee
Winston S. Churchill

The commander-in-chief of all Commonwealth forces was formally King George VI, but His Majesty was a constitutional monarch with very limited actual powers. The political leadership of Britain was in the hands of the War Cabinet, and Churchill as Prime Minister was the de facto leader of the nation and its armed forces. Cabinet war policy was acted on by the Chiefs of Staff Committee, composed of the heads of the three armed services.
British Army
Alan Brooke
Chiefs of Staff Committee

Brooke's formal title was Chief of the Imperial General Staff. He was appointed to the post shortly after war broke out in the Pacific.
India Command
Archibald Wavell New Delhi British Army

 Because India had not yet been granted Dominion status, the Indian Army was an integral part of the British Army. It nevertheless had an increasingly regional character as the war progressed. The same growing sense of national identity that underlay this regional character also produced restiveness within India proper: By 1944, 52 battalions were required to maintain internal security. Chief of Staff was LGEN Morris.

Eastern Command
Charles N.F. Broad

India Command
Redesignated Eastern Army 1942-4
IV Indian Corps
Sir Francis P. Nosworthy

Eastern Command

14 Indian Division Wilfrid L. Lloyd
Northern India IV Indian Army Corps

Consisted of recruits from Punjab. Fought well once committed. Included 47, 55, and 123 Indian Brigades
17 Indian Division John G. Smyth
IV Indian Army Corps
Trained for desert warfare but on the way to Burma. Composed of 44, 45, and 46 Indian Brigades
70 Division

IV Indian Army Corps
Army reserve. Composition included 14, 16, and 23 Brigades. Used largely for internal security throughout eastern India. One brigade was on Ceylon. Later broken up to become the cadre for the Chindits
Southern Army
Sir Arthur B. Haig

India Command

19 Indian Division

Southern Army

Still training. Included a brigade of Ghurkas (48 Indian Brigade) as well as 62 Indian Brigade.
7 Indian Division Arthur V.T. Wakely

India Command
Composed of 14 and 33 Indian Brigades.
34 Indian Division
Francis I.S. Tuker
India Command
Transferred to Ceylon as its garrison early in 1942. Disbanded mid-1943.
1 Indian Brigade

India Command

98 Indian Brigade

India Command

99 Indian Brigade

India Command

Ceylon Command
Roland D. Inskip

India Command

222 Group

Colombo Ceylon Command

Colombo Fighter Squadron
Colombo 222 Group

42 Hurricane
Trincomalee Fighter Squadron
Trincomalee 222 Group
22 Hurricane
11 Squadron
Trincomalee 222 Group
9 Blenheim
Far East Command Henry R.M. Brooke-Popham Fort Canning British Army

Burma Command D.K. McLeod Rangoon Far East Command

1 Glosters Battalion

Burma Command

3 Burma Rifles Battalion

Burma Command

1 Burma Division J. Bruce Scott Toungoo Burma Command
Included 113 Brigade. Redesignated as 39 Indian Division in late 1942 and later designated a light division. Eventually became a training division without seeing combat again.
1 Burma Brigade
Shan States
1 Burma Division

2 Burma Brigade
Tavoy 1 Burma Division
A total of four indigenous battalions and a mortar company. 4 Burma Rifles Battalion was with the brigade headquarters at Tavoy.
2 Burma Rifles Battalion

Mergui 2 Burma Brigade

6 Burma Rifles Battalion

Victoria Point
2 Burma Brigade

8 Burma Rifles Battalion

Moulmein 2 Burma Brigade

13 Indian Brigade
Mandalay 1 Burma Division
Army reserve
16 Indian Brigade
Moulmein Burma Command
Just completing movement to Burma when war broke out. Composed of just two battalions of Gurkhas and indigenous troops.
Malaya Command Arthur Percival Fort Canning Far East Command
Total of 89,000 men, of which 20,000 were British, 15,200 Australian, 44,000 Indians, and 9800 presumably Malay.  Organized into 31 battalions. Badly undermanned; for example, none of the Indian divisions had its third brigade. Also attached:  a platoon of the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery with a single 6" gun at Christmas Island
Singapore Fortress Division Frank K. Simmons
Malaya Command

III Corps Lewis Heath Kuala Lumpur Malaya Command
The Indian units on Malaya had been milked of their best officers and men as cadre for formations committed to the Middle East, and the replacements included numerous 17- and 18-year-olds with little training.
9 Indian Division A.E. Barstow Kuantan III Corps

