[17] In the United Kingdom, the 7th Armoured Division was re-equipped with Cromwell tanks, the only division to use them as their main battle tank - the others would use M4 Sherman tanks. Tanks were first used at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. An example of a common Soviet Tank Platoon would be the following – comprising 3 T34/85s; An example of a common Soviet Heavy Tank Platoon would be the following – with 2 fearsome IS2s; American Armoured Platoons. 6 Grenadier Guardsstands for the 6th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. Thus, any headdress with a peak was entirely unsuitable. Parent unitComponents The 21st Army Tank Brigade was a British Army formation active during World War II. [37] In 1944, the British armoured division could field more medium tanks than the 186 tanks of the on-paper strength German Panzer Division or the 168 medium tanks of an American armoured division (251 tanks in total). Royal Tank Regiment British Army. The mixed anti-aircraft/anti tank regiment was replaced by two specialised regiments. The artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft regiments would be put under the control of the Royal Artillery divisional headquarters and would be reinforced with additional batteries, the Royal Engineers would be reinforced and returned to the divisional engineer headquarters. The two artillery regiments, the anti-tank regiment and light anti-tank regiment were placed under the command of an artillery headquarters unit while additional administration units were attached to the division. [6] On 18 October 1923,[7] it was officially given the title Royal making it the Royal Tank Corps (RTC) by Colonel-in-Chief King George V. It was at this time that the motto, "Fear Naught", the black beret, and the unit badge were adopted. [16], Between May 1939 and May 1945, there were nine changes in the organisation of the divisions. [22], In 1942, the British Army decided that an infantry brigade was needed in each division[23] and on 27 February 1942 the next change was made for divisions operating in the Middle East; an armoured brigade would be replaced by an infantry brigade. [6] With the preparations for war in the late 1930s, two more Regular Army battalions were formed: the 7th in 1937 and the 8th in 1938. [35], In 1939, the armoured division comprised 9,442 men all ranks, this increased to 14,964 men all ranks by 1944;[36] however, of this latter figure, the division had a combat strength of around 7,000 men with only 3,400 of these men being in the division's nine rifle companies compared to a combat strength of around 5,000 men in the American armoured division, of which 3,000 were in the rifle companies. [47] By June 1944, the sabre squadrons in North West Europe were operating four tank troops. I have his dogtags and would love to get them home to his family. The independent armoured brigades could in most cases trace their formation to an armoured division, 4th and 7th brigades to the 7th Armoured, 8th Brigade was part of 10th Armoured, before it was disbanded. [4] At that time the six tank companies were grouped as the Heavy Section of the Machine Gun Corps (MGC). L/Cpl.PF Whitelegg served with the 50th Btn. I have his dogtags and would love to get them home to his family. Jun 24, 2017 - British artillery organisations and establishments during World War 2 Tank Destroyers were organised into fours. 58 Company : No. The artillery regiments were also reorganised, one would now be equipped with self-propelled guns while the other would keep towed guns. The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the First World War. This organisation was used in both the Sherman and Cromwell regiments of the Armoured Divisions and the independent tank brigades. Army Tank Brigade Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade Cavalry Armoured Car Regiment Infantry (Machine Gun) Battalion Infantry (Pioneer) Battalion Non-Divisional Artillery Royal Horse Artillery Regiment (25-pdr) Army Field Regiment (18-pdr) Army Field Regiment (25-pdr) Medium Regiment, 6-inch Howitzer Medium Regiment, 60-pdr Gun [17], The Royal Tank Regiment continued to see action including missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. [40], Historian David French states that the Army's intention had been to create balanced all-arms formations; however, following the formation of their first armoured divisions, they had instead created tank-heavy divisions with too few infantry or supporting arms. The 9th Royal Tank Regiment (9 RTR) was an armoured regiment of the British Army active during the Second World War. The two armoured brigades would have a Support Group that contained the division's field artillery regiment, a mixed light anti-aircraft/anti-tank regiment, two motorised infantry battalions and the division's engineers. [18], The regiment is equipped with Challenger 2 tanks and based at Tidworth and slated to be part of the Reaction Force, coming under 