Infantry division

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This page defines Infantry division, which can be used as a value of the "specific_type" parameter in {{infobox military unit}} like this:

| type = Formation
| specific_type = Infantry division
| size_at_full_strength = [varies, see below]

  • British Empire: 19,000
  • US Army: 28,000


An infantry division was a formation of infantry containing several infantry battalions along with support units of other types, usually including artillery, engineering and medical units.

British Empire[edit]

A division was mostly a tactical formation, with similar components throughout all countries of the British Empire. Personnel files were maintained by a separate administrative hierarchy, which varied between countries.

United Kingdom[edit]

All British infantry divisions that existed in the First World War have pages on this site, listed in Category:British divisions. Most infantry divisions were part of the British Army, although 63rd (Royal Naval) Division was raised by the Royal Navy.

Composition of a typical British division on the Western Front, based on Becke, Archibald Frank. (1935). Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 1: The Regular British Divisions. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents. London: HMSO. pp. 126–127. , and catalogue entries for The National Archives of the UK (TNA): WO 95:

See also Chris Baker, The Long, Long Trail: What was a division?.

India[edit]

All Indian infantry divisions that existed in the First World War have pages on this site, listed in Category:Indian divisions.

We don't yet have full orders of battle for Indian divisions. Support units may have been slightly different from British divisions.

Continental system[edit]

In the continental system, tactical and administrative hierarchies were unified up to division level, and the division was the main unit of both.

There were two main types of infantry division:

  • a "square" division had 2 brigades with 2 regiments in each brigade
  • a "triangular" division had 1 brigade with 3 regiments

In both cases, there were usually 3 infantry battalions in each regiment.

The size of a division and the support components varied between countries.

US Army[edit]

All American divisions were "square".

Composition of a typical division of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front in 1918.[1]


For more information, see U.S. Army WWI Tables of Organization Notes.
  1. Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War, Volume 2, American Expeditionary Forces: Divisions. Washington, DC: Centre of Military History, United States Army. 1988 [first published 1931]. pp. 446–47.