Royal Tank Regiment
Overview
 
The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is an armoured regiment
Cavalry regiments of the British Army
There are currently nine regular cavalry regiments of the British Army, with two tank regiments provided by the Royal Tank Regiment, traditionally classed alongside the cavalry, for a total of eleven regiments. Of these, five serve as armoured regiments, and five as formation reconnaissance...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. It was formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps. It is part of the Royal Armoured Corps
Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...

 and is made up of two operational regiments, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment
1st Royal Tank Regiment
The 1st Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was originally formed as 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Corps in 1934....

(1RTR) and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment
2nd Royal Tank Regiment
The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

(2RTR). The official regimental motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 is Fear Naught while unofficial motto (signified also by the colours of the tactical recognition flash
Tactical recognition flash
100px|thumb|Red and blue tactical recognition flash of the [[Royal Artillery]].A Tactical Recognition Flash is a coloured patch worn on the arm of combat clothing by members of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force to distinguish their Regiment or Corps in the absence of a cap badge. It...

) is "From Mud, Through Blood to the Green Fields Beyond."
In the nineteenth-century (and before) British Army, regiments of infantry raised several battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s, which were often deployed separately.
Encyclopedia
The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is an armoured regiment
Cavalry regiments of the British Army
There are currently nine regular cavalry regiments of the British Army, with two tank regiments provided by the Royal Tank Regiment, traditionally classed alongside the cavalry, for a total of eleven regiments. Of these, five serve as armoured regiments, and five as formation reconnaissance...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. It was formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps. It is part of the Royal Armoured Corps
Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...

 and is made up of two operational regiments, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment
1st Royal Tank Regiment
The 1st Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was originally formed as 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Corps in 1934....

(1RTR) and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment
2nd Royal Tank Regiment
The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

(2RTR). The official regimental motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 is Fear Naught while unofficial motto (signified also by the colours of the tactical recognition flash
Tactical recognition flash
100px|thumb|Red and blue tactical recognition flash of the [[Royal Artillery]].A Tactical Recognition Flash is a coloured patch worn on the arm of combat clothing by members of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force to distinguish their Regiment or Corps in the absence of a cap badge. It...

) is "From Mud, Through Blood to the Green Fields Beyond."

Nomenclature

In the nineteenth-century (and before) British Army, regiments of infantry raised several battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s, which were often deployed separately. This practice remained into the modern era—in the First World War, it was common to see twenty or more battalions with a single regimental title. However, this practice did not hold for the cavalry regiments, which traditionally were only of limited size; in the modern era, this meant that each regiment would only constitute one battalion.

As a result, it became traditional for a battalion-level unit of cavalry to be referred to as a "regiment". This was not as confusing as it may seem, since where other armies would use "regiment" for a unit of two to four battalions, the British Army used "brigade". Hence, an infantry brigade could consist of three battalions of infantry, but a cavalry brigade of equivalent size would have three regiments.

In the inter-war period, the British Army began to mechanise, with cavalry regiments giving up their horses in favour of armoured cars or light tanks. (The first regiment to do so was the 11th Hussars
11th Hussars
The 11th Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army.-History:The regiment was founded in 1715 as Colonel Philip Honeywood's Regiment of Dragoons and was known by the name of its Colonel until 1751 when it became the 11th Regiment of Dragoons...

, in 1928; the last the Royal Scots Greys in 1941). As a result, it became common to refer to any armoured unit as a "regiment" rather than a "battalion"—the 11th Hussars were not merely an armoured-car battalion, but the whole of the regiment. In 1945, this usage became formal; all armoured battalions were henceforth referred to as regiments.

The Royal Tank Regiment is itself a regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army, part of the Royal Armoured Corps
Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...

. However, as a result of the above, both its "battalions" are formally titled regiments. This can cause some confusion, with the regiment currently being composed of two regiments.

World War I

The Royal Tank Regiment's formation followed the invention of the tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

. Tanks were first used at Flers
Battle of Flers-Courcelette
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, was a battle within the Franco-British Somme Offensive which took place in the summer and autumn of 1916. Launched on the 15th of September 1916 the battle went on for one week. Flers-Courcelette began with the overall objective of cutting a hole in the German...

 in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme
Battle of the Somme (1916)
The Battle of the Somme , also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 14 November 1916 in the Somme department of France, on both banks of the river of the same name...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. At that time the six tank companies were grouped as the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps
Machine Gun Corps
The Machine Gun Corps was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in World War I. The Heavy Branch of the MGC was the first to use tanks in combat, and the branch was subsequently turned into the Tank...

