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Thread: BEF Tanks

  1. #1
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    Kessel, The Netherlands.
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    Question BEF Tanks

    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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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-%2...%20France).pdf
    http://www.armouredacorn.com/Refs-%2...%20France).pdf
    Last edited by leccy; 02-16-2009 at 03:21 PM. Reason: added links

  4. #4
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    Thanks, lots of interesting information, contradiciting some info I found earier.

    Cheers,
    Joppe

  7. #7
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    Alright,.. interesting,..
    A well, an interesting book to read.

    Cheers,
    Joppe

  13. #13
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Uyraell View Post
    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.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  14. #14
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/tlv/tlv2.htm
    Scroll down, it's a Mathilda Mk II. Very interesting photo in my opinion...

    Cheers,
    Joppe

  15. #15
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    Default Re: BEF Tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by jopped View Post
    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

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