The Guards Armoured Division was formed on 17 June 1941 from elements of the Guards units, the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards. and Welsh Guards. The division remained in the United Kingdom, training, until 26 June 1944, when it landed in Normandy as part of VIII Corps.
Its first major engagement was Operation Goodwood, the attack by three armoured divisions towards Bourguebus Ridge in an attempt to break out of the Normandy beachhead. That was followed by Operation Bluecoat, the advance east of Caen as the Falaise pocket formed. Transferred to XXX Corps, the division liberated Brussels. It led the XXX Corps attack in Operation Market Garden, the ground forces' advance to relieve airborne troops aiming to seize the bridges up to Arnhem, capturing Nijmegen bridge in conjunction with American paratroopers.
During the battle of the Bulge, it was sent to the Meuse as a reserve in case the Germans broke through the American lines. It endured hard fighting in Operation Veritable, the advance towards the Rhine through the Reichswald, and again in the advance through Germany. The division existed until 12 June 1945, when it was reorganised as an infantry division, the Guards Division.
Arrived European Theatre of Operations 26 June 1944