 (MGC).

In November 1916 the eight companies then in existence were each expanded to form battalions still lettered A through H; another seven battalions, I through O, were formed by January 1918, when they all were converted to numbered units. On 28 July 1917 the Heavy Branch was by Royal Warrant
Royal Warrant
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

 separated from the rest of the MGC and given official status as the Tank Corps, meaning that by the beginning of 1918 the fifteen units were changed from letters to numbers as 1st Battalion to 15th Battalion, Tank Corps. More battalions continued to be formed, and by December 1918, 26 had been created. (At this time there were only 25 tank battalions, however; the 17th had converted to using armoured cars in April 1918). The first commander of the Tank Corps was Hugh Elles
Hugh Elles
Lieutenant General Sir Hugh Jamieson Elles KCB KCMG KCVO DSO was a British General and the first commander of the newly formed Tank Corps in the First World War.-Early life:...

.

The Corps saw heavy action through 1917 and 1918, with special note being given to the Battle of Cambrai (1917), which the regiment continues to commemorate annually. During the war, four members of the Corps were awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

. However, heavy losses and recurrent mechanical difficulties reduced the effectiveness of the Corps, leading the Bovington Tank School to adopt a doctrine that emphasised caution and high standards of maintenance in equal measure.

Interwar period

After the war, the Tank Corps was trimmed down to a central depot and four battalions; the 2nd
2nd Royal Tank Regiment
The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

, 3rd
3rd Royal Tank Regiment
The 3rd Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1992. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It originally saw action as C Battalion, Tank Corps in 1917....

, 4th
4th Royal Tank Regiment
The 4th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1993. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

 and 5th
5th Royal Tank Regiment
The 5th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1969. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

 Battalions, Tank Corps.

On 18 October 1923, it was officially named Royal (making it the Royal Tank Corps) by Colonel-in-Chief King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

. It was at this time that the motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 Fear Naught, the black beret
Beret
A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned hat, designated a "cap", usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, or wool felt, or acrylic fiber....

 and the unit badge were adopted. The word Corps was replaced in 1939 with Regiment to give the unit its current name, the Royal Tank Regiment.

In 1920, twelve Armoured Car Companies were set up as part of the Tank Corps, absorbing units from the Machine Gun Corps; eight were later converted into independent Light Tank
Light tank
A light tank is a tank variant initially designed for rapid movement, and now primarily employed in low-intensity conflict. Early light tanks were generally armed and armored similar to an armored car, but used tracks in order to provide better cross-country mobility.The light tank was a major...

 Companies. All disbanded before the outbreak of the Second World War.

In 1933 the 6th Battalion, Royal Tank Corps
6th Royal Tank Regiment
The 6th Royal Tank Regiment was a regiment of the Royal Tank Regiment, of the British Army, until 1959. It originally saw action as 6th Battalion Tank Corps in 1917.-First World War:...

, was formed in Egypt by combining the personnel of two of these companies; in 1934, the 1st (Light) Battalion, Royal Tank Corps
1st Royal Tank Regiment
The 1st Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was originally formed as 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Corps in 1934....

 was formed in England with personnel from three of the existing battalions.

With the preparations for war in the late 1930s a further two regular battalions were formed; the 7th
7th Royal Tank Regiment
The 7th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1959.-History:The 7th Royal Tank Regiment was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

 in 1937 and the 8th
8th Royal Tank Regiment
The 8th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1960. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It originally saw action as H Battalion, Tank Corps in 1917....

 in 1938. The 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th & 45th battalions were raised in 1938, being converted from Territorial Army infantry battalions; the 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th and 51st were likewise activated and converted in 1939. The twelve Yeomanry
Yeomanry
Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry regiments. Today, Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.-History:...

 Armoured Car Companies of the RTR were all activated and transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps.

