British Armoured Divisions

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yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 10 May 2017 13:56

How do you find info on RAMC, Intelligence Corps and Veterinary units, as I have been piecing together all the units which formed the British 1st cavalry division.
It looked as if it had three field ambulance units [RAMC]
Intelligence Corps [which would be more like a platoon]
Veterinary units
Headquarters, Supply and Transport Group
Ammunition and Petroleum Company
Supply Column

Now would all these units have a numerical designation?

Thanks
Yan

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 10 May 2017 20:00

Layout as per Joslen gives

HQ Cav Div
Int Corps
Cav Div Sigs

Three Bdes, each -

Cav Bde HQ
Three Cav Regts
Mob Vet Sec

Div Tps -

Three Regts, RHA
Fd Sqn, RE
Fd Pk Tp, RE

S&T -

HQ RASC
Cav Div Amn & Pet Coy
Cav Div Sup Col

Med -

Three Cav Fd Ambs
Cav Fd Hyg Sec

Misc -

Pro Coy
Postal Unit

Joslen leaves Wksps and Ord blank but there was a WE for a Cav Div Wksp RAOC of 01Nov39

The Int Corps element for a Cav Div was 3 officers, 2 WOs, 2 Sjts and 9 R&F, 16 all ranks, so not quite a Platoon.

Gary

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Sheldrake » 11 May 2017 00:35

yantaylor wrote:So do we have two 95mm CS tanks serving in France 1944?

Cromwell VI 27M CS [Cromwell regiments]
Centaur VI 27L CS [Royal Marine Support Units]

I have found that the Centaur CS was first produced in 1943, but some sites list the Cromwell CS to be 1944, which again seems wrong to me.

Yan.
There were three, not two, types of 95mm CS tanks serving in France in 1944

There was a Churchill Mk VIII CS tank with the 95mm howitzer

The Centaur and Cromwell are different names for what were really two variants of the same tank, the A27L (centaur) and A27M Cromwell. The Centaur A27L was produced first, with the 340 hp Liberty engine because the 600hp meteor wass not ready in time. The vast majority of the Centaurs were scrapped without issue to units. Only the 95mm variants were used, and then just for the disposable formation deployed for D Day. If you look at the performance of the battery that was attached to 6th AB Division for the breakout you can understand why. Within 24 hours of mobile operations most of them had broken down.

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 May 2017 00:49


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Sheldrake
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Sheldrake » 11 May 2017 08:51

Michael Kenny wrote:CS Unit history

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/th ... r+markings
This is the telling paragraph
The River DIVES was crossed on 22 Aug, and that afternoon the Canadian
guns went into action again at a point (441094) south of DEAUVILLE, using an
O.P. established in one of the town's hotels. Steering and brake trouble had
left five Centaurs stranded along the road, and two of the unit's three
Shermans had been put out of action by mines.
Next day the battery, leaving
Belgian command, moved to the LA HAIE TONDUE rendezvous (see para. 30) and on
the afternoon of 24 Aug crossed the TOUQUES River in support of an Armoured
Recce Regt (ibid: 24 Aug 44. Designation of unit not given). Further
breakdowns had reduced the battery's total armour strength to one Sherman, two
Centaurs and one Cromwell tank, the last-named borrowed from the Recce Regt.

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Clive Mortimore » 14 May 2017 13:19

The Centaur CS tanks used by the Royal Marines were originally going to be engineless tanks tethered to the decks of the landing graft (LCT5A if I remember correctly) only later did Montgomery suggest they be landed and used in support of the assault units. They were used as fire support on the run in and as the other landing craft were unloaded. On the beaches they were used as gun tanks instead of their intended role as close support artillery. As the Normandy campaign continued they were used as self propelled artillery. Some were even issued to anti-aircraft regiments to boost the field artillery fire power.

The 11th Hussars regimental history states that they were given some 95mm tanks to replace their 75mm Autocar SPs when the barrels were worn. I am not sure if it was a reissue of the Centaurs or they were Cromwells.

Not too bad a combat history for vehicles no body wanted.
Clive

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 14 May 2017 14:31

Thanks every one.

Gary I want to ask you a favour my friend, does Joslen give the supporting units for the British armoured divisions?
You posted some great info on the 1st cavalry division which gave information on minor units like the ones below;

HQ RASC
Div Amn & Pet Coy
Div Sup Col
Fd Ambs
Fd Hyg Sec
Pro Coy
Postal Unit

Do you have similar for the armoured divisions?
Thanks
Ian.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 14 May 2017 16:06

Well the format of the Armoured Division changed multiple times, as I'm sure you know already, so it depends on when you're looking at. The quickest examples re 1940 and 1944-45.

