4RTR Tanks

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David W
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4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 22 Feb 2005 16:53

Has anyone got a list of tank reinforcements received by 4RTR post May 1941? Please.

Same info for 7RTR also needed.

Thanks :)

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David W
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Post by David W » 06 Mar 2005 01:32

Nearly 13,000 forum members, someone must know!!

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 15 Jul 2010 14:08

OK.
How about when they arrived in North Africa in December of 1940. Did they have a full compliment of 3 squadrons of Matildas ?

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 16 Jul 2010 12:02

David, Ohter than by comparing the returns from the 8th Army Tanks site that I know you have I can't help you. How about the Unit War Diary ? Do they have it in Bovington ?

http://web.archive.org/web/200010070504 ... index.html
Alan

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 Jul 2010 20:47

David,

I'm going to Kew on Wednesday and will look in WO169/237 - 4 RTR War Diary for Nov and Dec 1940 and see what it says about unit strength and organisation in Dec 1940. The only slight issue might be that there is a separate file (WO169/238) for 'B' Sqn, 4 RTR, was that the unit sent down to East Africa?

Regards

Tom

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Urmel
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Urmel » 18 Jul 2010 21:49

Alanmccoubrey wrote:David, Ohter than by comparing the returns from the 8th Army Tanks site that I know you have I can't help you. How about the Unit War Diary ? Do they have it in Bovington ?

http://web.archive.org/web/200010070504 ... index.html
I'd be careful with that link, there are some errors in there. But thanks for reminding me of it!
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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David W
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 19 Jul 2010 07:41

Tom.

That is VERY kind of you, as I'm sure you will have loads of your own research to do. :)
The only slight issue might be that there is a separate file (WO169/238) for 'B' Sqn, 4 RTR, was that the unit sent down to East Africa?
It was indeed.

If it helps, my main interest is when, and after thr Regiment is re-united in N.Africa in Dec '40.

Re-inforcements (tanks) received up to Nov '42 would also be useful, but I know that is a tall order!

What ever you get would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Urmel » 19 Jul 2010 08:22

David

There is conflicting information, but in any case I am sure they did not reunite in Dec. 40 but much later, since B Squadron was busy in Eritrea until spring. I am not sure they even participated in Battleaxe. They were sent to Tobruk between July and October I believe, with A Lighters reported to carry 48 heavy tanks in this period.



The 4 RTR website suggests they did not arrive in Egypt until 16 February 1941.

http://www.4rtr.com/

http://www.ian.a.paterson.btinternet.co ... r.htm#4RTR
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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David W
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 19 Jul 2010 23:05

Thanks JBond.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Jul 2010 18:08

David,

Went to Kew today and will post information later from 4 RTR 1941 war diary up to 'Battleaxe'. Briefly, although 4 RTR arrived in Egypt in Feb 41 it was without its tanks for quite a while and the detached squadron was missing until after 'Brevity', but entire unit took part in 'Battleaxe' and suffered heavy casualties.

I will also add details from Jentz's fantastic book "Tank Combat in North Africa: The Opening Rounds" which I only thought of checking late last night. Duh!! Will cross check his information with the War Diary as he does not always make clear what is quoted and what he has summarised and gives no detailed references.

Regards

Tom

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Jul 2010 19:24

WO171/1413 - 4 RTR War Diary 1941

Left Durban on 29 Jan 41 on H.M.T. 'City of London'.
Arrived Port Tewfik, Egypt on 16 Feb 41.
Then individual training and assistance to other units as 'A' and 'B' vehicles had not arrived.

21 Apr 41 - Parties sent to Suez to unload Bn tanks and wheeled vehicles.

Rail party that left Suez on 28 Apr 41 included 33 infantry tanks, 6 light tanks and 6 TPCs.

30 Apr 41 - Remaining tanks less four tanks damaged in accident arrived destination [Maaten Bagush]

1-2 May 41 - Bn, less one sqn, assembled at Maaten Bagush under orders Desert Force.

17 May - [After Op 'Brevity'] Unfit tanks and remainder of wheels were ordered to concentrate at Matruh...

20 May - Six new tanks received from Alexandria.
21 May - Ten new tanks received from Alexandria.
24 May - 'B' Squadron rejoined Bn for administration, coming under operational command Desert Force.

Jentz:

B Squadron, 4 RTR arrived at Alexandria on 4 May 1941, and their tanks were taken into workshops in Wardian for a complete overhaul.
He notes that 4 RTR received 16 Mk.IIA infantry tanks on 21 May 41 to replace 'casualties and breakdowns' and that 'B' Squadron moved forward 'completely equipped' from Sidi Bishir on 24 May 41 to join up with the 4th R.T.R. near the border.

Although it seems clear that Jentz used this war diary for most of his reports about 4 RTR, there are a few anomalies in dates and I don't know where he got his information as to the exact Mark of the tanks. As far as I could see, the Bn war diary simply stated "infantry tanks".

Hope that is of some use. When I next go to Kew (probably before Xmas), let me know what else I could look for you. Although my main interest is later in the war, I have always been interested in the North African campaign and, as here, will probably find 'lessons learnt' in reports that go someway to explaining what the Home Forces were doing in training.

Regards

Tom

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David W
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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 22 Jul 2010 00:01

Tom.

That is superb! Many thanks.
( I wish I could remember to whom I leant my only copy of Jentz!).

I may take you up on your kind offer too!

Thanks again.

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by David W » 22 Jul 2010 00:20

If it's not pushing my luck, does anyone know when in 1942 the Regiment received it's Valentines?

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Urmel » 23 Jul 2010 08:47

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Although it seems clear that Jentz used this war diary for most of his reports about 4 RTR, there are a few anomalies in dates and I don't know where he got his information as to the exact Mark of the tanks. As far as I could see, the Bn war diary simply stated "infantry tanks".
It's not that difficult since there should only be a choice of one. ;) Infantry Tank Mk.II. Mk. I never went to the desert, Mk. III did not arrive until later, and was not issued to 4 RTR in 1941, AFAIK.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: 4RTR Tanks

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Jul 2010 20:33

David,

have you looked in Bryan Perrett's "Valentine in North Africa"?

Tom

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