5 R/T/R Arrival in Egypt

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by DavidW, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Can anyone tell me with which tanks 5 RTR arrived at Suez in late December 1940?

    Frank Chadwick quotes; 44 in total, mainly A13 but with some A9cs.

    I have also seen claims of; 28x A10, 6x A10cs + 18x A13MkII.

    Which, if either is correct?
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member


    Sorry. :(
  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here are the entries for the first few months in Egypt from the war diary. Some equipment is mentioned:

    Attached Files:

  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is some more from my notes:

    3rd Armoured Brigade – 14 April 1940 to 18 February 1941
    The brigade left for France on May 22nd 1940. The battalion was equipped with 58 cruiser tanks (A13s, A9s, and A10s) and 10 scout cars in France 1940. It returned to England from France on June 18th 1940. After France it reequipped with A13s to a full establishment by September 30th 1940. It embarked for Egypt with the brigade on November 1st 1940 and arrived in Egypt on January 1st 1941 with 46 A13s and 6 A10CS tanks. It moved to El Adem south of Tobruk in Libya on February 6th.

    Cyrcom – 18 February 1941 to 24 March 1941
    The battalion left the brigade and remained at El Adem. Seven A13s were turned over to the battalion from HQ 3rd Armoured Brigade on February 22nd. The brigade moved to the frontier without the regiment on February 28th. ‘A’ Squadron with 14 A13s and 2 A10CSs was sent to the frontier from El Adem on March 13th and came under the command of 3rd Armoured Brigade. It arrived in the forward area on March 19th with only 7 A13s since 7 were lost to mechanical failure and the 2 A10CSs were sent to the 6th Royal Tank Regiment.. The rest of the battalion moved to the frontier on March 21st from El Adem. The rest of the regiment moved to the frontier on March 21st with 33 A13s and 3 A10CSs.
  5. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member


    Peter Brown article has 5RTR going to France with
    7 x A9
    3 x A10
    23 x A13
    23 x LT VIb
    Photographic evidence points to A9 gun and cs versions as well as A13I (mainly) and a handful of A13IIA.

    The war diary entries that you kindly post also contradicts the 46 x A13 to Egypt.

  6. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    The war diary seems to indicate that 28x A10, 6x A10cs + 18x A13MkI, if not correct, is at least very close to the truth (2xA10 1xA13 squadrons) for disembarkation, and that by 24 Jan the battalion was changing kit to become a pure A13 battalion.

    Not sure why the French numbers are relevant, I doubt any made it back?

    All the best

  7. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    The general consensus on this forum is that no A13 Mk.I were sent to Egypt. l stress this point because the original question was posted by someone very keen to have precise data and evidence of the A13 Mk.I in Egypt. So, insert A13 Mk.IIA.

    Viz the numbers, they may be correct.

    However, my own analysis - which you can take with a pinch of salt - indicates that 2 out of the 3 RTR battalions of 3 Armd Bde ex UK (2, 3 & 5 RTR) had 4 x A13 Mk.IIA in RHQ. But which 2? The other had A10.

    Yes, a typical British fudge took place when it was decided to send 3RTR to Greece complete with A10 rather than a mix. One looks at logistic support as being the most sensible reason for this. This meant swopping out tanks with 5RTR. 3RTR had had 2 sqn of A13. The fudge was further compounded when 1 ArmdBde HQ took its A13s to Greece......
  8. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks one and all.

    From reading all of the above (thanks to all).It would seem that 5 RTR in Egypt began life with 2x Sqd A10 & 1x Sqd A13.

    So frank Chadwick's figures appear either to be wrong or to apply at another time, possibly some time after the end of December 1940 when it arrived in N. Africa.
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    As noted in the 24 Jan WD entry kindly posted above by Ryan, 5RTR was to reconfigure into a 'uniform' battalion with 46 x A13s and 6 x A10cs.

    Peter Brown articles also quote 3 ArmdBde and 3RTR WD entries for the same day which compliment this. Ie. 3RTR handed 28 x A13 to 5RTR and received in return 14 x A10 from 5RTR and 14 x LT VIb from KDG. There is a wee bit of confusion concerning the original complement of 4 x cruiser in 3RTR RHQ.

    Thus Chadwick, whoever he is, is incorrect in respect of cs version and incorrect if his claim is that 5RTR landed with A13. However, it was as a 'uniform' A13 battalion that 5RTR was to take up position in Libya in February.
  10. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Oops. I am really losing the plot Mark, I posted a link to Frank Chadwick in the 7th Hussars thread by mistake instead of this one!

Share This Page