WW II, a British focus




 

 

War Diaries
For

The Royal Tank Regiment
August 1939 To March 1946

Missing:-
  • May 1941
  • October 1941
  • November 1941
  • December 1941
  • September 1942
Royal Tank Regiment Badge

January 1942 CO: Lt Col EC Mitford MC
Jan 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
5/1/42 Orders received from Bde to move to Quassassin Camp. Advance party under Capt RS Kemp left to prepare camp
6/1/42 The Regt travelled to QUASSASSIN, 300 men by rail under Capt SW Porter, the remainder by road under Major RHN Simonds, leaving a rear party at the Citadel under Capt R Fidler MC. Camp No. 33 was taken over. Lt KJH Macdonald rejoined the Regt from hospital.
13/1/42 Under orders from GHQ MEF, Major SDG Longworth, Lt KJH Macdonald and 2Lt J Stiddard with MC, with 79 ORs left by road for Cairo en route to an unknown destination.
A Sqn was disbanded by posting the remaining officers and men to HQ, B & C Sqns.
Lt GP Jackson took over duties of Regtl Int Officer.
14/1/42 Capt DJ Coulson joined the Regt, was promoted to Major and took over C Sqn. Capt Pettman promoted to Major.
15/1/42 Regt was visited by Major General WHE Gott CBE, DSO, MC, GOC 7th Armd Div.
20/1/42 Lecture by Div Commander on 7th Armd Div’s part in recent operations and presentation of immediate awards.
22/1/42 Major GE Knox-Peebles joined from 8th RTR and was re-granted temporary rank of Lt Col. A/Lt Col EC Mitford MC relinquished acting rank and reverted to temporary rank of Major. Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles proceeded on leave.
24/1/42 Regt ceased to be under command 7th Armd Bde and came under command 7th Armd Div.
30/1/42 Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles awarded DSO and Major DJ Coulson awarded MC for gallantry in action in the Western Desert.

February 1942 CO: Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles DSO
Feb 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/2/42 Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles DSO assumed command of the Regt. Lt RHA Powell promoted Captain.
9/2/42 Lt CS Elliott DCM took over duties of RTA and promoted Captain.
10/2/42 A Sqn reformed with Major EJA Pettman commanding, Capt RS Kemp, Lt AP Gain and 2Lt JA Garrard.
2Lt DP Williams joined from RAC Base Depot – posted to C Sqn.
13/2/42 Regt came under command 1st Armd Bde.
16/2/42 Regt moved by road to Cowley Camp, Mena.

March 1942 CO: Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles DSO
Mar 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
12/3/42 The Commander in Chief, Middle East Forces has approved the following award for gallantry in action in the Western Desert:
No. 7885179 A/Sgt S Burrage – DCM.
13/3/42 Lt NG Ramseyer promoted Captain.
17/3/42 The following officers joined the Regt and were posted as shown:-
Lt HM Johnson A Sqn
Lt HA Cosgrave B Sqn
2Lt PC Stevens C Sqn
19/3/42 Lt J Knott joined the Regt and was posted to A Sqn.
22/3/42 The CO and eight officers left for Kabrit to attend 10 day course at the Combined Training Centre.
27/3/42 Draft of 100 ORs posted to Regt from RAC Base Depot.

April 1942 CO: Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles DSO
Apr 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
3/4/42 35 ORs taken on strength of the Regt.
14/4/42 Major General EL McCreary DSO, MBE, MC, AFV Branch GHQ visited the Regt.
16/4/42 The undermentioned officers were posted to the Regt from RAC Base Depot and attached to Sqns as shown:-
Lt A Aplin HQ Sqn
2Lt JR Macdonald A Sqn
2Lt HC Reid A Sqn
2Lt C Jones B Sqn
2Lt P Bampfield C Sqn
2Lt P Wilkinson C Sqn
17/4/42 88 ORs taken on strength of the Regt.
18/4/42 CO’s parade.
21/4/42 Major JA Rycroft assumed command of B Sqn.
23/4/42 Major General AH Gatehouse DSO MC, Commanding 10th Armd Div visited the Regt.
27/4/42 Major FR Caley joined the Regt.
29/4/42 Major FR Caley assumed command of B Sqn. Capt JA Rycroft posted to A Sqn. Capt RHA Powell posted to C Sqn. Lt AW Gray posted in at Lt (QM) of the Regt.

May 1942 CO: Lt Col GE Knox-Peebles DSO
May 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
7/5/42 The Commander in Chief visited the Regt and expressed satisfaction with the state of training reached.
9/5/42 7882357 RQMS J Wood appointed RSM
15/5/42 Lt Col GE Know-Peebles DSO relinquishes command of the Regt and Lt Col HM Liardet assumes command of the Regt.
23/5/42 Regtl exercise carried out in the area East of Fayum road.
25/5/42 Regt carried out battle practise in the Khasbab area, the standard of shooting being highly satisfactory.
28/5/42 Orders from Bde putting the Regt on 6 hours notice to move, later, orders from Bde for Regt to move to the forward area commencing Friday 29th May.
29/5/42 Road party under Major EC Mitford MC, left Cowley Camp at 0900 hrs, refuelled at Amiriya and reached El Imayyid at 1900 hrs, where the party leaguered. Rail party under Major FR Caley loaded the tanks onto flats at Giza. Rear party under Capt R Fidler MC remained at Cowley camp.
30/5/42 Road party moved off at 0500 hrs, refuelled at Daba 0900 hrs, refuelled Quassabe 1400 hrs and leaguered for the night at Kilo 91 on Matruh - Sidi Barrani road.
Rail party left Giza at 0700 hrs.
31/5/42 Road party reached concentration area and leaguered to the East of Hafid Ridge. Orders received that all Regts tanks were to be handed over to TDS to re-equip 4th Armd Bde.

