38th rtr

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Steve Ind, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Steve Ind

    Steve Ind Junior Member

    Having a bit of trouble getting started so will make it brief. Dads (Bob Ind) war records have arrived and am trying to make some sense of it.
    briefly enlisted at Dorchester barracks June 40. Embarked to Amiriya and then Abbassia in 41 and posted to 38rtr.
    Attached 15 1/RNF to western desert, then attached 'A' force to 101rtr and then 74rtr on to 102rtr and granted leave with LRRA in 42.
    In 44 he was with 65rtr and posted to 60rtr.
    Embarked for Uk and posted 13 reserve unit. Posted to 2nd Infantry holding batt. Finally embarked Uk 46.
    I know most of his time was in the desert and then he went to Germany. holds 4 medals includes africa star and eighth army clasp, defence medal and 39- 45 star and one other. Cant find anything on the internet about any of the rtr units
    Anyone help??? Steve I
  2. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    LRRA - Local Rate Ration Allowance. As a soldier is not being fed by his unit when on leave he is awarded an allowance to purchase food.
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Steve -
    Not surprised that you are having trouble finding the 38th RTR -74th RTR - 65th RTR etc -I don't think that they existed as my list just goes up to 51st RTR which served in 25th Tank Bde in North Africa and Italy.

    So try 3rd RTR - 4th RTR - 6th RTR - 7th RTR as they all served in the desert along with 10th RTR.....when 10th became 7th after Tobruk- I knew we had lots of Tank Battalions and Regiments but 102nd RTR - sheeesh ! -

    next you will have me believing that there were 17 battalions of the 21st lancers
    and 16 battalions of the 5th lancers .....- best advice - clean your glasses - or tell Glasgow they got it all wrong !
  4. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I believe the 38th R.T.R. was one of A Force's bogus units created as a deception.
  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Steve, Welcome- have you thought about posting his army records on here-then the experts can help with deciphering the records.

  6. Steve Ind

    Steve Ind Junior Member

    thanks everyone I can only tell you what is written on his record sheets that Glasgow sent. they seem genuine enough, not that I would know. If he was not in any of the mentioned units, what was he doing and why would all the records be incorrect? I dont know, thats why I asked. If I knew how to post the records on here I would do it, any suggestions? Me and computers are'nt a good mix. Cheers Steve
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Steve -
    something very odd about all this as Adm499 pointed out - some units were ficticious BUT that was for Palestine - with equally fictitious 9th and 10th armies whereas Armiyra and Abassia are in Egypt...odd also that he was sent to an Infantry unit IF he was Tank man -then records are written up by yumen beans - Glasgow might have bugs in their copier - lots of things can confuse records - So - if you are able to copy the essential sheets of his records - e-mail them to me and I can have a go at sorting them out.....Tomcan ATshaw.ca
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Two War Diaries for 38 RTR:

    WO 169/1419 38 Royal Tank Regiment 1940 Dec.- 1941 Feb., July-Dec.

    WO 169/4516 38 Royal Tank Regiment 1942 Jan.- Apr.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There appears to be a few A Force related diaries at the National Archives. Here's 101 RTR's:

    WO 169/1423 101 Royal Tank Regiment 1941 Nov.- Dec.

    WO 169/4526 101 Royal Tank Regiment 1942 Jan.- Sept., Dec.

    WO 169/9383 101 Royal Tank Regiment 1943 Jan.-Aug., Nov., Dec.

    WO 170/866 101 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    WO 170/4645 101 Royal Tank Regiment 1945 Jan.-Aug.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    102 RTR:

    WO 169/4527 102 Royal Tank Regiment 1942 Dec.

    WO 169/9384 102 Royal Tank Regiment 1943 Jan.-July
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    65 and 60 RTR:

    WO 169/9382 65 Royal Tank Regiment 1943 Aug.-Dec.

    WO 169/15986 65 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Jan

    WO 166/14602 60 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Sept.-Oct.

    WO 169/15984 60 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Feb.- July
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Drew - Great research - now for the benefit of those who can't get to the NA - is it at all possible that you can open one of those diaries in order that we can all see what those battalions were doing all through the war- without too many people knowing about them ...?

    My best information is that the last numbered battalion was the 51st RTR which was in 25th Tank bde and was formed from the Leeds Rifles which I understand is in your neighbourhood...