8 Indian Brigade
Kota Baharu 9 Indian Division
Had some relatively well-trained Dogra troops and was likely the only overstrength unit in the command.
12 Indian Brigade
Port Dickson 9 Indian Division
Army reserve.  Best-trained unit in Malaya.
22 Indian Brigade
9 Indian Division
11 Indian Division D.M. Murray-Lyon Jitra III Corps
Composed of 6 and 15 Indian Brigades
28 Indian Brigade
Ipoh 11 Indian Division

5/14 Punjab Battalion
George Town III Corps

George Town III Corps
Fortress unit
2/15 Punjab Battalion
Kuching Malaya Command
Only British regulars in Borneo.
One company at Miri.
Hong Kong Command Christopher M. Maltby Hong Kong Far East Command

Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps
Hong Kong Hong Kong Command
Militia stiffened with six battalions of regulars
Kowloon Brigade
Kowloon Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps
2 Royal Scots, 5/7 Rajput, and 2/14 Punjab battalions with no supporting elements.
Hong Kong Brigade
Hong Kong Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps
1 Middlesex, Winnipeg Grenadier, and Royal Rifles of Canada battalions with no supporting elements.
Royal Air Force
Charles F.A. Portal

Chiefs of Staff Committee
Portal's formal title was Chief of Staff, Royal Air Force
RAF Far East Command C.W. Pulford Seletar Royal Air Force

221 Group
Mingaladon RAF Far East Command

60 Squadron

Mingaladon 221 Group
Mingaladon: 10 Blenheim I
Kuantan:  8 Blenheim I
67 Squadron
Mingaladon 221 Group
17 F2A3 Buffalo
Kuala Lumpur RAF Far East Command

21 Squadron
Sungei Patani Norgroup
12 F2A3 Buffalo
27 Squadron
Sungei Patani Norgroup
12 Blenheim I
62 Squadron
Alor Star Norgroup
18 Blenheim
36 Squadron
Seletar Norgroup
Seletar: 5 Vildebeeste
Gong Kedah: 7 Vildebeeste
1 Squadron
Kota Baharu Norgroup
10 Hudson II
7 Squadron

Kota Baharu Norgroup
7 Vildebeeste
224 Group
Seletar RAF Far East Command

453 Squadron
Sembawang 224 Group
18 F2A3 Buffalo
100 Squadron
Seletar 224 Group
6 Beafort
14 Vildebeeste
205 Squadron
Seletar 224 Group
5 PBY Catalina (Seletar)
7 PBY Catalina (Koggala)
8 Squadron
Sembawang 224 Group
Sembawan: 4 Hudson II
Kuantan: 8 Hudson II
34 Squadron
Tenga 224 Group
17 Blenheim IV
243 Squadron
Kallang 224 Group
Kallang: 15 F2A3 Buffalo
Kota Baharu: 2 F2A3 Buffalo
Hong Kong Station
Hong Kong
RAF Far East Command
3 Vildebeeste
2 Walrus
13 DC-2
Royal Navy
Dudley Pound

Chiefs of Staff Committee
Pound's formal title was First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy.
Eastern Fleet Thomas S.V. Philipps Changi Royal Navy
Also known as Far East Fleet. Redesignated East Indies Fleet 1944-11
Force Z Thomas S.V. Philipps Changi Eastern Fleet

BB Prince of Wales

Force Z

BC Repulse

Force Z

Cruiser Division 9

Eastern Fleet

CL Danae

Cruiser Division 9

CL Dragon

Cruiser Division 9

CL Durban

Cruiser Division 9

Destroyer Division Far East

Eastern Fleet

DD Jupiter

Destroyer Division Far East

DD Express

Destroyer Division Far East

DD Electra

Destroyer Division Far East

DD Encounter

Destroyer Division Far East

Destroyer Division China Station

Eastern Fleet

DD Tenedos

Destroyer Division China Station

DD Thanet

Hong Kong Destroyer Division China Station

DD Scout
Hong Kong Destroyer Division China Station

DD Stronghold
Hong Kong Destroyer Division China Station

East Indies Squadron
Possibly at Ceylon? Eastern Fleet
Also known as Cruiser Squadron 4
CA Exeter

East Indies Squadron

CA Cornwall
Trincomalee Eastern Fleet

CL Delhi
Trincomalee Eastern Fleet

CL Despatch
Trincomalee Eastern Fleet

CL Diomede
Trincomalee Eastern Fleet

PG Kedah

Eastern Fleet?

Royal Indian Navy
Herbert Fitzherbert
Royal Navy

Sloop Indus

Bombay? Royal Indian Navy

Naval Air Station, Indian Ocean

Eastern Fleet


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