Great Britain, by mid-war, had one of the most well-trained, if numerically inferior, armies in the world. Those that did not see extensive (and successful) combat in North Africa and Italy spent most of the years leading up to the invasion of Normandy in 1944 undergoing extensive training. As a result, though they could never field the same numbers as the other major powers, their units are by and large of higher quality. They were also fairly technologically sound; their standard anti-tank weapon, the 17-pounder, is far more effective than the American’s 76mm, and provided British armoured forces the capability to effectively deter Germany’s extensive superiority in armour.
Because infantry are built in squads which varying composition, we’ll start by noting the specifics of each individual infantry unit. British infantry are by far the best on an individual basis, with higher health and slightly more accurate weapons. They are, as a rule, more expensive and take longer to build; British forces will rarely outnumber their opponents.
Long range, excellent accuracy and damage, low rate of fire.
Medium range, medium accuracy and damage, high rate of fire.
Bren Light Machinegun
Long range, medium accuracy and damage, high rate of fire. Effective at pinning troops at long range.
Vickers Heavy Machinegun
Long range, good accuracy, medium damage, high rate or fire. Very effective at pinning troops at long range. Must be deployed to fire. When deployed it is very strong against frontal attacks.
Short range, good accuracy, light damage, low rate of fire. Has large line-of-sight radius, can move around undetected.
Long range, excellent accuracy, excellent damage, low rate of fire. Very effective at pinning troops at long range. Can usually kill with one hit. Can remain undetected when firing.
Short range, medium accuracy, very high damage, low rate of fire. Can kill light vehicles in one hit. Takes several hits to kill larger tanks. Can also be used as a short-ranged bomb against enemy infantry. Can move around undetected.
Long range, low accuracy, high damage, low rate of fire. Very effective at pinning troops at long range. Can fire over obstacles and terrain. Can also be effective against light vehicles (if they hit).
Medium range, high accuracy, high damage, high rate of fire. Can lay satchel charges which will destroy most structures in a single explosion. Very good at remaining undetected. Can set flares to call in for air-dropped re-enforcements. Has short-range anti-tank grenade. Just as vulnerable to damage as other infantry, however, and will die just the same.
HQ Section Squad
6-man combat squad deployed from the Headquarters Building, containing two riflemen, two submachinegunners, a Bren light machinegunner and a reconnaisance infantryman.
Besides deploying Engineers, the Headquarters’ main purpose is deploying small 6-man squads to supplement Barracks production. The British HQ squad is unique in that it contains both a light machinegunner armed with a Bren and a reconnaisance infantryman armed with a standard pistol, to supplement the two Enfield-armed riflemen and two Sten-armed submachinegunners.
12-man combat section deployed from Barracks, containing 10 riflemen and two submachinegunners.
The Rifle Platoon is the standard infantry force. British riflemen are armed with the Enfield, a highly-accurate bolt-action rifle, while submachinegunners operate the Sten gun, a dependable, medium-power submachinegun.
12-man assault section deployed from Barracks, containing 12 submachinegunners.
The Assault Platoon is an infantry section armed solely with the Sten submachinegun. They are weak at long distances, easily outranged by rifles and machineguns, but are extremely powerful in close-quarters combat with the Sten gun, which has a good rate of fire and moderate power.
Machinegun squads contain three machinegunners, two armed with the light Bren machinegun and one with the heavy Vickers, which must be deployed to operate.
Britain’s machinegun section combines tactical flexibility with power. Equipped with two highly mobile light machineguns and a heavy machinegun for additional fire support, they are able to lay down a lot of fire. The Vickers inparticular, although it can only be used once deployed, is a good long-range heavy machinegun.
The Scout Team contains three reconnaisance infantrymen, armed with pistols.
Scout Teams, or reconnaisance sections, are forward observers, armed with pistols and binoculars. Their sole purpose is to sneak around the battlefield, revealing enemy positions while remaining hidden. When caught, they are usually quickly killed.
A Sniper team, containing one Sniper rifle and one recon infantryman.
Sniper teams operate in two-man teams, with a gunner and a scout. While the scout hurries ahead to spot enemy targets, the Sniper can sit back away from harm and pick off the enemy.
Three-man team armed with three PIAT anti-tank launchers.
The PIAT is a spring-loaded, medium-ranged projectile launcher which fires large, shaped-charge explosives, producing a large and extremely powerful explosion. Man-portable anti-tank weapons such as these are quite capable of defeating almost any armour in one or two shots. Their main weakness is their incredibly short range, forcing those who equip them to sneak into firing distance of enemy armour. Although the warhead can be used with deadly effect against infantry, anti-tank soldiers are ill-equipped to defend themselves against infantry screening tanks.
