British Parachute Battalion, 1944

British Parachute Battalion, 1944

In 1944, the Parachute Battalion had a full strength of 613 men, including 29 officers and 584 other ranks. The parachute infantry section of ten men was divided into two tactical maneuver elements, a gun group of three men, and a rifle group of six men, commanded by a sergeant. The gun group was equipped with a Bren light machine gun, a 2" mortar, and a sniper rifle. Depending on the tactical situation, the Sergeant would lead the gun group or rifle group, and the Corporal took charge of the other element. Presumably, the Lance-Corporal attached to each parachute infantry section was a member of the gun group. Paratroop platoon headquarters had fewer men than infantry platoon headquarters, because there was no 2" mortar at the platoon level. Instead, each parachute infantry section was equipped with a 2" mortar.

Parachute Battalion, 1944

  • Battalion Headquarters
    • Lieutenant-Colonel, Battalion Commander
    • Major, 2nd in Command
    • Captain
    • Lieutenant
    • Medical Officer
    • 22 Men, including NCOs, regimental policemen, batmen, and orderlies
  • Headquarters Company
    • Company Headquarters
      • Officer, Company Commander
      • 10 Men
    • Administrative Platoon
      • 3 Officers
      • 62 men
    • Intelligence Section
      • Officer
      • 8 Men
      • 8 Sniper Rifles
    • Signals Platoon
      • Officer, Platoon Commander
      • 27 Men
      • 10 Airborne Bicycles
    • Mortar Platoon
      • Officer, Platoon Commander
      • 40 Men
      • 3" Mortar
      • 3" Mortar
      • 3" Mortar
      • 3" Mortar
    • Mortar Platoon
      • Officer, Platoon Commander
      • 40 Men
      • 3" Mortar or Vickers HMG
      • 3" Mortar or Vickers HMG
      • 3" Mortar or Vickers HMG
      • 3" Mortar or Vickers HMG
    • Anti-Tank Platoon
      • Officer, Platoon Commander
      • 39 Men
      • 10 PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank)
      • Anti-Tank Section
      • Anti-Tank Section
      • Anti-Tank Section
  • A Company
    • Company HQ
      • Major, Company Commander
      • Captain, 2nd IC
      • Company Sergeant Major
      • 12 Men
    • 1st Platoon
      • Platoon HQ
        • Lieutenant, Platoon Commander, Pistol
        • Sergeant, Sten SMG
        • Batman, Rifle
        • Runner, Rifle
        • PIAT & Bren LMG
      • Rifle Section
        • Sergeant, Section Commander, Sten SMG
        • Gun Group
          • Lance-Corporal, Sniper Rifle
          • Bren Gunner, Pistol and Bren LMG
          • Mortarman, Pistol and 2" Mortar
        • Rifle Group
          • Corporal, Sten SMG
          • 5 Riflemen
      • Rifle Section (same as above)
      • Rifle Section (same as above)
    • 2nd Platoon (same as above)
    • 3rd Platoon (same as above)
  • B Company (same as above)
  • C Company (same as above)

Wargamers are well advised to deploy parachute infantry sections with two tactical maneuver elements, one gun group and one rifle group, which are considered half-squads or fireteams by many popular game systems. Doing so, provides British para platoons with the improved articulation and firepower of elite forces which made a significant difference in combat.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

Return to the Index