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5th Brigade
AWM E03883 5th Brigade Picardie 8 August 1918.jpg
5th Brigade at Picardie, France, 8 August 1918
Active 1915–1919
Country Australia Australia
Branch Army
Part of 2nd Division

First World War

Unit Colour Patch Hq 5 Brigade unit colour patch.png

5th Brigade is a brigade of the Australian Army. It is a Reserve combined arms formation based in New South Wales and forms part of the 2nd Division.


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.[1] The majority of its personnel were drawn from men that had previously served in New Guinea with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force.[2] 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.[3]

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.[3] 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,[4][5] as part of the reallocation of manpower resources undertaken by the Army at the time.[6]

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.[3] In 1982 it reverted to the designation of "5th Brigade" and in 1987 all Reserve formations were reduced to two infantry battalions.[3]

Today, 5th Brigade is a combined arms formation of the Australian Army Reserve, based in New South Wales and it is one of six brigades of the 2nd Division.

Current composition

The brigade's subordinate units are as follows:[4]



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