Wednesday, February 23, 2005

1st Armoured Brigade

In January 1940, the 1st Light Armoured Brigade was assigned to the 2nd Armoured Division. It was joined in September by the 3rd Armoured Brigade. They fought in France in the debacle in 1940, and the remnants escaped at Dunkirk. The units originally assigned to the 1st Armoured Brigade were the King's Dragoon Guards (later famous as an armoured car regiment), the 3rd Hussars, and the 4th Hussars. Abruptly in August 1940, the 3rd Hussars were shipped to Egypt, where they were assigned to the 7th Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats). The 3/RTR was assigned in place of the 3rd Hussars. Robert Crisp, author of Brazen Chariots was with the 3/RTR. In November 1940, the 2nd Armoured Division was transported to Egypt. It was at the end of 1940 that the King's Dragoon Guards were converted to an armoured car regiment. In March, the 1st Armoured Brigade, with Robert Crisp, were in the force sent to Greece, to take part in yet another British disaster. When they returned, the 1st Armoured Brigade was given the 1/RTR and 6/RTR and were assigned to the 7th Armoured Brigade. When Rommel attacked in March and April 1941, the 2nd Armoured Division was beaten and eventually dissolved. The 1st Armoured Brigade's sister brigade, the 3rd, escaped into Tobruk. When the 1st Armoured Brigade arrived at the Battle of Gazala in May 1942, the brigade was dissolved and their equipment and troops used to reinforce the other units and was never reformed.

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