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade. Armoured brigades used Cruiser tanks, while the tank brigades used Infantry tanks. [12] The 10th Armoured Division was formed on 1 August following the reorganisation and renaming of the 1st Cavalry Division. The British Infantry Battalion, 1939 to 1940 In early 1940 the British Army sent the bulk of its recently mobilised units to France following the declaration of war against Germany. In the United Kingdom, an Armoured Car regiment was placed under the command of the division; this did not apply for Divisions in the Middle East. During the course of the war, four "hostilities-only" battalions were formed: the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. [23], Arras Counter Attack, Calais 1940, St. Omer-La Bassée, Somme, Sidi Barrani, Beda Fomm, Sidi Suleiman, Tobruk 1941, Sidi Rezegh 1941, Belhamed, Gazala, Cauldron, Knightsbridge, Defence of Alamein Line, Alam el Halfa, El Alamein, Mareth, Akarit, Fondouk, El Kourzia, Medjez Plain, Tunis, Sangro, Salerno, Volturno Crossing, Garigliano Crossing, Anzio, Advance to Florence, Gothic Line, Coriano, Lamone Crossing, Rimini Line, Argenta Gap, Odon, Caen, Bourguébus Ridge, Mont Pincon, Falaise, Nederrijn, Scheldt, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland, Rhine, Bremen. The first formation formed had been the Mobile Division in October 1937 followed a year later, in the wa… More engineers were added to the division. The tank establishment was also lowered to 338 tanks; 234 cruisers, 44 light tanks, 28 anti-aircraft tanks, and 9 Observation tanks. The October 1940 authorised changes allocated an infantry battalion to the brigade, but made no other changes. The brigade headquarters had six light cruisers and four heavy cruisers allocated to it, while each regimental headquarters had four light cruisers. [31], During the Battle of Normandy, the 7th Armoured Division instituted a flexible structure prior to the Battle of Villers-Bocage in early June 1944. No changes were made to the layout of the regiments; however, three tanks were removed from the brigade headquarters, two anti-aircraft tanks would be added and eight Observation Post tanks would also be allocated to the brigade. The same organisation was used for the infantry battalions of the infantry brigades of both Infantry and Armoured divisions. Never acted as a division. 11 RTR formed part of 79th Armoured Division (a specialist group operating vehicles known as "Hobart's Funnies"), initially equipped with "Canal Defence Light" tanks, it converted to "Buffalo" (the British service name for the US Landing Vehicle Tracked) not long after D-Day and participated in the assault crossing of the Rhine. US tank platoons of all types tended to be in fives. [39] Initially, the mechanised cavalry regiments of the division, were designed as reconnaissance not fighting formations. In September 1943 fourteen of those were reorganized, these are sometimes called the „light“ armored divisions, although this name is a bit misleading, because the main difference was in size and not the equipped tanks. [49] On 7 April 1941, the first change was made; the formations would drop army terminology and adopt cavalry terms. The three sabre squadrons of each regiment consisted of two light tank squadrons, made up of five troops of three tanks and a squadron headquarters of three tanks, and one light cruiser squadron, made up of five troops of three light cruisers, and a squadron headquarters of three tanks. 65 Company: Support Group: No. [16], After service in the Korean War, the RTR was reduced through various amalgamations, firstly, in 1959–60:[17], In 1969, 5RTR was disbanded, while, in 1992 under Options for Change, 4RTR amalgamated with 1RTR, and 3RTR amalgamated with 2RTR. It stems from the Royal Review held at Aldershot in the presence of King George V on 13 July 1935 on which occasion black overalls were worn on parade by all ranks of the Royal Tanks Corps. [29], During the First World War, walking sticks were often carried by officers. The eight Yeomanry Armoured Car Companies of the RTR were activated and transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps. [27], During March 1944, further amendments were made; the additional troops allocated to the infantry brigade the year before were removed while, for the divisions allocated to the 21st Army Group, an Independent Machine Gun company was allocated to the division. This most apt interpretation of the colours was suggested by Colonel Fuller. The black beret remained the exclusive headdress of the Royal Tank Corps until its practical value was recognised by others and its use extended to the majority of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1940. The regimental colours are Brown, Red and Green. Both regiments continued deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with the final tour to Afghanistan taking place in 2013. [38], The doctrine of the British Army in 1938 was for Army Tank Brigades, attached