Three-man mortar team equipped with three 3-inch mortars.
Mortars provide infantry with a very valuable tool; the ability to attack enemy infantry and armour from great distances, over intervening terrain and other obstacles. Mortars, quite simply, launch high-explosive warheads high into the air, which then fall on the enemy. They are inaccurate but in numbers can saturate a large area with explosives. Because of the demoralizing nature of high-explosives raining down upon them, mortars are great for suppressing and pinning enemy infantry.
6-man team comprised of highly-skilled Commandos, armed with Sten submachineguns and explosive charges.
Commando teams are incredibly deadly squads of highly-skilled infantry who are able to wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Able to sneak around the battlefield, Commandos can weasel their way into important positions and lay explosive charges to destroy enemy structures and other hard, immobile assets. They are armed with a silenced Sten submachinegun which is used to deadly effect when they come up against enemy infantry, but are relatively defenseless against enemy armour.
Utility truck which is capable of transporting a platoon of infantrymen (12 men) and can deploy into small supply piles.
The Bedford QL is the workhorse of the British Army. When infantrymen need to travel over long distances, the Bedford is capable of loading up to a platoon of them and moving them across the battlefield with haste. Once at their destination the Bedford can unload some supplies, deploying into a small supply stockpile which nearby units can use to re-arm. The Bedford is weak, however, and prone to everything from small-arms to high-explosives and has no defensive armament.
Lightly-armoured utility halftrack, capable of transporting a platoon of infantrymen (12 men) and armed with a .50 caliber heavy machinegun for local defense.
The M5 is a highly versatile vehicle. Like the Bedford, it can transport up to a platoon of infantry to transport them over large distances. Unlike the Bedford, the M5 comes with some armour protection against small-arms, and is armed with a .50 caliber heavy machinegun for use against both ground and air targets. After deploying its platoon, the M5 makes for an excellent fire support platform, accompanying infantry with heavy machinegun fire.
Armoured Car armed with twin .50 caliber machineguns in an open turret, for light mobile anti-aircraft duty.
Although the Staghound is an American creation, it never entered service with US forces. Instead, hundreds were leased to the British, many of which were retrofitted with a similar turret to those found on Britain’s Lancaster and other heavy bombers, housing twin .50 caliber machineguns on a light, armoured and mobile chassis. While not able to pour out as much firepower as its contemporaries, the Staghound has better armour than the various halftrack and truck-mounted mobile AA of other nations.
Armoured Car, armed with a 2-pounder cannon and coaxial machinegun, for use against enemy light vehicles.
The Daimler is Britain’s premier armoured car. Armed with the versatile 2-pounder and a coaxial machinegun, it makes a good fire support platform, highly protected against smallarms fire thanks to its fully-enclosed hull. Its main use, however, is in fighting enemy light vehicles, where its 2-pounder can be best put to use. It is fast and highly mobile, making it excellent for raids as well.
Light tracked vehicle, armed with a large flamethrower, for use against infantry, defenses, structures and light vehicles.
The Wasp is based on the Universal Carrier, a light jeep-sized tracked utility vehicle used extensively by the British and Commonwealth forces. The Wasp replaces the Bren of the original with a large flamethrower, with two large fuel canisters in its cargo compartment. It is a fast, maneuverable vehicle perfectly suited to providing infantry with light support in the form of a vehicle that can resist small-arms fire (unlike infantry flamethrowers), quickly flank the enemy and pour down liquid flame on him.
Armoured Personnel Carrier, a heavily-armoured transport capable of wading through enemy fire to deliver combat infantry onto the battlefield.
Kangaroo is a term given to a number of battlefield modifications carried out by British and Canadian forces to turn armoured combat vehicles such as the Sherman, Churchill, Ram, Priest and other vehicles into fully-armoured transports. While the M5 Halftrack can be considered an up-armoured version of the Bedford Truck, the Kangaroo is far more armoured still, immune to small-arms and highly resistent to all but heavy cannon fire and other anti-tank ordnance. It is an excellent tool to use to transport infantry through the battlefield when your enemy is lacking in anti-tank firepower.
AEC Mk II
Light, wheeled tank destroyer, sacrificing armour for speed and mobility.
The AEC Mk II is a very capable light tank destroyer. Armed with the 6-pounder, it is capable of effectively dispatching all but the heaviest enemy armour. Its high speed and maneuverability allows it to easily flank slower-moving tanks to deliver its high-velocity armour-piercing ammunition. However, like most tank destroyers, it lacks high-explosive ammunition and is thus vulnerable to enemy infantry.
High-powered anti-tank gun, one of the most powerful towed guns of the war.
