British Armoured Divisions

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yantaylor
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British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 20 Apr 2017 13:54

Hi everyone.
I was reading a book last week titled "The Polar Bears, from Normandy to the relief of Holland with the 49th division" by Patrick Delaforce.
The divisions nick name [the polar bears] was a new to me because I didn't think the British had nick names for their divisions.

Did they have nick names for their armoured divisions too?

1st Armoured Division.
2nd Armoured Division.
6th Armoured Division.
7th Armoured Division [maybe the desert rats].
8th Armoured Division.
9th Armoured Division.
10th Armoured Division.
42nd Armoured Division.
79th Armoured Division.
Guards Armoured Division.

Thanks for any help.
Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Gary Kennedy » 20 Apr 2017 14:16

Actually you've skipped one of those with a name - 11th Armoured Division 'the Black Bull'.

Oddly enough I can't bring many more to mind. 7th was most certainly 'the deserts rats' and 6th is referred to as 'mailed fist' on occasion. Some of the Armd Divs were of short duration, so not too much time to develop an identity and a nickname to go with.

Gary

Michael Kenny
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Michael Kenny » 20 Apr 2017 14:28

As the 'nickname' was derived simply from the Divisional Insignia it really did not have much impact of Regiments with hundreds of years of history behind them. 'Desert Rats' was a term for all of 8th Army and later narrowed to one Division but other units had Desert Regiments that could also be called Desert Rats. Think of the modern method of trying to form a 'Corporate Identity' to understand the logic behind nicknames. Perhaps also of a highly paid footballer one day speaking of his eternal bond with his current football club and the next extolling the virtues of the new club that bought him for 6 Trillion whatever and to whom he now pledges his total devotion................

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 20 Apr 2017 15:54

Whoops, I can't believe I missed the 11th AD.
Thanks lads, I thought that nick names were not that commonly found in British armoured divisions.
Yan.

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Kingfish
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Kingfish » 20 Apr 2017 17:03

Not sure if it was an official nickname, but the 79th was referred as 'Hobart's funnies'
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 21 Apr 2017 11:53

They was known by that name KF, probably to do with the range of strange AVFs they had.
I am sure the US Army turned down the offer of such funnies on d-day, but I am sure I read somewhere that they were impressed with the Sherman firefly, but the British couldn't produce enough 17 pdrs for both armies.
Yan.

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 21 Apr 2017 13:03

I have just been going through some data and I am missing some stuff regarding the 22nd Armoured Brigade.
Did it start life as the 22nd Armoured Brigade then the 200th Guards Brigade Group, and finally the 201st Guard Motor Brigade Group?

I am interested in the time it spent as part of the 1st Armoured Division, plus what units were in the Brigade and who commanded the brigade.

Thanks for any help.
Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Gary Kennedy » 21 Apr 2017 14:25

Are we talking about 22nd Armoured Brigade, which was a different formation to the Guards Brigades mentioned?

If so 22 Armd Bde served under a variety of HQs in the Middle East from late 1941 before becoming a permanent part of 7th Armd Div in Sep42. It stayed with the Division through its short spell in Italy and then on through NWE. 2 Royal Glos Hussars and 3 CLY (Sharpshooters) were in the Bde from Sep39 to Sep42, and 4 CLY from Sep39 to Jul44, while 2 KRRC provided the Mot Bn from Oct40 to Aug41.

22 Guards Bde formed in Egypt in Feb41, became 200 Gds Bde and then 200 Guards Mot Bde Gp by Apr42. It changed again to 201 Guards Mot Bde Gp, before being lost at Tobruk in Jun42. It was reformed and after a tour in Italy returned to the UK in Apr44.

I tend to associate 'Hobart's Funnies' with the machines of 79th Armd Div, rather than as a nickname for the formation itself. Re the use of such equipment with US forces, I think that Richard Anderson has provided plenty of info on the 'US turned them down' story both in print and on this forum, so worth looking up. From memory I think it more came down to simply numbers of flails and AVREs available, and the limits on shipping space. Talking about main gun armament for normal US tanks leads to much distraction and distress on internet forums from what I've observed over the years...

Gary

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 21 Apr 2017 15:57

Gary, Wikipedia has these titles and dates for the units which served in the 1st armoured division.

22nd Armoured Brigade (14 April 1940 to 7 November 1941)
200th Guards Brigade Group (12 February 1942 to 20 May 1942)
201st Guards Brigade Group (21 May 1942 to 14 June 1942)

These dates correspond with the excellent info provided by you above, so I think the info I seek is from the period before it was lost at Tobruk.
The question is, who commanded the unit on these dates and did the same formations serve in each of the brigades?

