Unit Identity! 6 April 1942, South Downs

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by S54, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    I've just come across this photo with the caption:-

    Churchill tanks on parade on the South Downs ready for an inspection by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, 6 April 1942. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Oliver Lyttleton, Minister of State for War Production, and General Sir Bernard Paget, C-in-C Home Forces.

    Has anyone any idea what unit it is? I have a hunch they're Canadian possibly 'The Calgary Regiment'!

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  2. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  5. 175 was indeed the AoS Serial for the Calgary Regiment, but only if associated with the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade sign.

    Here we have an Army Tank Brigade sign ("diabolo"), so this might be 144th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (East Lancashire Regiment) of 33rd Army Tank Brigade, although the AoS Flash for this unit is supposed to be plain green, whereas the photo seems to show a two-colour Flash.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Possibly 148 regiment RAC had the 175 vehicle mark. They had Churchill’s up until 1944.

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  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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  8. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

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  9. I'd go along with the handwritten remark on the IWM caption sheet as cleverly noticed by Diane above. The diabolo unit sign definitely means an Army Tank Brigade (and not a Canadian one), so either 25 or 31 Brigade as per the Exercise Tiger OOB also found by Diane. Several reasons confirm the handwritten caption:
    - 25 Army Tank Brigade had a Black diabolo, while 31 Army Tank Brigade had a Green one. The photo shows a diabolo not dark enough to be Black and of one single colour (thus excluding my previous theory of 33 Bde which had Green over Black), meaning it must be Green i.e. 31 Army Tk Bde
    - the tank names which are vivible on a couple of tanks (when zooming the IWM image): STOUT (6 Tp B Sqn), SAXON (8 Tp B Sqn) on the left and SAND(Y)? on the RHQ tank on the right, are typical of 141 RAC whose tanks names all started with an S.

    At that time, it seems that the AoS Serials of Army Tank Battalions in an Army Tank Brigade were indeed 172, 173 and 175 on a Blue over Brown flash, again compatible with the photo.

    So, for me there is no doubt that they are 141 RAC tanks.
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There are several other images in the set taken that day, but the only one that is likely to reveal any more tank specifics is here:


    Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 19.49.55.png

    Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 19.50.15.png
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  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Dates certainly fit. Good detective work, Michel.

    Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 21.46.14.png

    From here:

    Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 21.42.56.png Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 21.42.34.png
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  14. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    Guys many thanks for all the info, appreciated!
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  15. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

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  16. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I had a look through my The Churchill Tank and the Canadian Armoured Corps and I have to concur. No Canadian Churchills had a diabolo marking.
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  17. I believe this post confirms that the tanks on H18500 are from 141 RAC. See this reference to a tank of 8 Tp B Sqn named SAXON:
    'Execution' of Crocodile crews


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