Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by DavidW, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    What happened to 2 R/T/R after it was withdrawwn from North Africa in early February 1942, and did it ever return?
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the subsequent history of 2nd RTR:
  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    7th Armoured Brigade – 6 September 1941 to 31 August 1945
    It returned to the brigade on September 6th 1941 in Egypt. It crossed in Libya at the start of the Crusader offensive on November 18th. It started the Crusader battles with 52 A13s and some A10s, but was down to 12 tanks after Sidi Rezegh. After Sidi Rezegh, a “Composite Regiment of 22nd Armoured Brigade” was formed on November 28th that had one squadron of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and two squadrons from mixed battalions. It returned to Abbassia on November 29th. It performed guard duties in the Cairo area until it began to receive Stuart tanks in early January 1942, being fully equipped by the end of January 1942. It embarked at Suez for Malaya on February 1st 1942 but was diverted to Ceylon on February 9th. After a short stay it left there on the 15th and landed at Rangoon, Burma on February 21st. It fought in the withdrawal to India, where it arrived on June 1st, having lost all of its tanks.
    The brigade made it way to the Dhond area to rebuild. It left India on October 9th 1942 for the Middle East and arrived in Iraq a week later. It moved to Latifiya Camp near Baghdad and began to reequip with tanks. Gradually the battalion was fully equipped with Sherman tanks after receiving some ‘odds and sods’ at first. It left Iraq on May 9th and moved to Sarafand Camp in Palestine to continue training but moved to Aleppo in Syria by June 3rd. It continued to train until embarking for Italy on April 29th, 1944 and served there until crossing into Austria on May 19th 1945. On December 1st 1944 the battalion had 24 M4A1s, 18 M4A1s (76mm), 6 M4s (105mm), 1 M4A4 (17-pounder) and 11 M-3 turretless Stuarts.
  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much.
  5. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Did the same thing happen with the 7th Hussars? Because I have the same leaving date (from N.A) as 2 R/T/R
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David - more than likely as in the main - the Tank regiments were badly hit at Sidi Resigh to the extent that the Infantry finished off the Crusader battle and hustled Rommel back to El Agheila- only to re-appear two weeks later stronger than ever while we were still crawling back to Egypt to recover

    the 7th Hussars finally joined up with 3rd Hussars - 14/20th Hussars - Wiltshire yeo and Warwick yeo in 9th Armoured bde and fought in the battles of Lago Trasemino and on past Florence -

    the 2nd RTR joined with 6th and 8th RTR in 7th Armoured bde when the bde returned from Burma and fought with distinction at Croce and Gemmano on Coriano Ridge supporting both 46th and 56th Divs ( see Stu Hamilton's "Armoured Odessey)

  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    For a while both were together in Burma, but as Tom stated, they did not remain together for the rest of the war. Here is what happened to the 7th Hussars after they left Egypt:

    7th Armoured Brigade - 28 January 1942 to 5 November 1943
    The regiment sailed on January 28th, 1942 and arrived in Ceylon on February 9th. It left Ceylon on February 15th for Burma.

    The 7th Hussars landed at Rangoon, Burma on February 21st with fifty-two Stuarts tanks and moved to Payogi River line the next day. The 7th was ordered to withdraw through Pegu on March 6th to join the brigade at Hlegu. After an action at a Japanese roadblock on March 7th, it withdrew to Tharrawaddy for several days rest. After resting it withdrew to Wettigan northeast of Prome. An attack on March 28th left the regiment with only 38 Stuarts three days later. It formed part of ‘Striking Force’ from March 29th to 30th. The brigade then withdrew to the Yenaungyang area and supported the Chinese in at attack on April 19th and 20th. The final Japanese push began on April 25th and the brigade began to withdraw to India. It crossed the Ava Bridge on the Irrawaddy on April 30th and then reached Shewgyin in early May. ‘C’ Squadron fought the last regimental action in Burma on May 10th in support of the 48th Indian Infantry Brigade. All tanks were then destroyed and the regiment moved into the Imphal Plain. The 7th entered the Kabaw Valley on May 11th and then crossed the Chindwin at Kalewa. It reached MS116 on the Dimapur Road on May 16th and MS108 on May 19th.