Territorial Tank Regiments

40th RTR formed by converting the 7th Battalion of The King's (Liverpool) Regiment

41st RTR formed by converting the 10th battalion of The Manchester Regiment

42nd RTR formed by converting the 7th (23rd London) Battalion of The East Surrey Regiment

43rd RTR formed by converting the 6th battalion of The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers

44th RTR formed by converting the 6th battalion of The Gloucestershire Regiment

45th RTR formed by converting the 7th (Leeds Rifles) battalion of The West Yorkshire Regiment

46th RTR formed as a duplicate of the 40th (The King's) Royal Tank Regiment

47th RTR formed as a duplicate of the 41st (Oldham) Royal Tank Regiment

48th RTR formed as a duplicate of the 42nd Royal Tank Regiment

49 RTR formed as a duplicate of the 43rd (6th (City) Battalion, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) Royal Tank Regiment

50th RTR formed as a duplicate of the 44th Royal Tank Regiment,

51st RTR formed by duplicating the 7th (Leeds Rifles) battalion of The West Yorkshire Regiment Royal Tank Regiment
Before the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Royal Tank Corps recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall. They initially enlisted for six years with the colours and a further six years with the reserve. They trained at the Royal Tank Corps Depot at Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp is a British Army base in Dorset, England.It is home to The Armour Centre, formerly the Royal Armoured Corps Centre and includes Allenby Barracks and Stanley Barracks. Bovington Tank Museum is adjoining....

, Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

 for about eight months.

World War II

At the outbreak of war, the regiment consisted of eight regular battalions.
  • 1st
    1st Royal Tank Regiment
    The 1st Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was originally formed as 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Corps in 1934....

     & 6th
    6th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 6th Royal Tank Regiment was a regiment of the Royal Tank Regiment, of the British Army, until 1959. It originally saw action as 6th Battalion Tank Corps in 1917.-First World War:...

     RTR was part of the Heavy Armoured Brigade (Egypt)
  • 2nd
    2nd Royal Tank Regiment
    The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

    , 3rd
    3rd Royal Tank Regiment
    The 3rd Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1992. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It originally saw action as C Battalion, Tank Corps in 1917....

     & 5th
    5th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 5th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1969. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

     RTR were part of the 1st Heavy Armoured Brigade
  • 4th
    4th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 4th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1993. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

     7th
    7th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 7th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1959.-History:The 7th Royal Tank Regiment was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

     & 8th
    8th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 8th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army until 1960. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It originally saw action as H Battalion, Tank Corps in 1917....

     RTR were part of the British 1st Army Tank Brigade
    British 1st Army Tank Brigade
    The British 1st Army Tank Brigade took part in Operation Crusader, being a part of the XIII Corps. Tied to the 2 South African Division, it took part in the conquest of Bardia December 1941-January 1942....



In addition, there were a large number of territorial battalions, as well as hostilities-only battalions such as 9 RTR.

The regiment was again expanded such that there were numerous units of the RTR that took part in countless battles in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, including the Battle of Dunkirk
Battle of Dunkirk
The Battle of Dunkirk was a battle in the Second World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 26 May–4 June 1940.After the Phoney War, the Battle of...

, El Alamein
Second Battle of El Alamein
The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The battle took place over 20 days from 23 October – 11 November 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery...

 and D-Day. Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 Montgomery
Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC , nicknamed "Monty" and the "Spartan General" was a British Army officer. He saw action in the First World War, when he was seriously wounded, and during the Second World War he commanded the 8th Army from...

 would frequently wear the regiment's beret, with his Field Marshal's badge sewn on next to the regimental cap badge, as it was more practical whilst travelling on a tank than either a formal peaked hat or the Australian slouch hat he previously wore.

Higher-numbered battalions of the regiment included the 40th
40th (The King's) Royal Tank Regiment
The 40th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army from 1938 until 1956. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 41st
41st (Oldham) Royal Tank Regiment
The 41st Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army from 1938 until 1956. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 42nd, 43rd, 44th
44th Royal Tank Regiment
The 44th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 45th
45th (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment
The 45th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 46th
46th (Liverpool Welsh) Royal Tank Regiment
The 46th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 47th
47th (Oldham) Royal Tank Regiment
The 47th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 48th
48th Royal Tank Regiment
The 48th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 49th
49th Royal Tank Regiment
The 49th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, 50th
50th Royal Tank Regiment
The 50th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, and 51st Royal Tank
51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment
The 51st Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during World War II. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

, and battalions were redesignated as regiments in 1945.

11 RTR formed part of 79th Armoured Division
79th Armoured Division
The 79th Armoured Division was a specialist British Army armoured formation created as part of the preparations for the Normandy invasion of 6 June 1944...

