War Department (United Kingdom)

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War Department Landmark 18 at Chester Castle
Jerrycan - British copy of a Wehrmacht standard canister 1943
Locomotives Parade in Rainhill 1980: War Department 2-10-0

The War Department is in England the responsible Ministry for procurement and supply its armed forces with weapons and equipment. It is part of the War Department and also regulates military supplies, parts of which are the War Department Fleet and the War Department Railways .
The British War Department uses the following abbreviation as a symbol: W ↑ D, former form simply WD The symbol of the broad arrow can be found on most items of equipment.


In 1794, a Secretary of State for War Affairs was installed in the United Kingdom , and the institution was unofficially referred to as the War Department. A department for colonial affairs was later incorporated. In February 1855, the individual departments were merged to form the War Department . In 1857 it became the Ministry of War , and in 1964 the institution was renamed the Ministry of Defense .

War Department Railways

The War Department was also responsible for the supply of locomotives and railroad cars for use in rail transport in Great Britain , as well as for other parts of the British Empire and in crisis areas .

During the First World War , the War Department was also responsible for the War Department Light Railways , the so-called Trench Railways . This was the British variant of the narrow-gauge army field railways , which were used for the transport of ammunition and equipment, the transport of troops up to immediate combat in trench warfare , but also the evacuation of the wounded. During the Second World War , a large number of steam locomotives and diesel locomotives of different gauges were manufactured. After the end of the war, numerous vehicles were handed over to railway companies in other countries.