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british tank regiment organisation ww2

The practice lapsed during the Second World War, but was re-introduced in the 1950s. 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. [47], The initial April 1938 Tank Brigade establishment was for the brigade to muster 175 tanks; each of its three battalions comprising 57 tanks, 29 officers, and 484 other ranks. The regimental colours are Brown, Red and Green. Notionally in this timeframe, a regiment consisted of 1,000 personnel and was commanded by a Colonel. The formation of the Royal Tank Regiment followed the invention of the tank. 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. In April 1939, the Mobile Division was renamed the 1st Armoured Divisionand the Mobile Division (Egypt) was named the Armoured Division (E… Brigade operated independent of divisions during various periods of the war, on 23 April 1944 the brigade was redesignated 1st Tank Brigade and placed in suspended animation on 18 November 1944 after its personnel were provided to other units as reinforcements. 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. Formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps, it is part of the Royal Armoured Corps. The brigade headquarters was issued four cruiser tanks and the battalion headquarters four infantry tanks. [18] The support group provided whatever support the armoured brigades needed to the operation in hand, being able to provide motorised infantry, field artillery, anti-tank artillery or light anti-aircraft artillery as needed. The difference between an armoured and tank brigade were the tanks they were issued. [15], The Regiment's numerous units took part in countless battles in the Second World War, including the Battle of Dunkirk, El Alamein, Italian Campaign, Burma Campaign and D-Day landings of 6 June 1944. Became an independent formation following September 1943. Such sticks came to have a new and more important use with the introduction of tanks, which often became 'bogged' on battlefields, particularly in Flanders. [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. [25], Prior to the Battle of Alam el Halfa, in August–September 1942, the armoured divisions in North Africa were again authorised to change; the armoured division became the basic battle formation again and the Brigade Groups were reorganised as they had previously. [17], On 2 August 2014, 1RTR and 2RTR amalgamated at Bulford, and for the first time in its history the Royal Tank Regiment became a "Single Battalion" Regiment. Below is a schematic image of a late war British Armoured Regiment. The secondbattalionof the Territorial Army was designated as 2/6th West Surrey. 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. The 9th Royal Tank Regiment (9 RTR) was an armoured regiment of the British Army active during the Second World War. 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. Only 33rd Brigade was not originally part of an armoured division but was a tank brigade converted to an armoured brigade. [19][20] Unlike the other Type 56 Challenger 2 Regiments, the RTR has an integrated CBRN reconnaissance squadron operating the Fuchs reconnaissance vehicle. 5 Company: 6th Royal Tank Regiment: No. [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 British Armoured formations of World War II refers to the armoured divisions and independent armoured and tank brigades deployed by the British Army during the Second World War. [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. [16], Between May 1939 and May 1945, there were nine changes in the organisation of the divisions. [4] At that time the six tank companies were grouped as the Heavy Section of the Machine Gun Corps (MGC). The next change (on paper) was made in April 1940; the established tank strength of the division was reduced to 340 tanks by changes in the armoured regiments, the two armoured brigades now became homogeneous, dropping their prefixes and the division's engineers were removed from the Support Group becoming divisional troops under their own headquarters. Royal Tank Regiment . Anti-Tank Regiment, 4 batteries, each of 3 troops of 4 guns. 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. Between the wars some efforts were made to make the Australian Army organisation the same as the Brits. 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. Reformed from an armoured brigade on 15 January 1943, Formed from reorganisation of 10th Armoured Brigade, operated independently during various periods of its existence; it never served overseas, Independent formation bar when attached to, Independent formation from formation but did not serve overseas, was redesignated as the 23rd Armoured Brigade and reorganised, Independent formation from formation but did not serve overseas, was redesignated as the 24th Armoured Brigade and reorganised, Independent formation for most of its existence, the brigade headquarters was redesignated as the. At present, the British Army has 47 regular and reserve infantry battalions. [41] However, these authorised changes to the basic structure did not mean the brigades conformed to each paper reorganisation and the actual changes sometimes took place prior or after their authorisation. This organisation was used in both the Sherman and Cromwell regiments of the Armoured Divisions and the independent tank brigades. 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. Over 40% of the soldiers of the British Army in NWE were in the artillery. An armoured division contained 4 armoured regiments, three equipped with Shermans, and the Recce Regt with Cromwells. 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. [26], In April 1943, the Armoured Car Regiment was removed from the division structure and replaced with an Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment. Tank Destroyers were organised into fours. 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. More engineers were added to the division. The division was supported by a Pivot Group of two motorised infantry battalions and two artillery regiments. [21] In January 1941, the 1st Armoured Division, the best equipped armoured division in the United Kingdom, was 30 per cent below its tank establishment and was equipped with many obsolescent light tanks. 23rd Brigade part of 8th Armoured and 27th Brigade the 9th Armoured. H Watson 5th Btn. 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). Royal Tank Regiment . The tank establishment was increased to 278 tanks; 214 cruisers, 34 anti-aircraft tanks and 30 close support tanks. Both regiments continued deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with the final tour to Afghanistan taking place in 2013. For tactical reasons, the battle formation in the Middle East became the Brigade Group, the division would now operate two Brigade Groups. 'The British Garrison Berlin 1945-1994', W. Durie, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 05:38. 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. The brigade headquarters had six light cruisers and four heavy cruisers allocated to it, while each regimental headquarters had four light cruisers. 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. 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. In January 1945, the final change was made to the tank brigade; they were to be redesignated armoured brigades and be reorganised along to the final armour brigade structure as authorised on 18 January.[50]. 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 first formation formed had been the Mobile Division in October 1937 followed a year later, in the wake of the Munich Crisis, by the Mobile Division (Egypt). 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. 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. The same organisation was used for the infantry battalions of the infantry brigades of both Infantry and Armoured divisions. On 5 July 2012, it was announced that the two operational regiments, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment (1RTR) and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (2RTR), would be amalgamated in 2014 to form a single regiment, to be called simply The Royal Tank Regiment. 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