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jopped
02-16-2009, 08:40 AM
Hi all,

I'm new here. My name is Joppe, I live in Kessel and I am a scale modeller and WWII enthusiast. My special interest goes out to British armour.

Here is my question.
In may 1940, the 1st armoured division was landed in France.
How was this unid organized, what vehicles were used by what unids, and what were the AoS (Arm of Service) markings? (That are the numbers in a coloured square seen often on British vehicles).

Hope anyone can share some light on this.

Thanks in advance,
Joppe

jopped
02-16-2009, 01:46 PM
Okee, this is what I found out googling:).

2nd armoured brigade.
The Quee`s Bay's, (2nd Dragoon Guards). (red square, white 4)
9th Queen`s Royal Lancers. (red square, white 5)
10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales` own). (red square, white 6)

3rd armoured brigade.
2nd Battalion RTR. (green square, white 8)
3rd Battalion RTR. (green square, white 9)
5th Battalion RTR. (green square, white 10)

I however still need information on what vehicles were used by what unids.
Could anyone please shine a line on this?

Thanks for any info,
Joppe

leccy
02-16-2009, 03:10 PM
Its not much and focuses on a single battle really but may help a little

On 21st May 1940 Arras

1st Army Tank Brigade comprising of 4th and 7th RTR

58 Mk I (Matilda I) Infantry Tanks (some equipped with Vickers 0.5" Machine Gun)
16 Mk II (Matilda II) Infantry Tanks (Belonging to 7 RTR but split between the 2 Regiments)
Approx 12 Mk VIb Light Tanks

http://www.armouredacorn.com/Refs-%20Thumbprints%20&%20Images/NCVM/NCVM%20Part%2023%20(BEF%20in%20France).pdf
http://www.armouredacorn.com/Refs-%20Thumbprints%20&%20Images/NCVM/NCVM%20Part%2031%20(BEF%20in%20France).pdf

jopped
02-16-2009, 04:40 PM
Thanks! That's very usefull info. I added the site of the PDF's to my vavorites!
Later in the war, Regiment HQ had Humber Scout Cars and Stuarts. I know Daimler armoured cars were available in 1940. Were these attached to the 1st armoured division, and in what way?

Was there a serten way that the different Cruiser and light tanks were devided over the Squadrons and/or regiments?

Cheers,
Joppe

leccy
02-17-2009, 02:03 PM
Little site I just found that may help out seems quite good at first perousal.

http://truxmodels.co.uk/index.html

with more detail

http://truxmodels.co.uk/page120.html

jopped
02-17-2009, 03:58 PM
Thanks, lots of interesting information, contradiciting some info I found earier.

Cheers,
Joppe

leccy
02-18-2009, 02:05 PM
I have found lots of contradicting information from around that time as units were moved and had parts swapped with others in all the disjointed actions during the battle for France in 1940

jopped
02-18-2009, 02:35 PM
A well, I think my main questions are awnsered by now...
I know regiments used daimler scout cars, A-13's, A-10's, A-9's and Vickers light tank Mk VI's.

Realy learned a lot the last few days, thanks for that!

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
02-18-2009, 09:54 PM
The problem you're going to find with that period is that half the time the British themselves don't know. A hell of a lot of regimental records were destroyed on the way to and at Dunkirk. Surviving records are those that existed in Britain. Those don't always reflect the "on the ground" realities in day-to-day terms.

One of the Best Sources I have found was the biography on Allenby, by Arthur Bryant.
I've read both halves, and the first is relevant to your line of research.

Hope this info helps point you in a useful direction.

Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
02-25-2009, 01:43 PM
Indeed you are right. I just today read some article on the Arras attack, on another topic here, about the Mathilda. To me as a modeller, however, there is a bright side to this, and that is that I can use my fantasie and imagination a little bit...

Thanks for the tip on the book.
I have a book, more a story, of a Mathilda crew in France, who become seperated from the regiment and get behind enemy lines. They make a run for it behind the German army's, and make it to Dunkirk. I think it's fiction, but I can't be sure.

The book's called Tank on the Run (free translation from the dutch title) and it's written by Colin Forbes. The Mathilda is well described it being an Mk II, with a 2 pounder gun, as is the German Blitz Krieg tactic, which seems to be historical correct.

