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Can anyone answer this for me?

What's a wing, when referring to an Army unit?

How did a wing of the 1st Sussex become involved in the Battle of Kafr-el-Dawwar on the 24th July 1882 - (I have a medal to this regiment, the soldiers service papers state that he left England on the 29th August 1882 arriving in Egypt on the 14th September 1882.)

 

 

 

Alison was reinforced on 24 July by the arrival of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, a wing of the Royal Sussex Regiment and a battery of artillery — a total of 1,108 men.

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The 1st Sussex were part of the 4th Brigade (although I can't confirm when they arrived, I have been able to confirm that  the brigade remained behind in Alexandria, so he missed the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. This is somewhat confusing as my soldier doesn't appear to have arrived in Egypt until after the battle had in fact been fought? Of the 900+ medals to the 1st Sussex only 1 (a Pte) our entitled to this bar? I assume he was part of the wing that was present on the 24th July. Am I right in assuming that the 1st arrived in different ships arriving at different times? 

 

Why didn't the  Battle of Kafr-el-Dawwar  merit a clasp?

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A wing was generally detached unit normally mounted infantry on each of the flanks during a move "column on route" if you consider a butterfly the body is the column and the wings spread each side, they can be as big or small as needed and would have all arms available

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I must respectfully disagree, Dante.  As I know from having commanded them albeit only at re-enactments of Naopleonic battles, a 'wing' is generally half of whatever formation is on the field.  In the case of an infantry regiment whose full strength was present, the left wing would be four companies, probably A-D [or 1-4] and the right wing would be th other four.  In a brigade, the left wing would probably be two battalions - with attached scouts, etc - and thr right wing the same.  

It's an ad hoc arrangement arising from the over all commander of a force deciding to split that force for tactical reasons, so the 'wing' has no real existance off the field.  Given a large enough force one could, in theory, split it into two wings and have one of the wing commanders subsequently split his force again into two halves.  The wings are designated by the field commander and may not always be equal in strength, but that is the simplist version - the commander splits his command and each wing then has the full attention of a subordinate commander, either the original CO and a subordnate, or two subordiantes, with the CO exercising oversight of both wings. 

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