    The regiment left for Ranchi on May 28th and then arrived at Dhond on June 11th. By July 15th, it was still at Dhond and equipped with a few Grant tanks, carriers and armoured cars. The regiment left Dhond for Bombay on September 1st, 1942 and embarked for Iraq from there on October 9th. It arrived at Basra, Iraq two days later and within a week the regiment and brigade were located at Latifiya Camp south of Baghdad. During the winter of 1942-43 the regiment began to equip with Stuarts. It received a allotment of Crusaders from the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry in January 1943 but shortly after it began to receive Sherman tanks. On May 6th, 1943 the tracked vehicles were sent to Basra for shipment. The 7th left the next day for a six-day journey by road and rail to Syria. On May 12th it had finally settled into a camp at Insurriya, Syria but moved out on June 1st for a 300- mile march to Aleppo, Syria. It arrived there on June 3rd and remained for a month. It left on July 2nd for a camp at Baalbek, Syria. On the same date, ‘B’ Squadron began to equip with Stuarts. The regiment left for Egypt with the brigade on September 28th and arrived two days later at Fanara, Egypt. The regiment was now equipped with a mixture of Stuarts, Shermans, and Daimler Scout Cars with two Shermans and two Stuarts per troop.

    10th Armoured Division – 5 November 1943 to 25 April 1944
    The 7th Hussars moved to Fayid and Kabrit on November 5th, 1943 to begain training as the armoured reconnaissance regiment of the 10th Armoured Division. It left Kabrit on April 15th, 1944 for Muhaggara on the coast of the Gulf of Suez. The tanks and other vehicles were sent to Alexandria for embarkation on April 22nd and were followed by the officers and men.

    7th Armoured Brigade – attached – 25 April 1944 to 23 June 1944
    The regiment sailed from Alexandria on April 27th, 1944 organised with ‘A’ Squadron in Stuarts and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons in Shermans. It disembarked at Taranto on May 4th and moved by rail to Lanciano the next day. The regiment left Lanciano on May 9th for Elici less ‘A’ Squadron, which moved to the Ascigno feature on June 2nd. Meanwhile, ‘B’ Squadron moved west of Ortona on June 8th in support of the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade. ‘A’ Squadron rejoined the rest of the regiment two days later. ‘B’ Squadron continued to advance on June 11th and reached San Angelo on June 13th. The entire regiment moved to an area three miles east of San Angelo on June 16th and reached Pescara by the 18th.

    II Polish Corps – attached – 23 June 1944 to 3 September 1944
    II Polish Corps took over the Adriatic front from V Corps on June 17th and the regiment came under command at San Apollinare on June 23rd. It supported the corps through early September in operations. There were some initial difficulties bringing together Polish infantry and British armour but these difficulties were resolved and good results were achieved.

    The regiment reached Centobuchni, near Porto D’Ascoli on June 24th and was located northeast of Fremo on June 30th. It arrived at San Marco near Fermo on July 1st and then reached the south bank of the River Potenza the next day. On July 3rd, it was on the south bank of the River Musare opposite Osimo and it was fighting in the Osimo area on the 5th. The 7th was south of Castelfidardo on the north bank of the Musare on July 6th and at Cura Nouva, two miles east of Filottrano on July 15th. Two days later it was attacking towards Ancora. It reached the Cassion area of the Misa Valley by August 8th and was fighting at the la Croce Ridge on August 10th. The regiment was located at Panticelli on the north bank of the River Misa on August 15th and then southeast of il Vicinato on the 19th. It reached the north bank of the River Cesano on August 22nd, but was withdrawn to a concentration area near Carrora, north of Metano, on August 31st. It left the concentration area on September 2nd to join the 7th Armoured Brigade, which was southwest of Monte Fobbie. It arrived there the next day.

    7th Armoured Brigade – attached – 3 to 24 September 1944
    The regiment arrived at El Casino on September 3rd to temporarily replace the 6th Royal Tank Regiment in the brigade since that regiment was detached to the 4th Indian Infantry Division. The regiment moved to the Croce-Il Palazzo area on September 8th. ‘B’ Squadron left the regiment on September 13th under the command of the 3rd Hussars for DD tank training on Lake Bracciano. The rest of the regiment went into reserve at Ventena the next day. It returned to action at Ajello on September 16th and the next day it was in the valley between San Sarino and the Fabbie Ridge. Later the same day it moved to la Colomborina. It again went into reserve at Casa Ferri on September 19th and was organized with ‘A’ and ‘C’ Squadrons forming a composite squadron of five troops each of two Shermans and two Stuarts.

    Allied Armies in Italy – 24 September 1944 to 22 October 1944
    The regiment was located at Vigne di Valli on Lake Bracciano on September 24th and was ready to start training on DD tanks. The next day it was on the lake but it was told to become a normal armoured regiment on October 1st. This did not happen and the regiment was to remain a DD unit.