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
02-26-2009, 06:58 AM
I have the same book. The English title is "Tramp in armour." It is "nominally" fiction.
Why I characterise it thus is that it takes several details from known accounts of the retreat to Dunkirk and has those events occur to one crew.
The events themselves are by and large valid as events. They did not all happen to one lone tank and crew though.

Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
02-26-2009, 01:47 PM
Alright,.. interesting,..
A well, an interesting book to read.

Cheers,
Joppe

pdf27
02-26-2009, 02:53 PM
The problem you're going to find with that period is that half the time the British themselves don't know. A hell of a lot of regimental records were destroyed on the way to and at Dunkirk. Surviving records are those that existed in Britain. Those don't always reflect the "on the ground" realities in day-to-day terms.
The Grandfather of one of my Army mates was captured after the Battle of Arras (I think!). His battalion was essentially wiped out at the time, with all but a handful being killed or captured. Information about taht unit didn't get back to the UK until after 1945.

jopped
02-26-2009, 02:56 PM
http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/tlv/tlv2.htm
Scroll down, it's a Mathilda Mk II. Very interesting photo in my opinion...

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
02-27-2009, 04:59 AM
http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/tlv/tlv2.htm
Scroll down, it's a Mathilda Mk II. Very interesting photo in my opinion...

Cheers,
Joppe

Thank you:) indeed a most interesting picture.
It seems they are planning to put it back into service.

Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
02-27-2009, 09:21 AM
I think the jerry's seen here are just curious infantery who take the chanse of looking inside a tank. What about the open engine deck? Would the British crew have removed some parts from the engine so the German's couldn't use it?

Also barely visibly, the tank is camoflaged. Look at the different shades of colour on GALAHAD and the T number. It's also visible at the front, where the white square is.

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
02-28-2009, 07:16 AM
I think the jerry's seen here are just curious infantery who take the chanse of looking inside a tank. What about the open engine deck? Would the British crew have removed some parts from the engine so the German's couldn't use it?

Also barely visibly, the tank is camoflaged. Look at the different shades of colour on GALAHAD and the T number. It's also visible at the front, where the white square is.

Cheers,
Joppe

Standard Operational Procedure would be to remove or smash either the rotor from the distributor, the brushes from the generator/alternator or both, along with smashing the fuel pump.

However: even assuming the crew took the time to do so (and many, many did not) those parts are relatively easily replaced, it being that precisely those parts are most easily replaced by commercial equivalents off trucks or buses for example. As similar abandoning of vehicles later took place in Tunisia/Libya etc it seems fairly obvious that a vehicle could be put back into service with relative ease, even if standard procedure was followed.

If you are a mechanical engineer tasked with putting an enemy back in service there is usually a way to do so, given availability of components adaptable to the vehicle's needs.

I know of one circumstance where three Pz3's were put back into service by the Brits in Nth Africa: a neighbour of Mine was one of the guys that did that job at that time. One of the Pz3's was running with parts from two different Brit trucks: the fuelpump off one, and the distributor off another.

That example led me to think the pic on the site may well have been a similar case, or one in-the-making, so to speak.

As to the camouflage, at the 1940 stage there were basically two standard UK patterns in existence, but neither seems to have been very rigidly adhered-to. One is an irregular series of dark or earth brown splotches on a dark green basecoat, the other replaces the dark brown with a dark charcoal giving the effect of a matte black. Neither seems to have been uncommon, but again neither seems to have been enforced/imposed upon 2BEF Units in 1940.

Wiser heads than mine may be able to answer camouflage questions in greater detail.

Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
02-28-2009, 10:52 AM
Well, so far you've proven yourself to be a great teacher to me! Many thanks.

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
03-01-2009, 03:32 AM
Well, so far you've proven yourself to be a great teacher to me! Many thanks.

Cheers,
Joppe

My friend, I'm just glad the fragments of knowledge I have are of some use to you. :)
You are more than welcome, though I do admit to occasional lapses of memory: some stuff mentioned in these pages I haven't so much as thought of in over 25 years.

Kind Regards, Uyraell.