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

  1. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member


    As I wrote above, it was effected when they came under command of 7 Armd Div in October 1940.

    During Op Compass, squadrons were task organised in and out of 2RTR depending upon need.

    My earlier split of A10/A13 above may be inaccurate as I have assumed RHQ had A10 and the 3 sqns were uniform. Juggle the numbers if you believe differently.

    Please note there were no A13CS.

    What is interesting to note from a tactical point of view is that, post-BEF experience, Home Forces decided the 'mixed' regiment didn't work. Yet, as soon as the now 'non-mixed' regiments arrived in Egypt, 7 Armd Div mixed them up again.
  2. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member


    Thanks for that.

    I don't recall my source, so I am no more sure of the exact numbers of tank types on arrival than you.

    Perhaps someone else will confirm.

    Finally, I am still looking for the arrival of replacement tanks from the UK. Andreas has shared his thoughts, anyone else care to contribute?

    Thanks. David.
  3. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member


    That seems to sort out the initial allocation position.
  5. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Post Compass...

  6. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that also.
  7. pminotti

    pminotti Junior Member

    M4A1 (76) where US model with T23 Turret ?

    Does British Army use them?

  8. via fora!

    via fora! Junior Member

    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I was interested to know about 2nd RTR during Crusader. It was equipped with A-13 tanks and was literally destroyed on the 22nd of nobember. Are the War diaries any detailed about their actions? Or does exist any first hand account of the combat ?

    Many thanks
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    2 RTR Diaries - What year ?
  10. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron


    Crusader was in November, 1941.

    Drew5233 likes this.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The diary is quite good by the looks of it, with 'stuff' like this: (Disclaimer: I don't know anything after June 1940)
    BFBSM likes this.
  12. via fora!

    via fora! Junior Member

    Many thanks Drew !!

    Great information. This pages cover the composite squadron formed with remains of 2nd RTR from 22nd november 1941.

    Maybe you can post the pages concerning 19th to 21st November ?

    Thank you again
  13. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    I hope this is of use - the war diary is WO169/110.

    Appendix “F”


    NOVEMBER, 1941

    ????????? 1/250,000 Sheet 3. GAMBUT 1/100,000

    18 November 1941

    Battalion 2½ Sqns. strong but with many tanks ill equipped and in a poor state mechanically, moved off crossing the start line (540 grid) at 0600 hrs/. Gaps which had been cut in the wire were found without difficulty and the refuelling was completed by 0900 hrs, but a long delay followed and orders were not received to move until approx. 1115 hrs. There was no incident on this day except for the capture of two German prisoners who were sent to Bde HQ. The night was spent in the area 444381, a good deal of difficulty being experienced in soft going which “bogged” tanks and wheeled vehicles.

    19 November 1941

    On advancing further so much trouble was experienced with soft going that no further progress could be made in the direction originally intended. “C” Sqn. however reached the area ordered as the Battle position of the unit (445386). Orders were then received for a detour to the WEST before moving NORTH again. At 1500 hrs the Battalion which had, up to this time, been leading the Brigade moved to take up position on the left of the 6th Bn. Royal Tank Regt. about BIR REGHEM EL GARBI 440380. The advance was continued at 1515 hrs on a bearing of 337°. On reaching area 429400, the leading Troop of “A” Sqn. (MAJOR G.F. YULE) reported that they could see enemy aeroplanes on the ground with a great deal of movement about them and evacuation apparently taking place. They asked for leave to attack, but, before an answer could be received, it was known that 6 R. Tanks had reached the aerodrome (43?404). “C” Sqn. were sent to assist in destroying approx. 16 enemy aircraft and later returned to the Bn. which leaguered in the area 429400 for the night. During the night enemy could be heard talking and moving roundabout and one patrol came within sight. A party on foot under Lt. N.M. RAVEN was organised to capture this party, but, before it could move off, the enemy patrol withdrew. Soft vehicles were ordered to move off quietly to the SE at about 0500 hrs and a little later “F” Battery RHA, who had spent the night in the leaguer, also went back. On breaking leaguer considerable fire from the enemy anti-tank guns was opened on the Bn. Two tanks were hit and burnt and a third was missing. The crew of one tank was picked up, but CAPT. A.J. MICKLEM and 2nd LIEUT. A.R.M. PALMER with their crews were not found. The fact, so far from tanks being any protection for other troops at night, they themselves need protection was again emphasised. Casualties must have been very heavy had the enemy opened fire earlier or more accurately. The fact that they did not open fire on such an excellent target in the dark is surprising.

