1st Army Tank Brigade (United Kingdom)

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The 1st Army Tank Brigade was a formation of the British Army during World War 2. A Tank Brigade was intended to support the Infantry, and to that end was mostly equipped with slow moving Infantry tanks, unlike an Armoured Brigade which was equipped with faster tanks and later its own motorised infantry. Initially using infantry styling of its smaller units, Company and Section and having a total of 175 light and infantry tanks, it later adopted Cavalry nomenclature of Squadron and Troop, and later in the War grew to 240 tanks.[1]


The 1st Army Tank Brigade took part in the Battle of France, serving as part of the British Expeditionary Force. It fought against the Germans in Belgium and Northern France, providing the armour for the counter-attack at Arras and covered the Allied retreat to Dunkirk. It lost all of its equipment on the beaches following the evacuation. The reformed 1st Army Tank Brigade was re-equipped and redeployed to North Africa, equipped with Valentine infantry tanks. There it took part in Operation Crusader, being a part of the XIII Corps. Attached to the 2nd South African Division, it took part in the conquest of Bardia December 1941 – January 1942.

Order of Battle


Battle honours

  • Tobruk 1941
  • Gazala
  • Defence of Alamein Line
  • El Alamein[3]


  1. Joslen pps. 138-139, 192-194
  2. Joslen p. 195
  3. Joslen p. 196


Joslen, Lt.-Col. H F (1960). Orders of Battle. Second World War 1939-1945. London: HM Stationary Office. ISBN 9781843424741. 

See also

External links