as Corps troops, to work alongside the Infantry divisions and break into the enemy defensive positions. Additional troops were allocated to the infantry brigade. In the United Kingdom and the 6th Armoured Division, two additional troops were attached to each Sabre Squadron along with eight anti-aircraft tanks being attached to the regimental headquarters, bringing the regiment's strength up to 55 cruisers, 6 close support tanks, 8 anti-aircraft tanks, 36 officers and 644 other ranks. The formation of the Royal Tank Regiment followed the invention of the tank. Category page. By mid-1944 the 17-pdr had become the main weapon in most anti-tank regiments, and a modified version had been fitted into a limited number of Sherman “Firefly” tanks. British Armoured formations of World War II, 25th Armoured Assault Brigade Royal Engineers, Australian armoured units of World War II, Italian armoured divisions during the Second World War, British Armoured Divisions - origins, development and deployment (1921-1945), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=British_armoured_formations_of_World_War_II&oldid=997912771, Military units and formations of the British Army in World War II, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Division ceased operations on 28 October 1944, Divisional Headquarters captured on 8 April 1941, Division never operated as a single formation during its time overseas, Formed from the reorganisation and designation of the. The practice lapsed during the Second World War, but was re-introduced in the 1950s. 1 History 2 Organisation 1945 3 See also 4 External links 5 Notes 6 References In 1939 it was a First Line Territorial Army Brigade stationed in the United Kingdom. Elements of 1RTR were deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and both regiments were involved in the invasion of Iraq, with the 2RTR battlegroup involved in taking Basra. They took with them the larger part of the Army's motorised transport, infantry and cruiser tanks, and the … I am happy to cover all costs, if you are a family member or can put me in touch with them, please get in touch. The regiments were to be equipped with M4 Shermans as they became available. [4] He also notes that the reforms that took place in 1940 forfeited yet another opportunity to transform the tank-heavy armoured divisions into a balanced all-arms force. Following amalgamation, the regiment comprises six squadrons:[21], The Tank Museum, the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, is at Bovington Camp in Dorset. Only 33rd Brigade was not originally part of an armoured division but was a tank brigade converted to an armoured brigade. The divisions operated from then on as two brigade groups; each of two combined arms teams, both made up of one tank regiment and one infantry battalion;[33] the armoured reconnaissance regiment was matched with the armoured brigade's motor battalion to provide the fourth group. [43], In May 1940, the armoured brigades became homogeneous and were reorganised; all now would contain 10 cruisers within the brigade headquarters, while the regimental headquarters would have four cruisers. The division's headquarters was given more staff and signal units and a headquarters was formed to control the artillery. A 2-pdr anti-tank gun of 44 Battery, 13th Anti-Tank Regiment, 2nd Division in the snow near Beuvry, 15 February 1940. Redesignated 34th Tank Brigade in June 1942, Independent formation from creation, was formed from conversion of, This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 21:17. The colours typified the struggle of the Corps – 'From mud, through blood to the green fields beyond'. Eight of the Regular Army companies were later converted into independent light tank companies; all twelve companies had been disbanded by the outbreak of the Second World War. Below is a schematic image of a late war British Armoured Regiment. Anti-tank Regiment Royal Artillery 3 Light AA Regiment Royal Artillery + Field Regiment) Royal Artillery Field Regiment Royal Artillery Armoured Car Regiment Royal Armoured Corps Æ Independant MG Company Armoured Recce Regiment Infantry Brigade British Armoured Division Table of Organisation … The new regiment is titled the Royal Tank Regiment. Edit. Became an independent formation following September 1943. The heavy armoured brigade, laid out the same as the light armoured brigade, had 157 tanks, with each regiment made up of 26 light cruisers, 15 heavy cruisers, 8 close support tanks, 30 officers and 573 other ranks. The Royal Regiment of Artillery (usually known simply as the Royal Artillery) was the largest regiment in the British Army in numerical terms, with the mottoe of ‘Ubique’ being an accurate description of its service across the world. The Corps saw much action at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917. When it was first formed, the Tank Corps had no distinctive colours. [19][20] Unlike the other Type 56 Challenger 2 Regiments, the RTR