3 RTR Regiment size? Lists?

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Crock, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Morning all,

    A couple of questions if i may and apologies if its been asked but ive looked and cant find it, the 3rd RTR correct me if im wrong went through the war with 4 squadrons, HQ,A,B and C, How many men and tanks would usually make up a squadron in the 3rd?

    Ive just started reading Bill Close A view from a turret, a line in the opening few pages got me thinking, he says not many in the 3rd served / survived through from Calais to the end of the war as he did, i know that my grandad did but was wondering if any lists are in existence of the 3rd going into Calais and another at the wars end to cross reference and see how many actually did go all the way?

  2. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello Keith,

    The 3rd Tank Battalion landed in France with 21 Mark VIB Light Tanks and 27 Cruisers (both the A9 and A13 variants) 48 tanks total.
    I know B Squadron was equipped with the Light Tanks.
    The organisation at the time for a tank battalion was 4 squadrons as you say HQ, A, B and C.
    A fighting Squadron (A, B and C) should have 14 tanks 4 troops of 3 tanks (12) plus two at Squadron HQ. This is 52 tanks.
    In the book "Panzer Bait" by William Moore it was recognised that the Battalion was short of 3 tanks when it landed in France. I may suggest it was short of 4 ;-)
    The HQ Squadron had mainly armoured cars such as Daimler Dingos for Reconnaisance and liaison duties.

    All this kit of course never made it back from France.
    Over the course of the War the organisation would change as new tanks and tactics evolved.

    I have never seen any nominal rolls for the 3rd but no doubt they exist somewhere either in Kew of the Tank Museum.

    All the best,

  3. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello Keith,

    Sorry Keith that was completely wrong and my maths should be better than that. The A9 was a Close Support tank and these Battalions had a different ORBAT.
    The total tank numbers should be 52 organised as follows :

    Battalion\Regiment HQ had 4 tanks

    Each Squadron (A,B and C) had 4 tanks at Sqn HQ two of which were A9 Close Support tanks with 3.7 inch guns

    Each Squadron also had 4 troops of 3 tanks (12)

    The Battalion in Calais only had 48 tanks as mentioned previously.


  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Nominal Rolls are almost nonexistent. The closest you get are mentions of officers coming and going in the War Diary. Good practical reasons for this (nonexistence) because the War establishment is changing all the time and so would have been an unnecessary administrative nightmare - having said that, the exception proves the rule and I've got a copy of the full Nominal Roll for the 24th Lancers effective roughly D Day. Rolls were maintained at Troop level by the Troop Sergeants 'Troop Roll Book' which included - or, more accurately, was supposed to include - details of all the men and also a schedule of 'Vehicles on Charge'. Again I'm fortunate in having scans of just one such Troop Roll Book which has all the details completed (including my fathers details!) and have seen others which, in their case, were far from complete.

    I don't want to put you off - I prefer a 'glass is half full' mentality rather than 'the glass is half empty' - but am simply saying that the information might be out there but goodness knows where.....
    8RB likes this.
  5. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Thanks for the info Will :)
  6. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Lol Steve wasn’t expecting it to land in my lap but always happy to be surprised :p

    Just my mind being over active while reading Bill Close’s book... its gonna take longer to read than I thought! Every few pages I’m ‘ wait! I’ve seen that name somewhere?! ‘ and then I’m back in my notes and paperwork.. an hour later it’s ‘ right what was I doing? Oh yea the book! ‘ lol
    SDP likes this.
  7. jetson

    jetson Junior Member

    "Bill" Close, always Bertie at home, was my dad's cousin and one heck of a soldier having read "A view from the Turret!" After the war, he was granted a regular commission in the REME and retired as a Major. I am proud to have been distantly related to him.
    SDP, Chris C and JDKR like this.

Share This Page