Service Arm

It is important when embarking on Military Research to understand the concept of the "Service Arm".

The army is divided in various "arms" or branches. Each has a responsibility within the Army infrastructure in the similiar way corporations are divided in Departments. Many of these units would be assigned where required to the Field Army.


Royal Artillery Responsible for Fire Support ,Anti-Aircraft and Anti-tank
Infantry The PBI "Poor Bloody Infanry". The Foot soldier.(US Grunt).
Airborne Paratroopers and Airmobile Infantry such as Glider Troops (Generally treated as Infantry)
Royal Engineers Responsible for such matters as bridge building ,mine-laying,disposal of unexploded munitions etc. (In WW2 these units were generally assigned to Divisions in the form of either "Field" or "Bridging" Companies.
Royal Armoured Corps With the exception of Self-Propelled guns which are the responsibility of the Royal Artillery ,the Royal Armoured Corps is responsible for the tanks and armoured vehicles.
Royal Corps of Signals Responsible for communications (Each Infantry Battalion also has its own communications
Royal Army Service Corps Transportation of Fuel,Food and ammunition on a minimum of Brigade level.
Pioneer Corps Physical workers . Some could be assigned as Stretcher-Bearers
Royal Electrical amd Mechanical Engineers Repair of electrical and mechanical components of the army and recovery of allied and enemy material in the field. (Often mistaken as the job for the Engineers
Royal Army Medical Corps Battlefield clearance,Medical support for wounded and general medical welfare.
Royal Army Chaplains Dept Military Chaplains (All were Officers). Responsible for welfare of troops and burial of the dead.
Royal Army Ordnance Corps Storage and supply of weapons,equipment,ammo,vehicles,clothing etc
Royal Army Pay Corps Payment of troops and army finance.
Royal Army Vetinary Corps Veterinary surgeons. Animal Welfare
Royal Army Educational Corp Troop Education and Interpretation
Intelligence Corp Military Security,Military Intelligence (such as prisoner of war interrogation)
Army Physical Training Corp Self-Explantory. Physical Education
Army Catering Corps The cooks!
Corps of Military Police Route marking ,Traffic Control and control of civilian population as well as prisoners of war (Abbrev. POW)
Military Provost Staff Corps. Justice Department. Guarding of internment camps and prisons.
Commandoes Army volunteers incorporated into the Royal Marines (Technically the Royal Marines are Navy)
Navy,Army & Airforce Institutes (NAAFI) Mobile shops for everyday items for troops.
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) Women volunteers placed under the Administration of the field army.Sometimes called upon as drivers and late in the war as Anti-Aircraft gunners.

For an excellent source of infomation on the organisation of British Army units during World War 2 get a copy of

"From D-Day to VE-Day" by Jean Bouchery (Available in 2 volumes ,the second covers unit structure).