WWII British Uniform Query: 21 Anti-Tank Regiment RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by M3Grant, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member

    Good Morning all,

    I am looking at badging up a uniform for the next XXX Corps trip and specifically one belonging to the 21 Anti-Tank Regiment RA who had M10 Tank destroyers. My question is would they have had the WW1 Tank Qualification badge on their right arm even though they are artillery personnel? I’m sure most who qualified to work in Tanks had them but as they are not a Tank Regt and man Self Propelled Guns I wonder if it is different? I’ve looked through all the IWM footage of the Anti-Tank Regt’s in Normandy and Holland and can not see much detail.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong thread I am still getting to grips with the platform.
    And Thank you In advance!

    Kind Regards,
    Grant
     

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    Chris C likes this.
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi Grant,

    That's an interesting question. I don't know anything about that badge or who issued it, but if it was an RAC badge then I personally doubt it. There was obviously an overlap in the technical skills to learn but RA personnel for SPs were not trained the same as tank crew. Different tactics, and not trained by the RAC.

    I think there may also have been an anti-tank qualification badge. BRITISH ARMY ANTI TANK WEAPONS AT QUALIFICATION BADGE WW2 WWII | eBay
     
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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I thought it was only the RTR that wore that.
     
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  4. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Hi Grant
    Not worn by the RA to the best of my knowledge. I presume we are talking NW Europe 1944-45. The regulation insignia for that time would be the red on blue curved Royal Artillery title at the top of the sleeve. Below that would be the badge of the Guards Armoured Division, to which they were attached. Below that the red/blue arm of service strip. They would also have worn the RA white lanyard. Headdress at that time should be the Caps GS with the grenade badge.
    I have no record of any regimental badges (21 A/Tk) being worn. However regulations were often ignored and some very strange items and combinations were worn. As a regular Regiment 21st were more likely to stick to regulations.
    For further information and illustrations of some of these items see the Insignia section on my site.
    Derek
     
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  5. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member

    Thank you Very much Derek for your help! I’m only Just getting into the RA side of things and am finding it very interesting. I’ve only been RTR M3 Grant crew so it’s very refreshing for me. Can I ask why the white lanyard though? I am looking to do a uniform for an Officer, is the headress still the same? I understand the 21st were part of the Guards but would they not have the XXX Corps insignia somewhere on their tunics too?

    Thanks a lot for your help once again and sorry for the naivety!
     
  6. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member

    Thank you for this Chris, do you think an Officer would have this qualification?
     
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I really could not say, sorry.

    It seems possible that this qualification was for the infantry because of anti-tank platoons within infantry regiments.
     
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  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    No.
    They would only have the XXX Corps insignia if they were Corps Troops.
    They weren't, they were Guards Armd Div so would have the 'ever open eye'.
     
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  9. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Grant, you can forget about the lanyard as it was not worn by officers. Nor did they wear any sort of trade or qualification badges except for any flying qualifications they may be entitled to. Chris is right about the anti-tank qualification badge - Infantry Anti-Tank Platoons only and not worn by officers. Owen is also correct, only one formation sign was worn. In this case, as Divisional troops, the Guards Armoured badge. If you want to use the 30 Corps badge you would need to depict 73 Anti-Tank Regiment as they were the Corps Anti-Tank Regiment until November 1944. After this date Corps Anti-Tank assets were withdrawn and the Regiments came under 2 Army.
    All of this applies to field dress - Battledress as opposed to Service Dress. There are two possibilities for the headdress, the Cap GS usually in a finer material than the ORs with either a metal or embroidered grenade. Or possibly a Khaki Beret, these appearing in a number of photos from the late war period. Officers rank badges on Battledress were usually cloth and RA officers had a red backing to theirs showing as a thin red border.
    Derek
     
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  10. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member

    If the M10 (17pdr) was going to be going on the XXX Corps trip and part of the liberating Tank column would it be more appropriate to badge it up as the 21st or 75th then? Perhaps this is a question for another thread. Are you able to tell me the difference between the 30 Corps Anti-Tank Regt and the Guards Anti-Tank Regt role wise? I was unaware that the 75th were present.
     
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    If the GAD was in XXX Corps at that time then either is appropriate.

    The role of the divisional anti-tank regiment was to support the division. Its batteries (and potentially down to troops) could be distributed to support divisional operations.

    The role of the corps anti-tank regiment was similar but with broader scope: to support all the divisions in the corps.

    If you are talking about the M10 rather than the crew, it's worth pointing out that the Arm of Service number painted on the vehicle would also be different.
     
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  12. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Grant, Chris has stated the differences between Corps & Divisional Anti-Tank. I would only add that the Corps A/Tk Rgt was initially deployed a little further back so as to be in position to move anywhere in the Corps area in support of the Divisions or to cover any break through by enemy tanks.
    The arm of service numbers on the vehicles would be:
    30 Corps, 73 A/Tk Rgt - a white 2 on a red over blue square with a white bar above. 30 Corps sign on opposite side. Illustration
    Guards Armoured Division, 21 A/Tk Rgt - a white 77 on a red over blue square. Guards Armd Div sign on opposite side.
    Illustration
    73 A/Tk Rgt had M10's with 198 & 234 Batteries. Each battery had half 3 inch & half 17pdr.
     
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  13. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member


    Derek and Chris, Thank you for your kindness and help. As you mentioned previously on the subject I will ask you a similar question. The Grenade RA cap badge on the GS Cap is it a collar badge or a bigger version of the collar badge? I haven’t found to many examples of the Grenade cap badges just collar badges so far.
    Thanks one again, I am greatly in your debt
     
  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I'm afraid that I'm pretty ignorant about uniforms. Sorry - good luck!
     
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  15. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Officially the badge for the Cap GS was the gun badge and although this was worn, the grenade badge seems far more popular from photographs. It will have been the same badge as worn on the side cap from 1941. The gun badge was worn from 1939 to 1941 and was a gilt badge 1 7/8 inches high for all ranks. This is the badge sometimes worn on the Cap GS. The modern gun badge is about 2/3rd the size of the wartime one.
    The grenade badge with Ubique on a scroll below for officers was in bronze, 1 7/8 inches high. Other Ranks had theirs in Gilding metal 1 1/2 inches high. Both of these were collar badges as well as cap badges.
     
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  16. M3Grant

    M3Grant Member

    And would they have a red felt backing to the badge or not? I’ve also seen the badge in a square with half red and half blue. There seems to be such diversity.
     

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  17. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    I have also seen these patches behind the cap badge. They are not regulation but were worn just the same. If a unit wore them was down to the CO. You can also see these patches worn on the pagri of the slouch hat in the Far East. These were usually official.
     
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