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Reconnaissance Corps

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The Reconnaissance Corps
The capbadge of The Reconnaissance Corps


When the British Expeditionary Force went to France in 1939, most of its infantry formations included a Divisional Cavalry Regiment. In the campaign of 1940 however, several divisions were robbed of these units to form the short-lived Armoured Reconnaissance Brigades. Following Dunkirk, it was decided that a fully mechanised divisional reconnaissance unit was an essential requirement. The Reconnaissance Corps was officially created at the beginning of 1941 by re-tasking infantry battalions to the reconnaissance role. By 1944 the Reconnaissance Corps had been absorbed into the Royal Armoured Corps, meaning a change of uniform but to all intents and purposes their role remained the same.

The unit underwent a series of changes of title and variations in its internal organisation between 1941 and 1945, adopting cavalry terminology in 1942 to refer to its subunits. The overall layout however remained as a Headquarters and three company sized reconnaissance units, each subdivided into three armoured reconnaissance and one infantry platoon or troop.