5th Brigade at Picardie, France, 8 August 1918
|Part of||2nd Division|
|Unit Colour Patch|
It was initially formed in 1915 for service during the First World War and consisted of four infantry battalions—the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Battalions. The majority of its personnel were drawn from men that had previously served in New Guinea with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. It served at Gallipoli, where it took part in the August Offensive before being evacuated in December 1915. In early 1916, the brigade was sent to France where for the next two and a half years it fought on the Western Front.
Following the end of the war, the 5th Brigade was disbanded, however, it was re-raised in 1921 as part of the Citizens Military Force. At this time it consisted of the 4th, 20th, 36th and 54th Battalions. During the Second World War the brigade was reduced to three infantry battalions—the 44th, 54th and 56th Battalions—and undertook defensive duties in Australia until it was disbanded in June 1944, as part of the reallocation of manpower resources undertaken by the Army at the time.
In 1948 the CMF was established once more, albeit on a limited scale and the 5th Brigade was re-raised. In 1960, with the introduction of the Pentropic divisional structure, the brigade ceased to exist as it was decided to move away from the traditional triangular formation. The Pentropic structure was abandoned in 1965, however, and the Army returned to the previous tropical establishment. The brigade was reformed at this time, albeit under the guise of the "5th Task Force", and consisted of three battalions—3 RNSWR, 4 RNSWR and 17 RNSWR. In 1982 it reverted to the designation of "5th Brigade" and in 1987 all Reserve formations were reduced to two infantry battalions.
The brigade's subordinate units are as follows:
- Headquarters 5th Brigade (located in Sydney)
- 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers (located at Lancer Barracks, Parramatta)
- 1st/19th Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment (located at Orange)
- 4th/3rd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment (located at Cardiff)
- 23rd Field Regiment (located at Kogarah)
- 5th Combat Engineer Regiment
- 21st Construction Regiment (located at Holsworthy Barracks)
- 142nd Signals Squadron
- 5th Combat Service Support Battalion
- Sydney University Regiment
- "5th Brigade". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_13054.asp. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Bean 1941, p. 806.
- "Brief History of the 2nd Division". Army History Unit. http://www.defence.gov.au/army/AHU/docs/Brief_History_of_2nd_Division.pdf. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "5th Brigade". Australian Army. http://www.army.gov.au/Who-we-are/Divisions-and-Brigades/Forces-Command/2nd-Division/5th-Brigade. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "5 Australian Infantry Brigade". Orders of Battle.com. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6227&Tab=Uhi&Titl=5%20Australian%20Infantry%20Brigade. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Grey 2008, p. 188.
- Bean, Charles (1941). Volume II – The Story of ANZAC from 4 May 1915, to the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 (11 ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/first_world_war/volume.asp?levelID=67888.
- Grey, Jeffrey (2008). A Military History of Australia (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-69791-0.
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