has an integrated CBRN reconnaissance squadron operating the Fuchs reconnaissance vehicle. Known as the Infantry Division 1944, this new formation had a strength of 12,772 men as opposed to the 17,734 soldiers of a division in 1939, although its firepower had actually increased. H Watson served with the 5th Btn. [5], After the war, the Tank Corps was trimmed down to a central depot and four battalions: the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th battalions. For tactical reasons, the battle formation in the Middle East became the Brigade Group, the division would now operate two Brigade Groups. L/Cpl. 40 Royal Tank Regiment isthe 40th Regiment, as there were many tank regiments. A tactical grouping of battalions is called a brigade. Due to some armoured regiments being re-equipped with American tanks, the establishment of the division could vary between 130 and 150 tanks. In 1934, the 1st (Light) Battalion, RTC was formed in England with personnel drawn from the 2nd, 3rd & 5th Battalions. A regiment had four squadrons, HQ, A, B and C. The HQ squadron contained, command tanks, a recce troop of 11 Stuarts, an AA troop of 8 AA Crusaders (the AA troops were disbanded after August 44). From 1943, the lack of available replacements for the Wehrmacht began to become apparent, reducing the division’s TOE strength and introducing a new organization. [44], The early 1942 Brigade Groups have already been described; however, the regiments were organised on two bases: those equipped with American tanks and those equipped with a mixture of American and British. The motorised infantry, according to John Burnett-Stuart on 8 September 1937, was not meant to fight side by side with the tanks; they were to protect them during resting and replenishing periods. The official regimental motto is Fear Naught. [19], Like the division, the armoured brigade went through nine changes to its basic organisation, while the tank brigade went through four changes before a complete conversion of its role. Anti-Tank Regiments (2 pounder, then 6 pounder, then 17 pounder anti-tank … Royal Tank Regiment . Over 40% of the soldiers of the British Army in NWE were in the artillery. [20] While these theoretical changes were made, they did not reflect the armoured divisions' composition; in July, the 7th Armoured Division only had 65 cruiser tanks, lacking spare parts (some even lacking proper armament) while the division was operating two armoured regiments in each of its brigades. On 4 April 1939, the Royal Tank Corps was renamed the Royal Tank Regiment and became a wing of the newly created Royal Armoured Corps. Further changes were made to the armoured regiments and anti-aircraft tanks were incorporated into the division bringing the established strength to 227 tanks; 26 anti-aircraft tanks, 18 close support tanks and 183 cruiser tanks. WWII British Infantry Battalion TO&E (or TOE) Below is a 1:1 schematic image of a WWII British Infantry battalion TO&E (Table of Organisation and Equipment, TOE). When 6th Division went to North Africa it still used the WW1 standard of 4 Battalions per Brigade where as the Brits only had 3. At present, the British Army has 47 regular and reserve infantry battalions. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. 99th (Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Traditionally, most British regiments have had more than one battalion. 'The British Garrison Berlin 1945-1994', W. Durie, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 05:38. A black beret was selected as it would not show oil stains. [34], The final authorised change came in February 1945, but was not implemented until May 1945, following the end of the war in Europe; the division would retain the organisation approved in March 1944, but the armoured reconnaissance regiment would be converted into a fourth armoured regiment but not placed within either brigade. [6] In 1933, the 6th Battalion, RTC was formed in Egypt by combining the personnel of the 3rd and 5th Regular Army Armoured Car Companies. The American equipped regiments, totalling 44 tanks, were organised as such: four M3 Stuarts allocated to the regimental headquarters, which controlled three sabre squadrons; one squadron of four troops of four Stuarts and a headquarters with a further four Stuarts, and two squadrons composed of M3 Grants each consisting of three troops of three tanks and a squadron headquarters of a further three Grants. The flag is flown with the green uppermost. [7] During 1940, a further three armoured divisions were formed; the 6th Armoured Division on 12 September,[8] the 8th on 4 November[9] and followed by the 9th on 1 December. The silk was sewn together and was flown from his tank 'Hilda' in which he led the Tank Corps into battle. In June '44 there was one 17pdr Firefly per troop, by the end of the war most troops had two. [48] The final change to the brigade and regiment was authorised on 18 January 1945, but was not implemented till May; it was to