    20 November 1941

    Positions were taken up with “B” Sqn at 4299399?, “C” Sqn 42903995 and “A” Sqn. observing the left flank at 42704000[?]. Battle H.Q. 7 Armd Bde was now about 43104005. “A” and “C” Sqns, were still being engaged by anti-tank guns in position about 428401 and 428400. They were able to make the enemy gun crews retire from some of their guns by Besa gunfire, but frequent attempts were made by the enemy to man them and whenever the tanks moved they came under fire from other anti-tank guns in the low ground to the NORTH. Two of the guns were later destroyed by a troop of “A” Sqn. (2nd LIEUT. R. TITLESTAD). The crew of four were captured. Four other guns were located and a number of casualties were caused to crews and Infantry which were removed by enemy ambulance parties. The C.O. visited Bde Battle H.Q. several times during the morning and an attack was planned on a large number of infantry who could be plainly seen on the forward slopes on the ridge from 428404 W. to 42[?]404. This was to be carried out in conjunction with the troops of the Support Group, but was afterwards cancelled owing to the impossibility of avoiding anti-tank gun fire at close range. During the afternoon, orders were received from Bde H.Q. to take up a battle position facing N. and NW with Bn. HQ about area 428397. Movement was done at a slow pace and one troop at a time to avoid attracting attention. One troop was left in observation about 42704002 and another about 42904000. The N. leaguered for the night about 428397 and forward troops rejoining after dark.