 (aka Hobart's Funnies
Hobart's Funnies
Hobart's Funnies were a number of unusually modified tanks operated during World War II by the United Kingdom's 79th Armoured Division or by specialists from the Royal Engineers. They were designed in light of problems that more standard tanks experienced during the Dieppe Raid, so that the new...

), equipped initially with CDL (tactical searchlight)
Canal Defence Light
Canal Defence Light was a British "secret weapon" of the Second World War.It was based upon the use of a powerful carbon-arc searchlight mounted on a tank. It was intended to be used during night-time attacks, when the light would allow enemy positions to be targeted...

 tanks, but converted not long after D-Day to "Buffalo" (the British service name for the US Landing Vehicle Tracked
Landing Vehicle Tracked
The Landing Vehicle Tracked was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well...

), and participated in the assault crossing of the Rhine. Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 was ferried across the Rhine in a Buffalo from 'C' Squadron 11RTR.

Post-war period

After World War II, the RTR was reduced through various amalgamations, first in 1959-60:
  • 3RTR and 6RTR amalgamated as 3RTR
  • 4RTR and 7RTR amalgamated as 4RTR
  • 5RTR and 8RTR amalgamated as 5RTR


In 1969, 5RTR was disbanded, while under Options for Change
Options for Change
Options for Change was a restructuring of the British Armed Forces in 1990, aimed at cutting defence spending following the end of the Cold War....

, 4RTR amalgamated with 1RTR, and 3RTR with 2RTR.

The current Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Tank Regiment is Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

.

Current status

Today, there are two regiments, the 1st and 2nd Royal Tank Regiments (1RTR and 2RTR). Today, half of 1RTR
1st Royal Tank Regiment
The 1st Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was originally formed as 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Corps in 1934....

 forms part of the Joint CBRN Regiment
Joint CBRN Regiment
The Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment is a specialist expeditionary unit of the British armed forces. It is currently a joint unit consisting of:*1st Royal Tank Regiment*No. 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment...

 (together with No. 27 Squadron RAF Regiment
No. 27 Squadron RAF Regiment
No. 27 Squadron RAF Regiment is a field squadron of the RAF Regiment in the Royal Air Force. Its mission is protection of RAF bases from ground attack. The squadron's current HQ is at RAF Honington. The motto of 27 Squadron is Defensores Defendo . - History :No. 27 Squadron RAF Regiment was formed...

) at RAF Honington
RAF Honington
RAF Honington is a Royal Air Force station located south of Thetford near Ixworth in Suffolk, England. Although used as a bomber station during the Second World War, RAF Honington is now the RAF Regiment depot and home to the Joint CBRN Regiment.-RAF use:...

 with the other half as a training unit at Harman Lines, Warminster
Warminster
Warminster is a town in western Wiltshire, England, by-passed by the A36, and near Frome and Westbury. It has a population of about 17,000. The River Were runs through the town and can be seen running through the middle of the town park. The Minster Church of St Denys sits on the River Were...

 while 2RTR
2nd Royal Tank Regiment
The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps...

 retains its role as an armoured regiment as part of 1 Mechanized Brigade at Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth
Tidworth
Tidworth is a town in south-east Wiltshire, England with a growing civilian population. Situated at the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain, it is approximately 10 miles west of Andover, 12 miles south of Marlborough, 24 miles south of Swindon, 15 miles north by north-east of Salisbury and 6 miles east...

.

The Royal Tank Regiment has continued to see action, including playing a role in missions in Bosnia and Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

. Elements of 1RTR were deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and both regiments were involved in the invasion of Iraq, with the 2RTR battlegroup playing an important role in the capture of the city of Basra. Squadrons of both Regiments have continued to deploy in Afghanistan and Iraq carrying out both Armoured and Infantry taskings.

Vehicles

The Royal Tank Regiment uses a variety of vehicles, including:
  • Challenger 2
    Challenger 2 tank
    FV4034 Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems . The manufacturer advertises it as the world's most reliable main battle tank...

     (introduced in 1998; the regiment's primary vehicle)
  • FV107 Scimitar
    FV107 Scimitar
    FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle used by the British Army. It is very similar to the FV101 Scorpion but mounts a high velocity 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon instead of a 76 mm gun. It was issued to Royal Armoured Corps, Armoured Regiments in the Reconnaissance role...

