British Expeditionary Force (BEF)

British Expeditionary Force (BEF)

Home-based regular British army forces sent to northern France at the start of World Wars I and II to support the French armies. Britain wished to help France in case of a German attack, and the BEF was created in 1908 to ensure that British forces would be trained and ready to respond quickly. It consisted of six infantry divisions and one cavalry division. Five divisions sent to France at the outbreak of World War I sustained heavy losses and were succeeded by vast British armies. Divisions sent to France early in World War II (1939) returned to England when France fell the next year.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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