Markings and Insignia for Armour in the BEF

Discussion in '1940' started by LondonNik, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    A thread for discussing the markings applied to and used by all armour within the BEF, including 1st Armoured Division, 1st Army Tank Brigade, Divisional cavalry regiments, Armoured Car units, Motorised Divisions, ad hoc armoured formations (Cooks Light Tanks, Beauman Tanks), GHQ units and the tanks at Ordnance Depots in France and Belgium.
    Armour is to be used in its loosest sense and includes Tanks, Carriers, Scout Cars and Armoured Cars.

    Postings of photographs and documentatory evidence are welcome!
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nik,

    Have you got any of the war diaries? If so can you post the ones you've already checked to save me going through the same ones, or anyone else.

    :lol: Seeing as I'm being ignored I'll not bother looking :p

    Regards
    Andy
     
  3. 4/7 RDG

    4/7 RDG Member

    Here's one for the 2nd Division - is this a "Bren Carrier" or one of the many variants? 15 is 1st Border Regt I think (tell me if I am wide of the mark!).
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I like the name: She's called Hitlers Bogey (chalked on left side.) There is a forage cap infront of the Corporal with a cap badge that should be abled to be ID'd.

    Edit:

    Looks like a Border Regt badge to me.
     
  5. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    A lovely picture. This one is a Bren Carrier as it is open on the right side (the Scout Carrier was open on the left side).

    Interestingly the picture, with another of the same unit, appears in Batailles Numero 26 where there are some excellent large scale reproductions of BEF pictures from the IWM. Strangely in the magazine it is captioned as 1st Battalion Border regt while the second picture is captioned 13/18 Hussars. Neither is right I think.

    The AoS 15 on a red background would be the junior battalion in the senior brigade of an infantry division. According to the Orbat in Blaxland and the crossed keys of 2nd Division that would make this 1/8th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

    Andrew
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Here's one for the 2nd Division - is this a "Bren Carrier" or one of the many variants? 15 is 1st Border Regt I think (tell me if I am wide of the mark!).
    Yes according to this that Drew posted.
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/307630-post67.html

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Andrew, the photo dates from October 1939, prior to 1 Border's substitution by the territorial 1/8 Lancs. Fus. That they're wearing Service Dress certainly supports the early date.

    It is IWM O 570 - This is their caption :- "THE BRITISH ARMY IN FRANCE 1939-40
    A Bren gun carrier of 13/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) on exercise near Arras, 16 October 1939."

    Quite why a Bren Carrier clearly stencilled with the 2 Div. Keys should have been operated by 13th / 18th Hussars who were Div Cav for 1st Div. is a puzzle to me. Someone's notes became mixed I suspect.

    Once again, the ciné cameras seem to have been on the same exercise. The difference in shade between what should be a red background to the AoS marking in both photographs is considerable and highlights the difficulty of identifying these with different film types.

    [​IMG]

    There are a number of images from around the same period showing 1 Border at Orchies.

    This is the image that I was looking for :-

    [​IMG]

    HMC 66 is a Sentinel Wagon Armoured MG Carrier.

    If it was Divisional Cavalry for 2nd Div. then it might be expected to have carried '2' on black.
     
  8. 4/7 RDG

    4/7 RDG Member

    Still with 2nd Division, this is the 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards (who were Div cavalry for 2 Division) undergoing troop training during the phoney war. All their tanks seem to be Vickers MkVIB and all have wireless sets installed. This looks like the whole of B Squadron, with tanks of Sqn HQ, 1 and 2 troops in the middle; on the left are scout carriers of 3 troop and the remaining troops on the far side.

    The AoS plate (white 2 on black) is almost out of shot on the front tank - all the photos I have show the plate holder fixed to the front left track cover with the plate vertical, almost free-standing rather than flush with the bodywork. The same applies to the scout carriers. Must have made visibility difficult for the drivers.

    I have looked long and hard at the camo finish on the carriers - the combination seems far too light for deep bronze green over middle bronze green, but perhaps it is just the bright sunlight . . .

    The mix of coats and headgear being worn by the officers is interesting.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Rich - thanks for the correction - 1st Bn Border Regt then went to 42nd Division?