  • FV105 Sultan
    FV105 Sultan
    FV105 Sultan is a British Army command and control vehicle based on the CVR platform. It has a higher roof than the APC variants, providing a more comfortable "office space" inside. This contains a large vertical map board and desk along one side, with a bench seat for three people facing it...

  • FV103 Spartan
    FV103 Spartan
    FV103 Spartan is a tracked armoured personnel carrier of the British Army. It was developed as the APC variant of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance family. The vehicle can carry up to 7 personnel, including 3 crew members. Armed with a single machine gun, it is almost indistinguishable from the...

  • FV104 Samaritan
    FV104 Samaritan
    The FV104 Samaritan is the British Army armoured ambulance variant of the CVR family. It has a capacity for up to 6 casualties.The Samaritan is one of the variants of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance family of armoured fighting vehicles developed by Alvis plc for the British military....

  • HGV
    Truck
    A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

  • Land Rover
    Land Rover
    Land Rover is a British car manufacturer with its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom which specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is owned by the Indian company Tata Motors, forming part of their Jaguar Land Rover group...

  • Fuchs
    Fuchs (APC)
    TPz Fuchs is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr...


Battle honours

The Great War

  • Somme 1916
    Battle of the Somme (1916)
    The Battle of the Somme , also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 14 November 1916 in the Somme department of France, on both banks of the river of the same name...

     '18, Arras 1917
    Battle of Arras (1917)
    The Battle of Arras was a British offensive during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras on the Western Front....

     '18, Messines 1917
    Battle of Messines
    The Battle of Messines was a battle of the Western front of the First World War. It began on 7 June 1917 when the British Second Army under the command of General Herbert Plumer launched an offensive near the village of Mesen in West Flanders, Belgium...

    , Ypres 1917, Cambrai 1917, St. Quentin 1918, Villers Bretonneux, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line
    Hindenburg Line
    The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in northeastern France during World War I. It was constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916–17. The line stretched from Lens to beyond Verdun...

    , , , France and Flanders 1916-18, Gaza
    Third Battle of Gaza
    The Third Battle of Gaza was fought in 1917 in southern Palestine during the First World War. The British Empire forces under the command of General Edmund Allenby successfully broke the Ottoman defensive Gaza-Beersheba line...


The Second World War

  • North-West Europe 1940

Arras Counter Attack
Battle of Arras (1940)
The Battle of Arras took place during the Battle of France, in the early stages of World War II. It was an Allied counterattack against the flank of the German army, that took place near the town of Arras, in north-eastern France. The German forces were pushing north toward the channel coast, in...

, Calais 1940, St. Omer-La Bassée, Somme
  • North Africa 1940-43

Sidi Barrani
Operation Compass
Operation Compass was the first major Allied military operation of the Western Desert Campaign during World War II. British and Commonwealth forces attacked Italian forces in western Egypt and eastern Libya in December 1940 to February 1941. The attack was a complete success...

, Beda Fomm
Beda Fomm
Beda Fomm is a small coastal town in southwestern Cyrenaica, Libya located between the much larger port city Benghazi to its north and the larger town of El Agheila further to the southwest...

, Sidi Suleiman, Tobruk 1941
Operation Battleaxe
Operation Battleaxe was a British Army operation during the Second World War in June 1941 with the goal of clearing eastern Cyrenaica of German and Italian forces; one of the main benefits of this would have been the lifting of the Siege of Tobruk....

, Sidi Rezegh 1941, Belhamed, Gazala, Cauldron, Knightsbridge, Defence of Alamein Line, Alam el Halfa, El Alamein
El Alamein
El Alamein is a town in the northern Matrouh Governorate of Egypt. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, it lies west of Alexandria and northwest of Cairo. As of 2007, it has a local population of 7,397 inhabitants.- Climate :...

, Mareth
Mareth Line
The Mareth Line was a system of fortifications built by the French between the towns of Medenine and Gabès in southern Tunisia, prior to World War II...

, Akarit, Fondouk, El Kourzia, Medjez Plain, Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

  • Sicily 1943
    Allied invasion of Sicily
    The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...


Primosole Bridge, Gerbini, Adrano
  • Italy 1943-45
    Italian Campaign (World War II)
    The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...


