1st Armoured Division at Gazala

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by JH1990, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. JH1990

    JH1990 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone have any detailed info on the order of battle for the 1st Armoured Division in May/June 1942? I've done as much googling as possible but struggling to find detail/be convinced by the accuracy of what I have found.

    I'm particularly interested in a couple of things:

    1) How the artillery was allocated, or at least a full list of artillery units serving with the division. I would like to try and match up AoS markings, but without a clear list of all divisional artillery it's difficult to do this, because the seniority of the regiment within the division needs to be known, which is obviously all relative. I'd like to represent the 11th (HAC) RHA, which I believe was fighting with the 2nd Armoured Brigade, but I can only guess at which AoS they were using at the time.

    2) Can anyone confirm whether the 22nd Guards Brigade/201st Guards Motor Brigade were under the command of the 1st Armoured Division for Gazala? I have seen a source stating that they were under the 2nd South African Division. Again, if they were in the 1st Armoured Division, does anyone have any leads on the correct AoS markings for their vehicles?

    Thanks so much for any advice you can offer.
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The period from 26 May 1942 through the start of Alamein on 23 October 1942 was a time of a great deal of change in orders of battle and command. In many cases, individual squadrons, companies and batteries would be reassigned multiple times in short periods:

    Here is the order of battle of 1st Armoured Division at the start of Gazala on 26 May 1942. At least between this date and early July, I doubt there would have been much time to switch AoS markings.

    1st Armoured Division
    1st Royal Dragoons
    1st Field Park Squadron, RE

    2nd Armoured Brigade Group
    The Queen’s Bays
    9th Lancers
    10th Hussars
    1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade
    11th (HAC) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    88th, 44th Light AA Batteries, RA
    3rd Troop, 1st Field Squadron, RE

    22nd Armoured Brigade Group
    2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
    3rd, 4th County of London Yeomanry
    ‘C’ Squadron, 12th Lancers
    50th Reconnaissance Regiment
    107th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    13th/7th Field Squadron, RE

    201st Guards Infantry Brigade Group
    2nd Battalion, The Scots Guards
    3rd Battalion, The Coldstream Guards
    9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade
    2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    1st Field Squadron, RE

    Here it is again on 26 June 1942:

    1st Armoured Division - XIII Corps
    1st Field Park Squadron, RE
    1st Royal Dragoons
    ‘A’ Squadron, 1st King’s Dragoon Guards
    Composite (‘A’/‘B’) Squadron, 8th Hussars

    4th Armoured Brigade Group
    1st, 6th Royal Tank Regiment
    1 Composite Squadron, 8th Royal Tank Regiment
    ‘A’ Squadron, 9th Lancers
    1st Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps
    1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    Troop, 4th Field Squadron, RE
    Troop, 171st Light AA Battery, RA

    22nd Armoured Brigade Group
    2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars - Until 28 June
    The Queen’s Bays (‘A’ Squadron, 4th Hussars; ‘B’ Squadron, Queen’ Bays) - From 28 June
    3rd County of London Yeomanry (Including ‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Bays)
    4th County of London Yeomanry
    1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade
    2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    20th Field Troop, RE
    ‘A’ Squadron, 12th Lancers
    The Guide’s Cavalry (Less ‘B’ Squadron)

    7th Motor Brigade Group
    2nd Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Motor)
    2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Motor)
    9th Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Motor)
    4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
    4th Field Squadron, RE (Less Troop)
    ‘H’ Squadron, 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
    ‘C’ Squadron, 8th Hussars

    As an example, here are the command assignments for the 9th Rifle Brigade (1st Tower Hamlet Rifles) during this period:

    201st Guards Motor Brigade – 25 May 1942 to 4 June 1942
    2nd Armoured Brigade – Attached – 4 June 1942 to 5 June 1942
    4th Armoured Brigade – Attached – 5 June 1942 to 6 June 1942
    1st Armoured Division – Attached – 7 June 1942 to 8 June 1942
    22nd Armoured Brigade – Attached 8 June 1942 to 12 June 1942
    2nd South African Infantry Division – Attached – 13 June 1942 to 15 June 1942
    XXX Corps – Attached - 16 June 1942 to 17 June 1942
    7th Motor Brigade – Attached - 17 June 1942 to 22 June 1942
    3rd Indian Motor Brigade – Attached - 22 June 1942 to 26 June 1942
    7th Armoured Division – Attached – Morning 26 June 1942
    1st Armoured Division – Attached – 26 June 1942 to 4 July 1942
    Wall Group – 5 July 1942 to 18 July 1942
    4th Armoured Brigade Group – 18 July 1942 to 3 August 1942
    8th Army – 4 August 1942 to 8 August 1942

    British Troops in Egypt – 9 August 1942 to 31 August 1942
    201st Guards Motor Brigade – 1 September 1942 to 5 September 1942

    British Troops in Egypt – 6 September 1942 to 22 December 1942
     
    JH1990 and dbf like this.
  3. JH1990

    JH1990 New Member

    Thank you so much. This is the most comprehensive and well-organised list I've seen, so I really appreciate you sharing it with me.

    I'd certainly got the impression that this was a bit of whirlwind period for unit organisation...

    Thanks again.
     

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