    21 November 1941

    On this morning, battle positions were taken up with ...in the same area, but Sqns facing NORTH-WEST, WEST and SOUTH-...to reports of enemy threats in these directions. During the ...enemy column of all arms with from 100 to 150 tanks was reported in the BIR ES SREUI area 427394. His tanks and a large number of MET could be seen advancing WEST, apparently without seeing us as the tank guns were pointing in another direction. This appeared to be a very favourable opportunity for attack and “B” and “C” Sqns. were turned about and ordered forward to attack on the right and left flanks. They were later supported by “A” Sqn. in the centre who had been faced about in readiness as the action developed. An engagement followed in the area bounded by the 395 – 434 – 393 and 400 Grid Lines. The enemy retired NORTH EAST. 15 of his tanks were put out of action and a number of others hit. A number of MET was also destroyed. The Bn. had two tanks put out of action and several more hit with several men wounded (except number not yet known). As they withdrew the enemy left anti-tank guns on the ground in the area 435394 and later more of these were seen to come up to this area and also to positions farther NORTH EAST. The main part of the enemy column could still be seen on high ground about GARAET EN NBEIDAT 437398 and later it was joined by a large number of what appeared to be infantry. A position facing this force with centre about 432396 was now taken up. The size of this force increased rapidly and they could be seen apparently replenishing. Several requests were made for Artillery fire on this favourable target, but the F.O.O. said that he had orders not to fire owing to shortage of ammunition. About this time, tanks of the 22nd Armd Bde were seen SOUTH advancing WEST. As it was understood, from previous reports, that their intention was to attack the enemy forces, and LO was sent to acquaint them with the situation and ask for any possible assistance. He returned however with the information that their orders were to move farther WEST, before turning NORTH. About 1300 hrs the enemy column moved WEST for a short distance, but then turned SOUTH WEST on our position. He halted for a short period at about 2,000 yds range and them moved forward again opening fire from tanks and anti-tank guns. Several of our tanks were hit and burst into flame before we had opened fire, the enemy tanks still out of our effective range. The enemy tanks were stopped about this position but 10 or 11 of our tanks were destroyed by fire. Six of the enemy tanks were put out of action and a large number were seen to be hit. The results could be confirmed by the 3rd CLY who passed over the ground later (See below). Many hits were seen to have been made by 2-pdr shells on the front of enemy tanks, but without putting them out of action. During the action the LO was again sent to 22 Armd Bde with a request for help and about 1645 hrs the 3rd CLY arrived and, after a short pause for liaison moved NORTH on the enemy through our burning tanks. The enemy retired NORTH EAST but no further details could be seen owing to heavy rain, and later, darkness. The C.O. moved up farther with the 3rd CLY in a scout car to see if any of our crews could be picked up, but none were left in the area and the tanks were burning too fiercely to get very close to them. It was later learnt that some men had been picked up by the 3rd CLY and taken to 7 Armd Bde HQ and a few had walked in to an ADS. Tank strengths in this action were:- enemy 51 (approx) ours 30. The area of this action was approx. 432396 and 433396. The Bn. rallied about 428396 and collected Tanks and casualties. During the night 25 tanks were collected from back areas, as well as the scene of the action, but of these many had been hit, some several times, others were crocks and only 9 (including 3 of Bn. HQ) were fit. Some of these had also been hit, but not in vital places. During the night 4 others were repaired. Orders were received to send at first light all fit tanks to HQ Support Group at the Aerodrome 431404. A Composite Sqn. of 12 tanks under MAJOR M.F.S. RUDKIN, MC, was formed during the night. The C.O. was not to command this Sqn but ordered to report to Bde HQ as soon as possible after first light.
    DavidW, Tricky Dicky and BFBSM like this.
  14. via fora!

    via fora! Junior Member

    Many, many thanks Tom !!

    It is just what I was looking for and with the story of the Composite squadron completes the nearly full story of 2nd RTR during Operation Crusader.

    These appendices are the jewels of the war diaries as they are full of details !!

    It was a short and courageous campaign for them and full of lesons in armoured warfare.

    I didn't know that they were not up to full strenght when the offensive started. Just about 40 tanks.

    Again many thanks for your time !!

    BFBSM likes this.
  15. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    No problem, very happy to share.


  16. Joe tonks

    Joe tonks Member

    Does any body have information about 2 RTR on the 3rd of September 1944 and the days leading up to it like movements locations and enemy engagements etc.


  17. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    I was on the Gothic Line in Apr 18 running a battlefield study which included the role of 2 RTR.

    I will be going back in 2019 so if you want to understand what 2 RTR got up to you might want to join the event.

    If you do, do get in touch by starting a conversation with me.



  18. BunnyBurrell

    BunnyBurrell Member

    Greetings one and all, this is my first post on here. Be gentle with me. I served with 2RTR in the late 70s.
    What I'm trying to do is model one tank from each major period of the Regts time during WW2, I'm stuck on the time the Regt were over in Burma. I know they had M3 Stuart and 7 Armoured Brg used the Green Jerbour. Does any of the sages out there know what colour the sqn badges were?
    Also would the vehicals over all green be that brighter green or good old khaki. Thanks.
  19. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I joined them in 1991 if that helps?!
  20. BunnyBurrell

    BunnyBurrell Member

    12A then MT in '79 as rear party for handover to 9th /12th when Regt went to Omagh.
    As to my questions you got any ideas, I've got a better idea for overall colour from the Aussie Tank Museum at Puckapunyal.
    But as to the tac numbers and Sqn tac sign, I've got no idea. Photos of the Regt in Burma are pretty rare, colour nonexistent due to British Government's policy. Bunny

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