38th (Welsh) Infantry Division
Sun, 2017-Nov-26 00:52 UTC
Length - 4:09
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The featured article for Sunday, 26 November 2017 is 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division.
The 38th (Welsh) Division (initially the 43rd Division, later the 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division and then the 38th Infantry (Reserve) Division) of the British Army was active during both the First and Second World Wars. In 1914, the division was raised as the 43rd Division of Herbert Kitchener's New Army, and was originally intended to form part of a 50,000-strong Welsh Army Corps that had been championed by David Lloyd George; the assignment of Welsh recruits to other formations meant that this concept was never realised. The 43rd was renamed the 38th (Welsh) Division on 29 April 1915, and shipped to France later that year. It arrived in France with a poor reputation, seen as a political formation that was ill-trained and poorly led. The division's baptism by fire came in the first days of the Battle of the Somme, where it captured the strongly held Mametz Wood at the loss of nearly 4,000 men. This strongly held German position needed to be secured in order to facilitate the next phase of the Somme offensive; the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. Despite securing its objective, the division's reputation was adversely affected by miscommunication among senior officers.
A year later it made a successful attack in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the opening of the Third Battle of Ypres. This action redeemed the division in the eyes of the upper hierarchy of the British military. In 1918, during the German Spring Offensive and the subsequent Allied Hundred Days Offensive, the division attacked several fortified German positions. It crossed the Ancre River, broke through the Hindenburg Line and German positions on the River Selle, ended the war on the Belgian frontier, and was considered one of the Army's elite units. The division was not chosen to be part of the Occupation of the Rhineland after the war, and was demobilised over several months. It ceased to exist by March 1919.
In March 1939, following the reemergence of Germany and their occupation of Czechoslovakia, the British army increased the number of divisions within the Territorial Army by duplicating existing units. On paper, the division was recreated as the 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division, a duplicate of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division; it formed in September. It was never deployed overseas as a division, having been restricted to home defence duties around the United Kingdom. In 1944, it was disbanded and its units were either deployed or broken up to reinforce the 21st Army Group in Normandy during Operation Overlord. The 38th Division was recreated on 1 September 1944 as the 38th Infantry (Reserve) Division, a training formation that took over the role previously occupied by the 80th Infantry (Reserve) Division. In this form, the division completed the training of recruits, who were then dispatched overseas as reinforcements. At the end of the war, the division was again stood down.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:52 UTC on Sunday, 26 November 2017.
For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/38th_(Welsh)_Infantry_Division.
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