40th Division: 3rd Royal Tank Regt & 3 Commando Brigade

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Charley Fortnum, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi all,

    I am wondering if anyone has come across any reference to 3RTR using a few Archers (!) in Hong Kong. The relevant facts I have are as follows:

    - In September 1949, 27th (Strange's Company) Anti-Tank Regiment arrived. They were equipped with 17-pounder guns and 3 Archers, plus mortars as alternate weapons. Then in November they were converted to a Mortar Battery. The one troop sent to Korea was I assume using towed guns.
    - The Archers were handed over to 'C' Squadron of of 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars who did some tracked vehicle driving training in November and took them on plus a Cromwell for command tank. They were organized like a part of a divisional regiment RAC of the time - some APC troops, some armoured car troops, and the Archer troop. (Actually I don't think a troop of SPs was ordinary equipment but I have seen a proposed org for the divisional regiment which included some Archers even when Archers were RA vehicles. Seems rather cheeky!)
    - In February 'C' Squadron was sent back to Malaya, leaving behind their equiment.

    I have no idea what happened to the Archers at this point, but I have seen reference to whichever regiment was in HK in 1955 as a "Divisional Regiment RAC". It actually seems unusual to me now that 3RTR was only equipped with Comets and Cromwells, because from March 1950, the role of the Divisional Regiment RAC was anti-tank defence. And previous to that it was reconnaissance with a very mixed war establishment as I described above. But 3RTR may have simply be sent over as an individual armoured regiment.

    So the Archers simply may have been considered surplus to requirements and put in a depot.
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Screenshot 2022-01-16 at 1.26.44 AM.jpg

    As you all know by now, I am completely unable--in spite of brave attempts at instruction--to distinguish one tank from the next, so whether this is a Cromwell, Centurion, Comet or something else beginning with 'C', I'm not sure, but context suggests that this photo was taken in the early 50s in either Hong Kong or Malaya (although they all look overdressed for the climate).

    More importantly, the name rings a distinct bell: "Castor".

    Has this particular tank come up in my discussions with Chris C , Don Juan, Tolbooth or SDP perhaps?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
    SDP and Chris C like this.
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    That is a very fine photo of a Churchill Crocodile, with a flamethrower instead of a bow machine-gun, and the trailer holding fuel.

    This is my not-great photo of the trailer at the Tank Museum.


    edited PS. Tagging KevinT because of the tank name.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
    Charley Fortnum likes this.

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