British Armed Forces History

Courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


If your interest is about the history and the development through the adventures of time, Wikipedia has you covered with their historic compilation of Great Britain’s History of their Forces.

We have gathered the information links via Wikipedia about the British Armed Forces that will take you directly to the section that you wish to gain further knowledge and a greater understanding of what, why and where they served either through conflict or to quell the chance of a conflict.

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  • History of the Royal Navy
  • Timeline of the British Army
  • History of the Royal Marines
  • History of the Royal Air Force

To go directly to the section you wish, click on any of the

blue underlined links.


History of the Royal Navy


The official history of the Royal Navy began with the formal establishment of the Royal Navy as the national naval force of the Kingdom of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne. However, for more than a thousand years before that there had been English naval forces varying in type and organization. In 1707 it became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland which merged the English navy with the much smaller Royal Scots Navy, although the two had begun operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Before the creation of the Royal Navy, the English navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century. The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point.



Timeline of the British Army

This timeline covers the main wars, battles and engagements and related issues for the Scottish, English and British Army, from 1537 to the present



History of the Royal Marines


The history of the Royal Marines began on 28 October 1664 with the formation of the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot soon becoming known as the Admiral's Regiment. During the War of the Spanish Succession the most historic achievement of the Marines was the capture of the mole during the assault on Gibraltar (sailors of the Royal Navy captured the Rock itself) in 1704. On 5 April 1755, His Majesty's Marine Forces, fifty Companies in three Divisions, headquartered at Portsmouth, Chatham and Plymouth, were formed by Order of Council under Admiralty control.


Her Majesty's Naval Service

History of the Royal Air Force


The history of the Royal Air Force, the air force of the United Kingdom, spans a century of British military aviation.

The RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, towards the end of the First World War by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. After the war, the RAF was greatly reduced in size and during the inter-war years was used to "police" the British Empire. The RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. During the war it was responsible for the aerial defence of Great Britain, the strategic bombing campaign against Germany and tactical support to the British Army around the world.


Royal Air Force