10th Armoured Division (United Kingdom)

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10th Armoured Division
Active 1 August 1941–15 June 1944[1]
1956–1957
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Armoured
Size Second World War
13,225–14,964 men[2]
186 tanks[nb 1][nb 2]
Garrison/HQ Western Desert
Tripoli
Engagements North African Campaign
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Alexander Gatehouse

The 10th Armoured Division was an armoured formation of division-size of the British Army, raised during World War II and was active from 1941–1944 and after the war from 1956–1957. It was formed from the 1st Cavalry Division, a 1st Line Yeomanry unit of the Territorial Army (TA) which had previously been serving in Palestine. The division was converted from cavalry to armour and redesignated from 1 August 1941.

History[edit]

The divisional sign was a fox's mask, representing the hunting tradition of the formation's cavalry and Yeomanry units. The division was originally under command of HQ British Troops Palestine and Transjordan, but transferred to Ninth Army when the headquarters was redesignated on 1 November 1941.[4] It was later transferred into Egypt, serving under HQ Middle East, XXX Corps, British Eighth Army, and X Corps. The division fought at the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein. It was disbanded on 15 June 1944 in Egypt.

The 10th Armoured Division was also briefly active after the war ended in Libya in the 1950s, incorporating 25th Armoured Brigade,[5] but was disbanded in July 1957.[6] The 25th Armoured Brigade was formed in 1952 to provide an operational headquarters for the troops in Libya. The Royal Scots Greys arrived in Libya in 1952, and stayed until 1955. Other units of the brigade from 1952 were the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, and the 14th/20th King's Hussars.[7] In May and June 1956 the brigade was hastily expanded to division status as 10th Armoured Division, with the intention of invading Egypt from the west during the Suez Canal Crisis.[8] Planning was halted when it was found that such an invasion was banned under the terms of Britain's treaty with Libya. The Armoured Brigade Signals Squadron was expanded to 10th Armd Div Signals in May–June 1956, based in Tripoli. It began to wind up in April 1957, and disbanded completely in September 1957.[9]

General Officer Commanding[edit]

Four men served as the General Officer Commanding of the division during World War II.

Appointed General Officer Commanding
1 August 1941[1] Major-General John Clark[nb 3]
26 June 1942 Major-General Alexander Gatehouse[1]
18 December 1942 Major-General Charles Norman[1]
12 January 1943 Major-General Horace Birks[1]
1955 Major-General Rodney Moore[11]

Order of battle World War II[edit]

The order of battle of the 10th Armoured Division during World War II was as follows:[12]

  • 8th Armoured Brigade (left 16 February 1942, rejoined 27 March 1942, left 30 June 1942, rejoined 17 July 1942, left 21 November 1942)
  • 9th Armoured Brigade (from 9 October 1941, left 25 March 1942, rejoined 14 November 1942, left 27 May 1943)
  • 7th Armoured Brigade (from 3 June 1943, left 11 April 1944)
  • 23rd Armoured Brigade (from 1 June 1944, left 14 June 1944)
  • 7th Motor Brigade (from 12 September 1942, left 23 September 1942)
  • 133rd Lorried Infantry Brigade (from 29 September 1942, left 25 November 1942)
  • 201st Guards Motor Brigade (from 9 January 1943, left 1 February 1943)
  • Divisional Troops
  • Royal Armoured Corps
  • 1st Household Cavalry Regiment (from 9 October 1941, left 13 March 1942, rejoined 14 January 1943, left 5 November 1943)
  • 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry (from 21 August 1942, left 10 September 1942)
  • Royals [clarification needed] (from 22 September 1942, left 31 October 1942)
  • 7th Queen's Own Hussars (from 5 November 1943, left 25 April 1944)
  • Royal Engineers
  • 2nd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 21 November 1941, left 10 June 1943)
  • 3rd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 22 September 1942, left 15 May 1944)
  • 622nd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 11 June 1943, left 31 May 1944)
  • 141st Field Park Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 20 November 1941, left 1 April 1944)
  • 6th Bridging Troop, Royal Engineers (from 20 November 1943, left 1 April 1944)
  • Royal Corps of Signals

10th Armoured Divisional Signals Regiment, Royal Corps of Signals

  • Royal Artillery
  • 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (from 13 September 1942, left 27 May 1943, rejoined 13 November 1943, left 25 April 1944)
  • 14th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (from 3 June 1943, left 8 November 1943)
  • 104th (Essex Yeomanry) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (from 27 September 1942, left 3 May 1944)
  • 98th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (from 19 September 1942, left 29 December 1942)
  • 84th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery (from 13 September 1942, left 20 May 1944)
  • 53rd (King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (from 2 September 1942, left 2 November 1942)
  • 101st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (from 11 November 1943, left 30 May 1944)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ 164 M4 Shermans, 8 cruisers, and 14 anti-aircraft tanks.[3]
  2. ^ These figures are the war establishment, the on-paper strength, of the division for 1942–1944; for information on how divisional sizes changed over the war please see British Army during the Second World War and British Armoured formations of World War II.
  3. ^ Joslen states a Major-General C.G.W. Clark was the division's first General Officer Commanding whereas Mead informs the reader that John Clark retained control of the division after it was reformed as an armoured division.[1][10]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f Joslen, p. 25
  2. ^ Joslen, p. 129
  3. ^ Joslen, p. 7
  4. ^ 10th Armoured Division at Orders of Battle.com, accessed October 2011
  5. ^ "WN1-10053 British War Office". austinchamp.com. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. 
  6. ^ Hansard, March 1958
  7. ^ Orbat.com, Order of Battle, British Army, 1952
  8. ^ See "Britain, Libya and the Suez Crisis", Journal of Strategic Studies, April 2007.
  9. ^ Cliff Lord, Graham Watson, The Royal Corps of Signals, 2004, p. 47
  10. ^ Mead, p. 101
  11. ^ Army Commands
  12. ^ Joslen, Orders of battle Second World War 1939-45, page 25

References[edit]

  • Joslen, Lieutenant-Colonel H.F (1960) [1960]. Orders of Battle Second World War 1939–1945. Naval & Military Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1. 
  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0. 

External links[edit]