standardise all armour and tank brigades and regiments. The Support Group's motorised infantry battalions were transferred to the armoured brigades, each receiving one, while the Support Group was given a lorried infantry battalion, increasing the infantry strength of the division to three battalions. The regiment has been in existence since at least the 17 th and 18 th centuries when it was the primary organizational unit for an army. The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the First World War. It served with the British First Army and the British Eighth Army during the battles in Tunisia and Italy. Totaling 36 x … This resulted in a numerical inferiority to the number of infantry available to a Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions; the 1st and 12th SS Panzer Divisions, at the beginning of June 1944, were both around 20,000 men strong with a combat strength of around 12,000 men of which roughly 7,000 men were based within the 24 infantry companies. [24] In the United Kingdom, the Brigade Group was not adopted but the Support Group was abolished and an infantry brigade was added to the division to replace the second armoured brigade. The secondbattalionof the Territorial Army was designated as 2/6th West Surrey. During the early 1920s, the Tank Corps was augmented by 20 armoured car companies: twelve Regular Army, created using MGC elements; and eight Territorial Army (TA) created by the reduction and conversion of Yeomanry regiments. Although stocks were small, the General bought some lengths of silk-brown, red and green. The headquarters of each regiment was allocated 11 light tanks, while the squadrons themselves remained unchanged. Two regiments of the Territorial Army, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, provided replacement crews for the regular regiments. I am happy to cover all costs, if you are a family member or can put me in touch with them, please get in touch. Before the Second World War, Royal Tank Corps recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall. The light armoured brigade was to be composed of three light armoured regiments each consisting of 22 light cruisers, 36 light tanks, 24 officers, and 492 other ranks. Nothing was done about it until just before the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 when General Elles, wanting some distinguishing mark for his tank, went into a shop to buy material for a flag. Various changes were made to the armoured and armoured reconnaissance regiments, increasing the tank establishment of the division to 343 tanks; 223 cruisers, 25 anti-aircraft tanks, 24 close support tanks, 63 light tanks, and 8 Observation tanks. The infantry Brigade Group would consist of three motorised infantry battalions, an artillery regiment also with an integrated anti-tank battery, a light anti-aircraft battery, Royal Engineers and administration units. With the Firefly the British and Canadians had a weapon to compare with the powerful German anti-tank guns. [5] The formation of new battalions continued and, by December 1918, 26 had been created though only 25 battalions were equipped with tanks, as the 17th had converted to armoured cars in April 1918. Later in the campaign, as more Fireflys became available, the troops were issued with two. Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2.We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home. Formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps, it is part of the Royal Armoured Corps. The Mobile Division, supported Territorial Army Motor divisions each of two motorised infantry brigades supported by two artillery regiments but no tanks, was to then to create a breakthrough. Some had their main guns replaced with a dummy gun to allow additional radio equipment and a map table to be installed. All Armoured Regiment Assault Platoon Carrier Platoon Heavy Mortar Company Infantry AT Platoon Infantry Company Machine Gun Platoon Mortar Platoon Reconnaisance Regiment Parachute Company 1944 Royal Marine Commando Troop 1944. Canadian units converted to armoured regiments, in this new branch, were organized under the then current British war establishment for an armoured regiment, which called for the regiment to be organized, and consist of: a Regimental headquarters, of five officers and 12 other ranks, equipped with four cruiser tanks No change in uniform was possible during the war, but after a prolonged argument with the War Office, the black beret was approved by King George V on 5 March 1924. At the start of the Second World War, in September 1939, the British Army already possessed two armoured divisions; a further nine would be raised during the war, of which only two would not see service. It was designed to make use of the 17-Pdr in its original form, but had it mounted facing the rear of the tank. Formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps, it is part of the Royal Armoured Corps.

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