    The RTR was apparently made up of regular Battalions 1-11 - Territorial units 12-48 and a few formed from Infantry units to 51st - whereas the RAC was formed by incorporating the RTR - Cavalry Units and Infantry units to the extent of close to 200 Regiments - for example the 142nd regt was formed from the Suffolks - 145th was formed from 8th batt DoW's and the 146th came from the 9th Batt DoW's etc ...

    If you are put to any expanse then please be assured that I can pay - with an Internationl Money Order...
  13. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Does anyone have further info on 'A' Force? I have 38 RTR leaving Giarabub in December 1941. I also have 'F' Battalion RTR in Giarabub in October 1941.

    Many thanks in advance!

    All the best

  14. Glevum

    Glevum Junior Member


    Was trawling through the web looking for info on various RTR units and found your query.

    At the start of WW2, the Royal Tank Regiment comprised 20 Btns:
    1st - 8th : Regular Army Btns
    40th - 46th : TA Btns formed in 1938 by conversion of TA Infantry Btns
    47th - 51st : TA Btns formed in 1939 by duplication of existing TA Btns

    In 1940, a further 4 Btns were formed: 9th - 12th
    In 1941, at least 4 more Btns were raised in north africa (3 during April - June, another in November). I'm not sure what the Btn numbers were, but it it almost certainly 4 from the following list:

    37th, 38th, 39th, 60th, 62nd, 65th, 101st, 102nd, 118th and 124th

    [Your father's records indicate 4 of these]

    On 23rd October 1942 - the start of 2nd Alamein - three of these Btns (39th, 118th and 124th) were in the 74th Tank Bde [the other number from your father's records]

    see British Troops in Egypt, Middle East, 23.10.42

    Why is it that people don't know of these Btns? Its because they contained dummy tanks - originally, canvas-covered plywood/metal frames, later supplemented by inflatables. They were used a lot in north africa, especially in the run up to 2nd Alamein. Dummies saw limited use in the UK in the run-up to D-Day (to support the story of FUSAG, Patton's 1st US Army Group) - by this time, Luftwaffe recce planes hardly had a chance to spot anything and the allies had nabbed all german spys and were getting them to feed false info. However, they were still useful in normandy and beyond.

    As for the number of armoured units in WW2, its a lot more more than many people think.

    On 4 April 1939, the Royal Tank Regiment became part of the Royal Armoured Corps.

    Besides the 34+ RTR units (yes I'm counting the dummy tank units), the RAC included:
    26 Cavalry Regiments - some had Armoured Car units, but the majority had Tanks
    23 Yeomanry Regiments - as above [this includes the 3rd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, which never really grew beyond the size of a single Troop]
    31 tank-equipped regiments formed by conversion of Infantry Btns in 1940/1 (107th - 116th, 141st - 163rd)
    10 training regiments (21st, 53rd - 61st)
    3 armoured delivery regiments
    1st Armoured Reinforcement Regt
    1st Scorpion Regt
    49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regt
    Inns of Court Regt - an Armoured car unit that in 1908 was 27 Btn, London Regt but was an OTC from 1909 to 193!
    North Irish Horse - reformed as a Militia Regt in 1922, reconstituted as an Armoured Car Regt in the Supplementary Reserve in 1939 and shortly after transferred to the RAC

    In 1944, the Reconnaissance Corps also became part of the RAC. This contained some 20+ Infantry Division Reconnaisance Regts (plus several indep. Sqns). Not armoured per se, but did have Armoured Cars (and Bren Carriers, Recce Cars

    While not part of the RAC, I should also mention:

    1. The Household Cavalry Regts

    The Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards combined in 1939 to form 2 composite Regts. In 1940, these became the 1st & 2nd Household Cavalry Regts and, in the same year, designated as motor units - although the 1st Regt seems to have been motorised Cavalry not Infantry! In 1941 both becase armoured car units

    2. The Assault Regts RE - equipped with Churchill AVREs, the 5th, 6th & 42nd Regts served in north-west europe. There was also a 1st Regt in Italy (part of the 25th armoured engineer bde)

    3. RM Support Regts - 2 Regts, each 2 Sqns, plus an indep. Sqn. In all 100 tanks - 80 centaurs with cs howitzers, 20 shermans. Provided fire support on d-day.

    4. Last, but not least, 7 Guards Btns converted to Tanks during the war:
    Grenadier Guards - 2nd & 4th Btns
    Coldstream Guards - 1st & 4th Btns
    Scots Guards - 3rd Btn
    Irish Guards - 2nd Btn
    Welsh Guards - 2nd Btn

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