    Andrew
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Here's a close up of that Forgae cap (Bottom centre of shot) and you can see the Corporals Collar Dogs.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Still with 2nd Division, this is the 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards (who were Div cavalry for 2 Division) undergoing troop training during the phoney war. All their tanks seem to be Vickers MkVIB and all have wireless sets installed. This looks like the whole of C Squadron, with tanks of Sqn HQ, 1 and 2 troops in the middle; on the left are scout carriers of 3 troop and the remaining troops on the far side.

    The AoS plate (white 2 on black) is almost out of shot on the front tank - all the photos I have show the plate holder fixed to the front left track cover with the plate vertical, almost free-standing rather than flush with the bodywork. The same applies to the scout carriers. Must have made visibility difficult for the drivers.

    I have looked long and hard at the camo finish on the carriers - the combination seems far too light for deep bronze green over middle bronze green, but perhaps it is just the bright sunlight . . .

    The mix of coats and headgear being worn by the officers is interesting.

    Here is a close-up of IWM F2128 from Batailles No 26 (which you may already have as you already seem to have the man's hat). The contrast is certainly very pronounced. According to Mike Starmer, you might expect the colours to be a base coat of G3 (also known as Khaki Green No 3) with a disruptive pattern of G4 (Dark Green No 4) over the top. Is the square tactical mark red?

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=42967&stc=1&d=1294079568

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I would have no doubt that the base colour in the previous image is Khaki Green No.3 and DG No.4 disruptive would also seem likely.

    This is a rather unfortunate post-action shot of presumably a 4/7 RDG Scout Carrier. The 'Crossed Keys' are quite small in this case and I assume that is a 'C' Squadron circle on the off-side wing ?

    [​IMG]

    There is fire and smoke damage but the '2' AoS doesn't look to be on a black background to me. Is it on KG 3 ? It certainly shouldn't be red.
     
  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This Nuffield Scout carrier from 1st Infantry Division is marked for Divisional Cavalry, so presumably this one should be 13th/18th Hussars.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This abandoned Scout Carrier is captioned in the original album as Asse so is likely to be from 15th / 19th Hussars as a section of them was cut off there. It does not appear to carry any markings, perhaps suggesting that these were removed once they were no longer officially Divisional Cavalry ?

    [​IMG]

    By way of confirmation, this is the much-photographed 'Horsa' in Asse from the same album page.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    More damaged Divisional Cavalry Scout Carriers.

    [​IMG]

    What is the significance of the vertically split diamond marking ?

    I've been struggling with the formation sign. Is it an overpainted 2nd Division marking ?

    Apologies for 'lifting' the photo from somewhere but it's all in the name of historical research.

    It goes without saying that I'd appreciate all comments / identifications of markings. These pictures are useless without background information !:)
     
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    And the diabolos (triangles joined at the points) on the crew compartments in posts 13 and 15 are at 90 degrees to each other - what could their significance be?
     
  17. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    ... and another odd thing - An image from Nigel watson's carrier book - it looks to be the same group of 1st Div carriers from post #13 on their way back but the marking on the nearside wing (which I'd expect to be the formation sign) looks to be half a diamond split vertically (or is part not visible ?)

    [​IMG]

    The background to the AoS marking is clearly not the black of the registration plate. Is it painted directly on khaki green or is it on red ?

    Let's hope that some answers are available because I'm getting more and more confused (but I like looking at the pictures :))
     
  18. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    And the diabolos (triangles joined at the points) on the crew compartments in posts 13 and 15 are at 90 degrees to each other - what could their significance be?

    The diabolo probably isn't.

    This is a clearer picture from Taghon.

    [​IMG]

    Taken on the road to Waver as the BEF moved up to the Dyle. He describes it as the insignia of 13th/18th Hussars - a rectangle divided into two white and two black triangles. The carrier also still has the 1st Div Triangle (so some at least were still present on 10th May) and there is the triangle standing on its point on the offside wing as well.
     
  19. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    ... it looks to be the same group of 1st Div carriers from post #13...

    It's definitely the same location looking at the wood behind.

    Regarding the 13/18 H black and white flash, it looks like a lighter black than the AoS plate.

    Good photos, though.
     
  20. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've just looked at Zaloga (Thanks Andrew !) and he gives dark blue / white as 13/18H colours for their pennant and for their regimental insignia (the vertical diamond that we can only see a half of, plus the 1st Div triangle in combination with the '2 AoS'. That's four different markings on the same vehicle, any one or two of which should confirm identity.
     

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