Catalogue description War Office and Ministry of Defence: Headquarters British Army of the Rhine: Technical Reports

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Details of WO 351
Reference: WO 351
Title: War Office and Ministry of Defence: Headquarters British Army of the Rhine: Technical Reports

This series contains mainly technical trials reports on equipment and armour carried out by the General Technical Staff of the HQ British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), and related interim progress reports. Other reports concern the performance of experimental equipment used during exercises held in BAOR. The technical trials reports include reports on the performance of the Centurion tank during exercises.

The reports are copies collected together in the technical libraries of the Fighting Vehicles Research Development Establishment and the Military Engineering Experimental Establishment.

Date: 1950-1990
Related material:

For reports, etc, compiled by the Military Engineering Experimental Establishment see SUPP 17

For other reports and papers of the Fighting Vehicles Research Development Establishment see WO 194

For records of the Clothing and Equipment Physiological Research Establishment see WO 352

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Ministry of Defence, 1947-

War Office, 1857-1964

Physical description: 104 files and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1993 War Office

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

HQ British Army of the Rhine (HQ BAOR), Britain's main military headquarters in continental Europe, evolved in 1945 from HQ 21 Army Group, the British operational command formed under Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) for the invasion of France in 1944. The first Commander-in-Chief of HQ BAOR was Field Marshal Montgomery, who had been commander of 21 Army Group.

Although the name of the headquarters changed, its formal function (that of an occupation force) did not, despite the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, until the occupation regime was terminated by the Paris Agreement of 1954. The North Atlantic alliance (NATO) had been established five years earlier and, subsequently, BAOR's primary rĂ´le changed gradually into the defence of central Europe against the threat posed by the Soviet Union and her allies (a military grouping formalized by the creation of the Warsaw Pact in 1955) in partnership with the new Federal Army (the Bundeswehr) especially after West German admission into NATO in 1955.

Since 1951 the nucleus of BAOR has been its principal operational field HQ - 1st (British) Corps - comprising, at different times, a mixture of armoured, mechanized and purely infantry formations, latterly both Regular Army as well as Territorial Army wartime reinforcements from the UK.

In 1992, BAOR was undergoing a radical restructuring, which would see the disappearance of this national formation, to meet the changing strategic situation following events in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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