Sangro, Salerno
Allied invasion of Italy
The Allied invasion of Italy was the Allied landing on mainland Italy on September 3, 1943, by General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group during the Second World War. The operation followed the successful invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign...

, Volturno Crossing, Garigliano Crossing, Anzio
Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle , during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an...

, Advance to Florence, Gothic Line
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

, Coriano, Lamone Crossing, Rimini Line, Argenta Gap
  • North-West Europe 1944-45

Odon, Caen, Bourguébus Ridge, Mont Pincon, Falaise
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

, Nederrijn, Scheldt
Battle of the Scheldt
The Battle of the Scheldt was a series of military operations of the Canadian 1st Army, led by Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds. The battle took place in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands during World War II from 2 October-8 November 1944...

, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland
Operation Veritable
Operation Veritable was a Second World War pincer movement conducted by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group to clear and occupy the land between the Rhine and Maas rivers. It took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945. It was a part of General Dwight Eisenhower's "broad front"...

, Rhine
Operation Plunder
Commencing on the night of 23 March 1945 during World War II, Operation Plunder was the crossing of the River Rhine at Rees, Wesel, and south of the Lippe River by the British 2nd Army, under Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey , and the U.S. Ninth Army , under Lieutenant General William Simpson...

, Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...



Abyssinia 1940
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

, Greece 1941
Battle of Greece
The Battle of Greece is the common name for the invasion and conquest of Greece by Nazi Germany in April 1941. Greece was supported by British Commonwealth forces, while the Germans' Axis allies Italy and Bulgaria played secondary roles...

, Burma 1942
Burma Campaign
The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was fought primarily between British Commonwealth, Chinese and United States forces against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Commonwealth land forces were drawn primarily from...


Post War Years

Korea 1951–53
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...



Al Basrah, Iraq 2003

Notable former members

  • Jack Hargreaves
    Jack Hargreaves
    Jack Hargreaves OBE was an author and television presenter in the UK. His enduring interest was to comment without nostalgia or sentimentality on accelerating distortions in relations between the city and the countryside....

  • John Le Mesurier
    John Le Mesurier
    John Le Mesurier was a BAFTA Award-winning English actor. He is most famous for his role as Sergeant Arthur Wilson in the popular 1970s BBC comedy Dad's Army.-Career:...

  • Keith Floyd
    Keith Floyd
    Keith Floyd was a British celebrity chef, television personality and restaurateur, who hosted cooking shows for the BBC and published many books combining cookery and travel...

  • Chris Bonington
    Chris Bonington
    Sir Christian John Storey Bonington, CVO, CBE, DL is a British mountaineer.His career has included nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna.-Early life and expeditions:Educated at University College School in...

  • Percy Hobart
    Percy Hobart
    Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart KBE CB DSO MC , also known as "Hobo", was a British military engineer, noted for his command of the 79th Armoured Division during World War II...

  • Frederick Hotblack
    Frederick Hotblack
    Major General Frederick Elliot Hotblack DSO and Bar MC was a British Army officer who fought in the First World War as an early member of the Tank Corps and commanded the 2nd Armoured Division in the early part of World War II.-Military career:...

     DSO & Bar, MC - first Intelligence officer

Colonels-Commandant

Name Colonel Commandant Representative
Major General Sir John Capper KCB KCVO 1917-1923 (Director General)
Major General Sir John Capper
John Capper
Major-General Sir John Edward Capper KCB KCVO was a senior officer of the British Army during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century who served on the North-West Frontier of British India, in South Africa and during the First World War, where he was instrumental in the development of the...

 KCB KCVO
1923-1934
Major General Sir Ernest Swinton KBE CB DSO 1934-1938 1934-1938
Field Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd GCB KCMG LLD ADC 1934-1939
General Sir Hugh Elles
Hugh Elles
Lieutenant General Sir Hugh Jamieson Elles KCB KCMG KCVO DSO was a British General and the first commander of the newly formed Tank Corps in the First World War.-Early life:...

 KCB KCMG KCVO DSO
1934-1945 1939
Major General G M Lindsay CB CMG DSO 1938-1947 1940-1943
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Broad
Charles Broad
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Noel Frank Broad KCB DSO was a British Army General during World War II.-Military career:Educated at Cambridge University, Broad was commissioned in 1904 and went to the Staff College, Camberley in 1914....