The 17-pounder is one of Britain’s most powerful weapons and its best way to destroy enemy tanks. It is high-powered, long-ranged and very accurate, capable of defeating even the armour of the heavy Tiger tanks. It is armed only with armour-piercing ammunition, however, and is completely defenseless against infantry and aircraft.
Highly-accurate light artillery piece.
The 25-Pounder is a versatile artillery piece. Being only 85mm, however, it lacks some of the range and punch of other contemporary artillery systems like the common 105mm, but more than makes up for it with its high rate of fire and accuracy.
A27M Cromwell Mk IV
Versatile medium combat tank armed with powerful high-explosives.
The Cromwell was designed to replace the Sherman in British Army armoured formations. Performance-wise, it is very similar to the Sherman, having similar armour, armament, speed and mobility. It is a capable duel-role combat tank, though somewhat lacking in its ability to defeat enemy armour. It makes up for this with a very capable high-explosive shell.
A27M Cromwell Mk VI
Medium support tank armed with a 95mm short-ranged howitzer.
The Cromwell Mk VI is armed with a short-ranged 95mm close support gun which provides increased performance against enemy infantry and soft-skinned targets. Its 95mm gun is also capable of defeating enemy medium armour with its high-explosive package, but suffers against heavily-armoured targets.
Sherman VC Firefly
Medium tank armed with the powerful 17-pounder anti-tank gun.
Although designed to replace the Sherman, the Cromwell proved unsuitable for re-armament with the 17-pounder anti-tank guns which were becoming increasingly necessary with Germany’s increased production of Panther, Tiger, and Tiger II heavy tanks. For this role they continued relying on the proven Sherman, upgunned with the deadly 17-pounder. Unlike the towed version, the Firefly is also equipped with high-explosive ammunition for dealing with soft-skinned and infantry targets, but its primary role is defeating enemy armour, which it does quite well.
SP Sexton Mk III
Lightly-armoured self-propelled 25-pounder howitzer.
The Sexton is a development of the American M7 Priest. It is a lightly-armoured tracked vehicle with a 25-pounder howitzer mounted on the hull and surrounded by a thin superstructure. It provides excellent mobile artillery support for armoured formations. It is also armed with a .50 caliber machinegun for anti-aircraft defense.
17pdr. SP Achilles
Medium tank destroyer armed with the powerful 17-pounder anti-tank gun.
The Achilles is a simple medium tank destroyer, based on the M10 Wolverine re-armed with the powerful 17-pounder anti-tank gun. Unlike the Firefly, it is not armed with high-explosive ammunition or defensive machineguns, though it has a .50 cal for air defense. It is cheaper but far less armoured than the Firefly.
Churchill Mk VII
Heavy support tank, armed with a 75mm gun and heavy armour.
The Churchill is the heaviest tank fielded by the British Army. It has thicker armour than the Tiger, although it is quite slow and its 75mm gun lacks anti-tank potential. Therefore it is more often used as an infantry support tank, where its heavy armour can protect it against enemy fire as it pummels soft enemy targets.
Auster AOP Mk V
Light reconnaisance plane, lacking any armament.
The Auster AOP is a light reconnaisance and liason plane with a single purpose; to circle an area and provide reconnaisance information. It has no armament and is lightly armoured, making it very vulnerable to enemy aircraft and ground-based air defenses.
Spitfire Mk XIVe
Interceptor aircraft with high performance and medium armament.
The Spitfire is a fast, nimble fighter, lighter than most, which serves as the RAF’s primary interceptor. It is highly adaptable and dependable, and armed with two 20mm and two .50 cal machineguns it is capable of defeating enemy fighters and larger aircraft with ease.
Heavy supremacy fighter with good performance and powerful armament.
The Tempest is the RAF’s premier supremacy fighter. It is heavily armed and armoured, able to duke it out with enemy fighters and heavy aircraft. It also has good range thanks to its large fuel tanks, allowing it to stay in the air for extended periods of time.
Spitfire Mk.IXe LF
Fighter-bomber armed with a 100kg bomb.
The Spitfire Mk IXe is armed with a single 100kg bomb and four .50 caliber machineguns. After releasing its bombs, it is more than capable of defending itself against enemy interceptors.
Ground-attack fighter armed with 3-inch rockets for tank-busting duties.
The Typhoon was the bane of German armour in France. Based on the same chassis as the Tempest, the Typhoon marries the heavy armour with powerful anti-tank weaponry in the form of a battery of 3-inch rockets, which are very effective at destroying any enemy tank.
Mosquito FB Mk.VI
Heavy Fighter-Bomber armed with a load of 50kb bombs for saturation attacks.
The Mosquito fighter-bomber is a heavy aircraft armed with a load of 50kg bombs, excellent for laying waste to large areas of enemy-held territory. With its high speed it is able to get in and out quickly.