8th Armoured Division (United Kingdom)
|8th Armoured Division|
8th Armoured Division insignia.
|Active||4 November 1940 – 1 January 1943|
|Size||Division, 13,235 men|
130+ tanks[nb 1][nb 2]
|Sir Richard McCreery|
The 8th Armoured Division was an armoured division of the British Army during the Second World War. It was deployed to Egypt in June 1942 but never operated as a complete formation and was disbanded in January the following year.
The division was sent to North Africa but never saw active service as a complete formation. As the division could not be provided with a lorried infantry brigade, it was broken up and was finally disbanded in Egypt on 1 January 1943.
Following the Second Battle of El Alamein a plan was put forth to use the remains of the division as a self-contained pursuit force to dart forward into the German-Italian rear as far as possibly Tobruk, however the plan to use the division was shelved and units in the forward area were used instead. Afterwards, the name of the division was used for the purpose of military deception.
General Officer Commanding
The division had four officers who held the position of General Officer Commanding, during the Second World War.
|Appointed||General Officer Commanding|
|4 November 1940||Brigadier A.G. Kenchington (acting)|
|14 December 1940||Major General Richard McCreery|
|15 October 1941||Major-General Charles Norman|
|24 August 1942||Major-General Charles Gairdner|
(all brigades stripped away from the division prior to the Second Battle of El Alamein)
- 40th Royal Tank Regiment
- 46th Royal Tank Regiment
- 50th Royal Tank Regiment
- 7th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
- 41st Royal Tank Regiment
- 45th Royal Tank Regiment
- 47th Royal Tank Regiment
- 11th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
- 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
- 4th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
- 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
- 14th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
- 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry
- 5th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
- 11th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (Honourable Artillery Company)
- 104th (Essex Yeomanry) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
- 146th (Pembroke and Cardiganshire) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
- The division was initially organised on Basic Organisation No. III (340 tanks) but on arrival in the Middle East was partially reorganised along the lines of Basic Organisation No. IV; depending on the tanks used, resulting in 44 or 48 tanks per regiment at full strength. However, owing to casualties within Middle East Command, the change to Basic Organisation No. IV was never completed.
- This is the war establishment, the on-paper strength, of the division for 1942; for information on how divisions changed over the war, please see British Army during the Second World War and British Armoured formations of World War II.
- Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) . Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1.
- Playfair, Major-General I.C.O.; Molony, Brigadier C.J.C; Flynn R.N., Captain F.C. & Gleave C.B.E., Group Captain T.P. (2004) . History of the Second World War: The Mediterranean and Middle East, volume 4: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa. United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-068-8.
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