Thanks
Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Gary Kennedy » 21 Apr 2017 16:42

This is the info from Joslen re 22 Guards Brigade -

Formed Egypt 11Feb41 as 22 Inf Bde
Re-designated 22 Gds Bde 20Mar41
Re-des 200 Gds Bde 14Jan42
Re-des 200 Gds Mot Bde Gp 6Apr42
Re-des 201 Gds Mot Bde Gp 25May42
Captured in Tobruk 20Jun42

Commanders;

Brig I D Erskine 11Feb41
Lt-col J Moubray 5Oct41
Brig JCO Marriott 20Oct41
Brig GF Johnson 17Jun42 (POW 20Jun42)

Units;

2 Scots Gds 28Feb41 to 01Oct41, then again 14Dec41 to 14Jun42
3 Coldm Gds 11Mar41 to 20Jun42
9 Rifle Bde 29Sep41 to 14Dec41, then again 14Jan42 to 04Jun42
1 DLI 28Feb41 to 23May41
1 Buffs 07Jun41 to 21Sep41
22 Gds Bde Atk Coy 01Jun41 to 28Jul41

Group units;

2 RHA 21Apr42 to 16Jun42
1 Fd Sqn, RE 21Apr42 to 16Jun42

903 Coy RASC
5 Lt Fd Amb RAMC
Ord Coy (workshops)
Provost Sec
Postal Unit

The bulk of these unit changed their full title to include 201 Bde from 200 Bde on 24/25May42

Just to be sure, if Wiki is saying that 22 Armd Bde actually converted to 22 Gds Bde, which then became 200 and 201 Bde, it is wrong as they were two entirely different formations.

Gary

Knouterer
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Knouterer » 21 Apr 2017 17:09

yantaylor wrote:Gary, Wikipedia has these titles and dates for the units which served in the 1st armoured division.

22nd Armoured Brigade (14 April 1940 to 7 November 1941)
200th Guards Brigade Group (12 February 1942 to 20 May 1942)
201st Guards Brigade Group (21 May 1942 to 14 June 1942)

These dates correspond with the excellent info provided by you above, so I think the info I seek is from the period before it was lost at Tobruk.
The question is, who commanded the unit on these dates and did the same formations serve in each of the brigades?

Thanks
Yan.


I believe that's not quite correct as regards the 22nd AB; this bde was originally part of the 2nd Armoured Division (Major General J. C. Tilly) and consisted at that time (summer/autumn 1940) of the 3rd and 4th City of London Yeomanry and the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, all equipped with light tanks (Mk VIb, Mk VIc, "Dutchmen" and possibly a few Mk IV or V). In October, as the 2nd AD prepared to move to North Africa, it swapped the 22nd AB with the 1st AD in return for the 3rd AB. This exchange was apparently popular with the latter division as all the tank regiments were now cavalry (as opposed to RTR).
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 22 Apr 2017 11:47

That's info is great Gary and thanks.
That also is very interesting Knouterer, and very helpful.

I may try and compose the composition of all the British armoured division used during WW2, I know that it is a task in itself because they seem to swap brigades almost as much as they swap commanders, but I will give it a go.

Thanks all and I will keep you posted on my efforts
Yan.

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 22 Apr 2017 12:09

During its time serving with the 1 armoured (14th April 1940 to 4th November 1941), was the 22 AB structured this way and commanded by these men?

2nd Battalion Scots Guards (28th February to 1st October 1941 & 14th December 1941 to 16th June 1942)
1st Battalion Durham Light Infantry (28th February to 23rd May 1941)
3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards (11th March 1941 to 20th June 1942)
22nd Guards Brigade Anti-Tank Company (1st June to 28th July 1941)
1st Battalion Buffs (7th June 1941 to 21st September 1941)
9th Battalion Rifle Brigade (29th September to 14th December 1941 & 14th January to 4th June 1942)

Gary Kennedy
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby Gary Kennedy » 22 Apr 2017 13:43

No, because as detailed earlier, the units in the above post were part of 22nd Infantry Brigade, which became 22nd Guards Brigade. That was a totally different and physically separate formation to 22nd Armoured Brigade. 22nd Guards Brigade was re-designated as 200th Guards Brigade and there was no longer a 22nd Infantry or Guards Brigade on the books.

22nd Armoured Brigade was a pre-war formation that served continually throughout the 1939-45 conflict.

Gary

yantaylor
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Re: British Armoured Divisions

Postby yantaylor » 22 Apr 2017 14:32

Gary, I think I must be getting confused here mate, so can I please start again.

Was the the 22nd guards brigade a part of the 1st armoured division between the dates 14th April 1940 to 4th November 1941 and this in turn was re-named the 200th and later the 201st brigade?

If so I need the units and commanders of this brigade during its time serving with the 1st armoured division and if these units changed when it was re-designated the 200th and later the 201st brigade.

Yan.


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