    9th Armoured Brigade – 22 October 1944 to 8 July 1945
    The regiment joined the brigade at Ostra on the Adriatic coast. It was now equipped with DD Shermans in ‘A’ and ‘B’ Squadrons and normal Sherman gun tanks in ‘C’ Squadron. On November 1st in the Ostra area, ‘C’ Squadron began to reequip with Valentine DD tanks. The regiment left Ostra and its tanks on December 1st and moved to the area of Madonna del Albero as infantry to defend part of I Canadian Corps’ line in the marshlands north of Ravenna. Each squadron formed a tank troop to support itself on December 26th. The regiment was located on the Manio Canal on January 8th, but was withdrawn from the line on February 1st and moved to Pesaro. In mid-February it was reequipped with ‘A’ Squadron in Sherman Kangaroos and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons in normal Sherman gun tanks. This was again changed on February 27th, when the regiment moved to Vigne de Valli on Lake Bracciano, where is received a mixture of Sherman and Valentine DD tanks the next day. By the start of March it was fully equipped with Sherman DD tanks in all squadrons.

    In preparation for the final offensive, the regiment moved to Cameriona, northwest of Ravenna, where all fifty-four Sherman DDs were fitted with ‘Platypus’ grousers. It moved to an area north of the Argenta Gap on April 21st and by the next day it was preparing to cross the River Po. ‘A’ Squadron would be attached to 56th Infantry Division, ‘B’ Squadron to 8th Indian Infantry Division, and ‘C’ Squadron to 6th Armoured Division with one troop detached to 2nd New Zealand Division. ‘A’ Squadron supported 2nd/6th Battalion Queen’s Regiment in the crossing on April 25th while on the same day ‘C’ Squadron crossed south of River Adige. Also on the same day, the troop with 2nd New Zealand Division arrived at Trieste. ‘B’ Squadron did not cross until April 26th and joined ‘A’ Squadron at Venice three days later. The RHQ was located at Monselice on April 30th and then at Mestre on May 7th with ‘ A’ and ‘B’ Squadrons. By May 8th the entire regiment was located at Mestre where they remained until early July.

    7th Armoured Brigade – 8 July 1945 to 31 August 1945
    The regiment joined the brigade in Austria and replaced the 8th Royal Tank Regiment.
  8. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you both.

    dryan67; I hope you can "copy & paste" all your long answers to me, and don't have to type them!
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I have written summary histories for all British, Commonwealth and Empire units 1939-45 so it is cut and paste.
  10. WGWright

    WGWright Older Member

    Dryan67, you mention several places in your history, Baalbek, Fanara, Alepo. My father was at these places about the same time. I have photos with these place names on the back. Unfortunately I'm still awaiting his service record with the hope of finding his unit and possible movements, although I believe it to be the Essex Yeomanry. I have over 200 photos of the war period and I'm trying to log and record them before going to the effort of scanning and making them available.
    I've been trying to maybe get copies to some of his comrades without success to date, as I've not had any contact from the names I've listed on the site, in the hope someone may do a search on the name.
    At least I've made one link to some of the place names and can now correct the spelling of them.
  11. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Can anyone tell me what 2 RTR received in the way of new replacement tanks whilst in the Western desert?

    I have them arriving with 32x A13, 4x A13c/s & 16x Lt VI.

    Receiving 16x A13 around 19th April '41.
    Receiving 4x A9 & 12x A10 around 5th May '41.
    Then just a vague notion of about another 20x A13 between then and Crusader.

    Any additions or corrections welcomed.


  12. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    I think they were 100% A13 (except the CS tanks I presume) by the time of CRUSADER.

    I have 3xA13 arriving in October, and that's it.

    All the best

  13. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

  14. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    That's it meaning 'that's it for my records, which start only in October'.

    All the best

  15. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else have anything to add?
  16. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    I'm still hoping that someone eels will have something to add......................
  17. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I understood 2RTR shipped out to Egypt with 52 cruisers: a mix of Mk.ICS, MK.IIA and Mk.IVA

    Perhaps as follows:- 6 x Mk.ICS, 32 x MK.IIA and 14 x Mk.IVA

    However, once placed under command 7 Armoured Division, one of the A10 squadrons was swapped with a light tank squadron from 3 Hussars.
  18. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mark.

    OK. So it looks like I am starting with the wrong configuration.

    Do you have a date for the swap with 3rd Hussars? I would guess around mid April 1941, but I stress that's a guess.
  19. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is what 2nd Royal Tank Regiment War Diary has regarding the swap.

    Attached Files:

    owen davey likes this.
  20. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks David.

    So the swap with 3rd Hussars was almost straight away.

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