6th Guards Tank Brigade (United Kingdom)

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6th Guards Tank Brigade
Active 1941–1945
Allegiance British Crown
Branch British Army
Type Armoured
Size Brigade
Part of Guards Armoured Division 1941–1942
Independent 1942–1945

The 6th Guards Tank Brigade was formed in 1941 as the 6th Guards Armoured Brigade when Great Britain was under the threat of invasion and more armoured formations were required, permission was granted from King George VI and the Colonels of the Regiments involved and over the summer of 1941, the Infantry of the Guards converted into an armoured formation and so the Guards Armoured Division was formed which contained the 5th Guards Armoured Brigade and the 6th Guards Armoured Brigade.[1]

In 1942 all British armoured divisions were reorganised to have one armoured brigade and one motor brigade. The 6th Guards Armoured became an independent tank brigade being renamed as the 6th Guards Tank Brigade.[2] The brigade now equipped with the Churchill tank,[3] served in the North West Europe Campaign landing in Normandy on 20 July 1944.[4]

Correspondence in Winston Churchill's The Second World War (Volume V: Closing the Ring, Annex C) in April 1944 appears to indicate there was consideration of breaking the brigade up and making its personnel available as replacements for other army formations. Churchill was opposed to this, and nothing appears to have been done.[5]

The brigade went onto take part in Operation Bluecoat,[6] Operation Veritable finally ending the war at Lübeck on the Baltic Sea where they captured a U-boat.[7]

Churchill tanks of 6th Guards Brigade laying a smokescreen during the advance on Venray, Netherlands, 17 October 1944

Commanders[edit]

  • 15 January 1943 – 3 August 1944 Brigadier GL Verney
  • 3 August 1944 – 16 August 1944 Brigadier Sir Walter Bartellot, Bt
  • 18 August 1944 – 2 February 1945 Brigadier WDC Greenacre

Formation[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Guards Divisions 1914 – 45 By Mike Chappell,p 28
  2. ^ "Guards Armoured". 
  3. ^ 6th Guards Tank Brigade: The Story of Guardsmen in Churchill Tanks
  4. ^ "D-Day tanks". 
  5. ^ Winston Churchill, The Second World War: Volume V: Closing the Ring, Reprint Society, London, 1954 (Hardback), Appendix C, notes of 4 April 1944, 4 April 1944, and 9 April 1944, pages 541-542.
  6. ^ British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944 By John Buckley,p 101
  7. ^ "brief history of the brigade". 

References[edit]

  • The Guards Divisions 1914–45 By Mike Chappell,Published by Osprey Publishing, 1995 .ISBN 1-85532-546-2
  • British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944 By John Buckley,Published by Routledge, 2004 .ISBN 0-7146-5323-3
  • 6th. Guards Tank Brigade: The Story of Guardsmen in Churchill Tanks by Patrick Forbes, Published by Sampson Low, 1946. OCLC 464061159