Markings and Insignia for Armour in the BEF

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

  1. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Keith, the MAFVA list states that the range of RMY 484 - RMY 538 was given to Mk IVC & Mk IV AA and the absence of a commander’s cupola confirms this as an Mk IVC. RMY 924 was an A11/Matilda I according to that source and Peter Brown.

    The markings below the xxx are the mobilization number above the embarkation stripes. In Blitzkrieg: Armour Camouflage and Markings, 1939-1940, Steve Zaloga says:

    Each unit was given a four-digit code, painted in small white numbers. Below this were three coloured stripes, each 20.3cm by 5.1cm. The colour of these stripes would depend on the four-digit unit serial. The uppermost and lowermost stripes were derived from the third digit of the four-digit code, and the middle stripe was derived from the last digit.

    1 Red
    2 Blue
    3 Yellow
    4 Light Green
    5 Grey
    6 Buff
    7 Red oxide
    8 Service colour
    9 White

    10 Brown

    Does anyone have a register of the unit/embarkation codes/dates/ports of departure & destination/etc.?

    Edit: Pipped at the post Rich.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  2. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Close up of number
    tank RMY 924 524 1940 close up.jpg tank RMY 924 524 1940 close up.jpg
  3. jhunt

    jhunt Junior Member

    Hi Keith thanks for the photo, pretty sure its RMY 524 from 2Tp C Squadron 10th Hussars a photo below of it before being used on the range and one on the range is an even worse state. ixHFhsZAUS4P134070396208P8034.jpg
    Rich Payne and morrisc8 like this.
  4. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    The only place in the Queen's Bay's war diary for 24th May which I can find that might indicate a knocked out Cruiser is below:

    QB 24 May.jpg

    This is from the testimony of 2nd Lieut. Nicholson of 'B' Squadron. An anomaly is that the pictures don't appear to show any tracks being shed, but we can't see the other side, and A10's were famous for losing tracks. But the stowage lockers do seem to have been opened up, which indicates that the kit may have been strewn outside at one point.
    morrisc8 likes this.
  5. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    My best guess scenario for the events above is that Lieutenant Nicholson mistook the A10 for the A9 of Colonel Fanshawe of the Queen's Bays. This would be an easy enough mistake.

    The fact that the loss of this A10 is not listed in either the Queen's Bays or 2nd Armoured Brigade war diaries suggests to me that it was in the process of being brought up to the front either by LAD or unit fitters. That the stowage boxes were opened might indicate that the fitters tried to recover their tools before they fled, or, most likely, surrendered. Another scenario might be that the tank had already broken down before it was attacked, and the fitters were outside the vehicle working on it when they were forced to surrender. In either scenario this would explain why there was no record of the tank being lost, the only reference to it being when Nicholson pulled up alongside, before he too came under attack and had to flee.
  6. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Another thing that is significant about all the photos of captured A10's is that they all seem to be missing their hull Besa mountings, with a blanking plate being positioned in their place.
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It must have the code 0136 - with yellow / buff / yellow then. Good ident.
    morrisc8 likes this.
  8. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    Fanshawe would have been in an A10 or an A13. Almost certainly an A10 as a day or two later the Bays had just a pair remaining from the original three and the RHQ A13 was allocated to the Composite Regiment.
    Don Juan likes this.
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    All of the A10 sent to France were the Vickers MG version. None of those first 35 A10 had a hull MG.
  10. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    So the disabled tank was likely Fanshawe's even though it was carrying 2nd Armoured Brigade HQ markings?

    Just had a snifter in my files, and not only did the 36 A10 Mk.I's not feature the hull Besa, nor did the first 31 A10 Mk.IA's. These all had the No.14 Wireless Set (UHF) installed instead.

    This was prompted by a delay in the issue of mountings, and the realisation when the mountings arrived that they fouled some of the hull rivets!
  11. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    I think it almost certain not to be the case.

    According to Evans in his report dated 31 May 1940 to CIGS, he states 14 x A10 had already been lost: 2 to enemy action and 12 to wear & tear or mechanical defects.

    I don't see the 2nd Armoured Brigade's lack of mention of the loss of an A10 in Ferrieres as a reason to think it had been loaned out to someone else. Advance HQ for 2nd Armoured Brigade was in Ferrieres and Foret d'Ailly that day.
    Don Juan likes this.
  12. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Can anybody place where the location of the photo below is? It shows T9121 of the Queen's Bays:


    Also, does anyone know anything about the tank below i.e. unit or location?

    Abandoned Cruiser.jpg

    Thanks in advance for any assistance...
  13. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Do you have a copy of Peter Brown's photohistory books on cruiser tanks? If not, I can check them when I am home (Monday) to see if those photos appear and if he has done work to locate them.
    Don Juan likes this.
  14. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    From the moment the Bays were detrained at Pacy, their tanks became strewn across the Norman countryside and further afield. It could be almost anywhere.

    However, the German panzers motoring past this particular vehicle would lead me to believe it may have been part of the composite "B" Squadron under command 3rd Armoured Brigade 7-10 June for the defence of the Andelle. That would put the tank somewhere between Sigy/Nolleval and Pont de l'Arche.
    Don Juan likes this.
  15. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much Mark and Chris!

    I've actually found another view of the second tank, which reveals that it is a 3 RTR tank, probably at Guines:

    A13 Mk.I 3 RTR.jpg
    Chris C likes this.
  16. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    I'm having second thoughts now. The composite B Sqn, Bays on the Andelle Line faced 7.Pz-Div and, to a lesser extent, Senger Brigade. I think that's a Pz.III in the picture which neither 7.Pz-Div nor Senger had.
  17. jhunt

    jhunt Junior Member

    This tank is T4403 from HQ A Sqn 3RTR it was lost on 23rd of May outside Hames Boucres during the attack on Guinnes. There are many many photos of this vehicle. It was lost due to enemy action and later burnt. These photos are after it was burnt.
    Don Juan likes this.
  18. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jamie!
  19. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I would say the tank in the second photo (while it is not the SAME photo) has enough points of resemblance to almost certainly be one in Peter Brown's A13 book on p36: the distorted side, missing cover from the second-last wheel, even the mud(?) pattern on the turret. There is also a field grave in front of the tank although in the photo in his book there is a helmet resting on the top of it. I will try to post a photo of that page. What he writes is:

    "A13 Mk 1 T4403 from 3RTR was burnt allowing us an unusual view of the roadwheel. With the outer disc removed or melted, the construction of the rear wheel can be seen showing the arrangement of the spokes. Second wheel from the front has almost melted away exposing the slot in the hull outer plates for the axle to move up and down. A field grave in front of the tank was probably the first resting place of one of the tank's crew. (Bob Gregory Collection)"


    He also has two more pictures of T9121 but has not identified the location.

    Don Juan likes this.
  20. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much Chris!

Share This Page