Order of battle for 7th Armoured Division (United Kingdom)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This article supplements the 7th Armoured Division article by providing order of battle information for the division through various periods of the Second World War as the organization of an armoured division was changed by the War Office. Due to the experience gained in the Middle East these changes were sometimes present in the armoured divisions there before the War Office mandated organization.[1] Parallel changes were made in the organization in the armoured brigades.[2] The Division frequently did not match any organization scheme due to the lack of units in the Middle East.

3 September 1939[edit]

Organization I (May 1939) reflected the Infantry tankCruiser tank thinking in the British Army.[3]

8 December 1940[edit]

Main article: Battle of Sidi Barani

Organization II of April 1940,[3] had homogenised the armoured brigades. Organization III of October 1940 moved infantry into each armoured brigade (not applied) and formed a division reconnaissance regiment of armoured cars.[7]

  • 4th Armoured Brigade[4] (formerly the Heavy Armoured Brigade (Egypt) )
  • 7th Armoured Brigade[5] (formerly the Light Armoured Brigade (Egypt))
  • 7th Support Group
    • M Battery 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
    • C Battery 4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    • 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps
    • 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
  • Divisional Troops[8]
    • Engineers still not assigned
    • 7th Armoured Division Signals Regiment
    • 11th Hussars (reconnaissance)
    • 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (less M Battery) (attached)
    • 4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (less C Battery) (attached)
    • 2nd (Cheshire) Field Squadron Royal Engineers (attached)
    • 141st Field Park Troop R.E. (attached)

23 October 1942[edit]

Organization IV (February 1942) reorganized divisions into one armoured brigade group and one motorised brigade group, each with attached artillery and engineers. Organization VI (August 1942) was the essentially same as organization V which was applied in the U.K. only, applied in the Middle East two months later. This returned supporting arms to division control, with an increase in all types of artillery.[9] The 7th Armoured Division initially had two Armoured Brigades, of different organizations.[10]

8 September 1943[edit]

Organization VII introduced little change, the attachment of a machine gun company to the infantry brigade, and the replacement of armoured cars with tanks in the reconnaissance regiment.[15]

8 June 1944[edit]

Main article: Invasion of Normandy

Organization VIII, consolidated the continuing changes in formations, increasing the reconnaissance regiment strength, moving the machine gun company to division troops and adding a bridging troop of engineers.[17]

  • 22nd Armoured Brigade[12]
    • 1st Royal Tank Regiment
    • 5th Royal Tank Regiment
    • 4th County of London Yeomanry (left 29 July 1944)
    • 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards (joined 29 July 1944)
    • 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade
  • 131st Infantry Brigade[13]
  • Divisional Troops[14][18]
    • 7th Division Signals
    • 8th Hussars (joined 16 December 1943)
    • 3rd Independent Machine Gun Company
    • Royal Artillery
      • 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
      • 5th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
      • 15th (Isle of Man) Light AA Regiment Royal Artillery
      • 65th (Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery
    • Royal Engineers
      • 4th Field Squadron
      • 621st Field Squadron
      • 143rd Field Park Squadron
      • 7th Bridging Troop
    • R.A.S.C.
      • 58th Armoured Brigade Company
      • 67th Infantry Brigade Company
      • 507th Armoured Divisional Troops Company
      • 133rd Armoured Divisional Transport Company
    • R.A.M.C.
      • 2nd Light Field Ambulance
      • 131st Light Field Ambulance
      • 29th Field Dressing Station
      • 70th Field Hygiene Section
      • 134th Mobile Dental Unit Army Dental Corps

Other Brigades[edit]

These other brigades served with the Division.[19]

  • 1st Army Tank Brigade (29 July-9 November 1941)
  • 1st Armoured Brigade[20] (4 January-8 February 1942)
  • 7th Mortorised Brigade (9 February-11 September 1942)
  • 210st Guards Mortor Brigade[21] (1 March-1 April 1943)
  • 155th Infantry Brigade[22] (3-20 April 1945)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Joslen p. 3
  2. ^ Joslen pp. 137—142
  3. ^ a b Joslen p. 4
  4. ^ a b Joslen p. 158
  5. ^ a b Joslen p. 153
  6. ^ Joslen p. 218
  7. ^ Joslen p. 5
  8. ^ Palmer, Rob. "The Armoured Division (Egypt) 1940" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Joslen p. 5—7
  10. ^ Joslen p. 569
  11. ^ Joslen pp. 153—154
  12. ^ a b c Joslen p. 168—169
  13. ^ a b c Joslen p. 316
  14. ^ a b c Joslen p. 19
  15. ^ Joslen p. 7
  16. ^ Palmer, Rob. "7th Armoured Division in Italy" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Joslen p. 9
  18. ^ Palmer, Rob. "7th Armoured Division in North-West Europe" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Joslen p. 19
  20. ^ Joslen p. 144
  21. ^ Joslen p. 266
  22. ^ Joslen p. 342

References[edit]

  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F., Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1-843424-74-6.