1940 Armoured Div;

HQ Armd Div
(Intelligence Corps attachment)

Armd Div Sigs

HQ Armd Bde
Three Lt Armd Regts

HQ Armd Bde
Three Hy Armd Regts/Bns

HQ Sp Gp
Regt, RHA
LAA/Atk Regt
Two Mot Bns

Fd Sqn, RE
Fd Pk Tp, RE

HQ, Armd Div RASC
Armd Div Tps Coy
Lt Armd Bde Coy
Hy Armd Bde Coy
Sp Gp Coy

Two Lt Fd Ambs
Fd Hygiene Sec

Armd Div Wksp, RAOC

Pro Coy
Postal Unit

* Notes, Lt and Hy Armd Regt distinctions gone in 1940, all now Armd Regts with a mix of tanks. Mot Bns moved from Sp Gp to Armd Bdes, RE moved from Sp Gp same time. RASC Coys renamed to Armd Bde Coys as appropriate. Wksp included LADs.

1944 Armoured Div;

HQ Armd Div
Employment Pl
Fd Security Sec

Armd Div Sigs
Armd Recce Regt
Indep MG Coy

HQ Armd Bde
Three Armd Regts
Mot Bn

HQ Inf Bde
Grd Def Pl
Three Inf Bns

HQ Armd Div Arty
Fd Regt (SP)
Fd Regt
Atk Regt
LAA Regt

Two Fd Sqns, RE
Fd Pk Sqn, RE
Br Tp, RE

Cmdr, RASC
Armd Bde Coy
Inf Bde Coy
Armd Div Tps Coy
Armd Div Tpt Coy

Lt Fd Amb
Fd Amb
Fd Dressing Stn
Fd Hyg Sec

Div Ord Fd Pk, RAOC

Cmdr, REME
Armd Bde Wksp
Inf Bde Wksp
LAA Wksp
12 LADs (1 Type "A", 5 "B", 4 "C", 2 "D")

Pro Coy
Div Postal Unit

* Notes, Fwd Del Sqn became permanent attachment to Div. Armd Car Regt became permanent attachment to Div. Counter Mortar Officer's Staff (CMO) added to Div from late 1944 in 21AG. No Indep MG Coy in Armd Divs in Italy.

Joslen doesn't give detail on service units in the Divisions, but will on formations such as a Bde Gp or something similar. Jean Bouchery's book on 21AG does specify the units providing S&T, Medical, Workshops, etc.

Gary

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 14 May 2017 20:25

Thanks Gary, its a shame that Joslen excludes that information in his book, as I was talking to a ex US officer on line last week who said that these units should be numbered in the way that other units are, example the divisional postal unit should be something like "4th divisional postal unit" unless they all have the same number as the division they are part off, say the postal unit in the 7th armoured would be called the "7th divisional postal unit".

When you wrote Cmdr REME and RASC, is that the unit in overall command of that formation rather like a HQ?

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 18 May 2017 13:38

I had a look through Bouchery's book and did a few internet searches and came to the following conclusion (while also being more than a little annoyed with myself for not knowing the proper designation system).

Units specific to a Division, such as Provost Coy and Postal Unit, and probably Ordnance Field Park, would carry the same number as the Division (or if appropriate Brigade) they formed part of. REME Workshops would similarly carry the number of the Brigade they served.

RASC and RAMC units though did not link their numbering to the Bde/Div they served, though there are a couple of examples of a Field Ambulance sharing the number of an Inf Bde in its Div.

Regarding the terms Cmdr REME or RASC, within a Div there was a Commander RASC (CRASC) with his own HQ to oversee the various RASC Coys within the Div, likewise a Commander REME (CREME) who oversaw all Workshops and LADs.

Gary

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 18 May 2017 14:44

Gary are you an author by any chance?

That is very interesting information above, I will give both the Provost and Post the same number as the division they served.

Thanks
Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 18 May 2017 16:22

I did a series for Military Press a few years back now, nothing to rival Harry Potter but enjoyable all the same.

I almost forgot, there was an answer re the 6th Armd Div question via WW2talk. The Heavy Support Group was formed from Riflemen after 61 Bde was reorganised, and was indeed a modification of an Indep MG Coy (having two MMG Pls and two 4.2-in mortar Pls). What no one could cast light on was where the MX/Middlesex title came from when it was renamed Heavy Support Coy, as it appears to have had no links with the regiment whatsoever.

Gary

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 07 Jun 2017 14:48

Hi everyone.
I have just been looking into the details of the British 1st Heavy Armoured Brigade circa 1939 and some of the data I have has the commander down as Brigadier V.V. Pope, but when I searched for data on what date he took over command of this bridge, it came up with no knowledge of this officer ever commanding this unit, it has him down for the 3rd Light Armoured Brigade but not the 1 HAB.

Has there been an error here?

Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Jun 2017 20:11

Joslen shows -

1st Light Armd Bde; Brig CWM Norrie from 03Sep39 to 17Apr40, then Col CF Ledward as acting CO

1st Heavy Armd Bde; Brig VV Pope from 03Sep39 to 20Apr40, then Brig JT Crocker

Both formations show as being redesignated as 1st and 3rd Armd Bdes respectively on 14Apr40

Gary

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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Post by yantaylor » 08 Jun 2017 11:34

Thank you Gary, first class as always.

Yan.

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