33rd Armoured Brigade

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by KevinT, May 23, 2011.

  1. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    These were kindly sent to me sometime back by Al McNeilly. Sorry some are very faint but I hope they are of some interest.

    Attached Files:

  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Kevin -
    can't read them too well but isn't this the Bde which handed in all of their tanks for replacement and preparing for a long holiday when the Bulge thing happened and so they had to scamper around for their old Tanks and slide their way over the icy roads to the Muese ....?
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  4. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member


    Almost...the Brigade you are referring to is the 29th Armoured Brigade, which was part of 11th Armoured Div. They were changing over to the new Comets when the Bulge happened. They were training at Ypres. They were alerted on the night of 19/20 Dec 44 and picking up the old tanks at the Bruxelles were in position along the Meuse within 48 hours, though quite weary after two sleepless nights. See link: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/battle-specifics/31632-brits-ardennes-44-45-a-3.html#post357105

    33rd Armoured Brigade was also involved in the Ardennes, first is support of 53rd Welsh and later 51st Highland Division. In mid-January, after the fighting in the Ardennes came to an end, the Brigade was ordered to hand in their Shermans and to change over to Buffalos (LVTs), preparatory to the Rhine Crossing in March 1945. See link: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/battle-specifics/31632-brits-ardennes-44-45-a-14.html#post388453

    General Rennie, the GOC of the 51st Highland Div, on 16 Jan 45 tried to avert the Armoured Brigade being detached from his Division by writing a letter to HQ 30 Corps (See thumbnail). The tankcrews were quite unhappy to have to depart from their tanks.

    The initial page is dated Jan 1945, the page listing the LVT's is dated 5th March 1945 and the third page is dated 2 Apr 1945.
    So did 33rd Armoured Brigade go strait back to tanks after the Rhine crossing?

    I will study the original copies I have and see if I can get it typed up. This may take a wee while though.

  5. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    If there are any particular pages you are unable to read please let me know.


    Attached Files:

  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Stolpi - knew it was one of them as I haven't studied that campaign in any depth as yet- but now 3rd Tanks were mentioned I see the fine hand of "PIP" Roberts coming in to recommend them -

    there is the famous story of the 3rd Tanks corporal being asked in Tunisia " what's happening " by a Brigadier - the corporal's answer was "Oh the usual Sir - 3rd versus the 3rd" - this was too much for the Brigadier so again " what do you mean ? - the corporal then explained - "3rd Tanks vs the 3rd Reich "

  8. kateh

    kateh Junior Member

    My mum's just told me my Dad was in the 33rd. I know hardly anything about it though. Any idea where I can find information about what they got up to?
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I am sure that someone has the 33rd bde. diaries to hand and will be on shortly with pages - any idea which regiment he was with - that would get closer to what they were up to - as you say- but to take Tank Crews away from their Tanks would be a bit of a heartbreaker though.

  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum kateh.

    Have you applied for your dad's service records? If not, this link should assist with that task: Army Personnel Centre - British Army Website If you have his service number that will make the task easier, although all you should need is his name, rank, regiment, DOB, etc. and death certificate, if applicable.

    The link will guide you regarding needs and the fee(s) - £30 for the service records, but should be free if your mum applies . It can take up to circa 9 to 12 months to get a response.

    When you have his service records maybe post them on this thread and someone will come along to assist. There are a lot of members of this forum who will help you with insights!

    In the meantime post whatever you have e.g. medals, diaries, letters, pictures, any information you have/your mun has about his service, etc. and we’ll see what we can piece together in the meantime!


  11. Albowie

    Albowie Junior Member

    Kateh, Ken Tout was a member of 1 Northamptonshirte Yeomanry of 33 Armd Bde and wrote a series of Books about its service in North West Europe which will give you a broad understanding of their Campaigns. These are generally availabl through Amazon (Search under ken Tout) Do you know what unit in 33 AB your father belonged to?

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