16th Airborne Division

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16th Airborne Division
16th Airborne Division 1953.jpg
Divisional parachute drop during Exercise King's Joker at the Stanford Parachute Training Area in Kent
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleAirborne forces
Garrison/HQLondon [1]
Nickname(s)Red Devils
Emblem of the British Airborne ForcesBritish Airborne Units.svg

The 16th Airborne Division was an airborne infantry division of the British Territorial Army. It was first commanded by Major-General Roy Urquhart, and had its divisional headquarters in London.[1]

It was raised in 1947, to compensate for the loss of the 1st Airborne Division, which had been disbanded in 1945 and the 6th Airborne Division which was to be disbanded in 1948. The number "16" was used in recognition of the two wartime airborne divisions.

The division had three parachute brigades, the 4th, 5th and the 6th, each with three Territorial battalions of the Parachute Regiment. The brigades were renumbered the 44th, 45th and 46th in 1950. Then in December 1955, the British Secretary of State for War in an announcement on the future of the Territorial Army, proposed cutting the Territorial parachute battalions by five. The reduction in strength led to the disbandment of the division in 1956, leaving the 44th Independent Parachute Group (TA) as the only British reserve parachute formation.[2]


Units pre-1950[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e "16th Airborne Division (TA)". Paradata. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  3. ^ "16th Airborne Division". Paradata. Retrieved 1 November 2011.