British/Commonwealth Armoured Division


During the Autumn of 1942 armoured regiments in the Middle East began to be equipped with American Sherman tanks. The tank establishment of an armoured division with the armoured brigade so equipped was as follows:

HQ Armoured Division 8 Cruisers
2 AA Tanks
8 Tanks (Plus 2 AA Tanks)
HQ Armoured Brigade 8 Shermans 8 Tanks
Armoured Regiments (3) 52 Shermans
4 AA Tanks
156 Tanks
(Plus 12 AA Tanks)
  TOTAL 172 Tanks
(Plus 12 AA Tanks


Changes from February 1942 (Middle East):

The armoured division was now again to be the basic battle formation in the Middle East, instead of the brigade group. Armoured brigade groups were redesignated (with a few exceptions) and reorganized as armoured brigades. Division Royal Artillery was returned to Headquarters Division Royal Artillery. Another (third) Royal Horse Artillery or field regiment was added to Division Royal Artillery. Anti-tank and light anti-aircraft regiments were reformed and returned to Headquarters Division Royal Artillery. Royal Engineers with brigade groups returned to Headquarters Division Royal Engineers, and a second field squadron Royal Engineers was added. These changes involved the addition of one 25 pdr field regiment, one anti-tank regiment (less two batteries), one light anti-aircraft regiment (less two batteries) and one field squadron Royal Engineers. Also Headquarters Armoured Division and Headquarters Armoured Regiment was increased by two anti-aircraft tanks and four anti-aircraft tanks respectively (WE II/100?2 wef 26Aug1942).

Towards the end of the year in the Middle East, one machine gun battalion was split up into three infantry brigade support companies (later called Support Groups) between the three armoured divisions (1, 7 and 10). This arrangement was to comply with the WO authorization promulgated under WO Letter 20/Gen/6059 SD1 dated 30October1942. No armoured division support company was authorized.

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Chris Johnson, 1997