 KCB DSO
1939-1948 1944-1947
Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein KG GCB DSO DL 1939-1948 1944-1947
Major General Sir Percy Hobart KBE CB DSO MC 1947-1951 1948-1951
General Sir John Crocker GCB KBE DSO MC 1949-1961
Major General N W Duncan CB CBE DSO 1952-1959 1952-1957
Major General H R B Foote
Henry Robert Bowreman Foote
Major General Henry Robert Bowreman Foote VC CB DSO was a British recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Life and career:Foote was born in Ishapore, India the son of...

 VC CB DSO
1957-1964 1958-1961
Lieutenant General Sir Harold Pyman KCB CBE DSO 1959-1965
Major General H M Liardet CB CBE DSO DL 1961-1967 1962-1967
Major General A Jolly CB CBE DSO 1965-1968
General Sir Michael Carver GCB CBE DSO MC ADC 1968-1973 1970-1971
Major General P R C Hobart CB DSO OBE MC 1968-1978 1971-1974
General Sir Richard Ward CB DSO MC 1970-1976 1974-1976
Lieutenant General Sir Allan Taylor
Allan Taylor
Allan Taylor may refer to:*Allan R. Taylor, Canadian banker*Allan Taylor , Australian diplomat and Director-General of ASIS*Allan Taylor *Allan Taylor , British general...

 KBE MC
1973-1980
Major General J G R Allen CB 1976-1981 1977-1980
Major General R L C Dixon CB MC 1978-1983 1982-1983
Lieutenant General Sir Richard Lawson KCB DSO MC 1980-1982 1980-1982
Major General I H Baker CBE 1981-1986
Major General R M Jerram MBE 1982-1988 1983-1985
General Sir Antony Walker KCB 1983-1987 1985-1991
Major General Sir Laurence New CB CBE 1986-1992
General Sir Jeremy Blacker
Jeremy Blacker
General Sir Anthony Stephen Jeremy Blacker KCB CBE is a former Master-General of the Ordnance.-Military career:Educated at Sherborne School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Blacker was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 1959...

 KCB
1988-1994
Name Deputy Colonel Commandant Colonel Commandant
Major General R W M McAfee CB 1993-1994 1995-1999
Brigadier A C I Gadsby 1994-2000
Lieutenant General A P Ridgway CB CBE 1995-1999 1999-2006
Lieutenant General A D Leakey CMG CBE 1999-2006 2006-2010
Major General P Gilchrist CB 2000-2008
Major General C M Deverell MBE 2006-2010 2010-
Brigadier S Caraffi MBE ADC 2008-
Brigadier P J Allison 2010-

Order of precedence

Alliances

: 12e Régiment blindé du Canada
12e Régiment blindé du Canada
The 12e Régiment blindé du Canada is a Canadian Forces armoured regiment based in CFB Valcartier, on the outskirts of Quebec City...

: 1st Armoured Regiment: Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
The Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps is the overall umbrella grouping of Regular Force and Territorial Force units equipped with armoured vehicles in the New Zealand Army. The corps was formed in 1942 as the New Zealand Armoured Corps, before being given the Royal prefix in 1947...

: Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles
Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles
Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles is an armoured squadron of the New Zealand Army and forms part of the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. The squadron was formed in 1864 and is currently an armoured cavalry unit equipped with NZLAV.- History :...

: 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse): 13th Lancers: HMS Kent
HMS Kent (F78)
HMS Kent is a Type 23 Duke class frigate of the British Royal Navy, and the twelfth ship to bear the name.Kents lineage boasts sixteen Battle Honours from the three given to the first Kent of 46 guns built in 1653, to the five awarded to the ninth and tenth Kents of World War I and World War...



: 501/503 Régiment de Chars de Combat (Bond of Friendship)

Affiliated Yeomanry

  • The Dorset Yeomanry
  • The Westminster Dragoons
    Westminster Dragoons
    The Westminster Dragoons are central London’s only Territorial Army cavalry unit. One of the Royal Yeomanry's five squadrons, their current role is to support the Formation Reconnaissance Regiments and the Joint Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Regiment on operations by providing...

     (2RTR)
  • The Royal Devon Yeomanry (2RTR)

The Ash Plant

Walking sticks came to be carried by Tank Corps Officers during the 1st World War to probe for soft ground in which tanks might get bogged. The Ash Plant is now a part of every Officer's dress.

External links

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