June 1942 CO: Lt Col HM Liardet
Jun 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/6/42 Rail party arrives at Capuzzo. Orders received from 1st Armd Bde that Regt was to hand over all tanks to TDR for delivery to 4th Armd Bde.
1400 – Regt moved to new leaguer area at GABR EL CHADEM 500375. Rail party rejoined the Regt after handing over tanks. Major Caley and Lt Gain and party went on with tanks up to TDR EL DUDA.
2 – 3 Regt remained in leaguer area. Recce of area for suitable place for rifle and revolver ranges.
4/6/42 Orders received from Bde that Regt was being re-equipped by Sqns and these would be attached to various other units as required. C Sqn left area and went to TDR railhead to draw Grant tanks. Lt Col Webb, GSO AFV, visited the Regt and promised to try and arrange that the Regt should move as a unit and not be split up.
5/6/42 C Sqn left for EL DUDA. Regt received orders from Bde to move to EL DUDA. RHQ and B Echelon by road. HQ Tank Troop, B Sqn and A Sqn to draw tanks at railhead as soon as they were available and follow on as quickly as possible. RHQ and B Echelon joined C Sqn in the EL DUDA area. LO sent to 1st Armd Div under whose command the Regt now comes.
6/6/42 C Sqn ordered to move to concentration area 400421. Remainder of Regt to join them in this area as soon as possible. B Sqn arrived in EL DUDA area in the evening. A Sqn due to arrive in about 3 days time. LO to Div, where orders were received for Regt to concentrate tomorrow morning in 4th Armd Bde B Echelon area 397423.
Regtl Strength
RHQ -4 Grants
B Sqn -12 Grants
C Sqn -12 Grants
7/6/42 Regt moved to area as ordered and now come under 4th Armd Bde in 7th Armd Div. Regt received orders to move South and join the remainder of 4th Armd Bde in area 390409. In the evening 1st RTR and 3rd RTR putting in an attack towards BIR EL HARMAT. Regt was ordered to move south to NADURET EL GHESCAUSC 388405 and be prepared to deal with a possible counter attack by 50 enemy tanks from South or SW. Regt moved into position but was not involved in the evening engagements. After dark the Regt moved back and leaguered.
8/6/42 0800 – Orders received from Bde – 4th Armd Bde concentrating SE from Pt. 167 385411. Regt to move to this area and take up a position South of the Knightsbridge Box facing SW. enemy tanks and MET reported NW of the box and also North of BIR EL HARMAT.
0850 – Regt moved – order of march – C Sqn, RHQ, B Sqn.
0915 - One tank of C Sqn ran on to the southern edge of the minefield and broke a track.
0930 – C Sqn took up a position on the ridge facing SW. B Sqn remained in reserve.
1000 – Stuart Sqn of 3rd RTR came under command and was ordered to push patrols forward towards the Trigh HACHEIM.
1145 – RAF bombers attacked tanks and MET in the ASLAGH area. Patrols reported during the day enemy tanks, MET and infantry to the West of Trigh HACHEIM.
1900 – Orders received for an attack. Regt to move forward bearing 210° – 1 mile, 263° – 2½ miles but not to go beyond Trigh HACHEIM. Bty RHA in support. 1st RTR covering left flank. If required, Roberts guns can be brought up on the right flank. 50 enemy tanks reported North of KNIGHTSBRIDGE. Regt’s task to engage enemy in the BIR EL ASLAGH area. A Sqn to cover the front until the attack starts then to withdraw back in reserve.
1915 – Regt was engaged by enemy tanks at extreme range from right flank.
1945 – Orders received from Bde to disregard tanks on right and continue on original bearing. C Sqn advanced covering right flank and engaging enemy tanks and guns. Regt came under very heavy fire from guns and tanks. C Sqn having trouble with 75mm guns. Bty RHA were asked for support and fired an effective concentration. B Sqn covered left flank and engaged targets of tanks and guns to the West of Trigh HACHEIM. After dark Regt moved back 3 miles and leaguered.
Losses        -Nil
Claims    -3 enemy tanks destroyed. Casualties probably caused to gun crews and MET.
9/6/42 0825 – Regt ordered to move forward to position near un-named BIR with the object of covering the Trigh HACHEIM. 35 M13 tanks reported South of KNIGHTSBRIDGE. During the day the Regt remained in observation and various targets were engaged at long range. RHA Bty also engaged enemy guns in the ASLAGH area.
1730 – Information from Bde: Attack expected after 1800 hrs. Regt to hold this position but if the attack was too strong and liable to lose tanks, withdraw slowly to ridge behind where Roberts guns could give support. No attack having been put in, Regt withdrew after dark to leaguer area 385407. A Sqn rejoined Regt and the 3rd RTR Sqn ceased to be under command.
10/6/42 0600 – 2 patrols of A Sqn sent out to our old position. Orders received from Bde for attack on tanks on ridge SW of KNIGHTSBRIDGE. 2nd Armd Bde attacking from NE. Regt has RHA in support. 1st RTR covering left flank.
0745 – Regt moved off from leaguer area.
0900 – Regt reached area West of un-named BIR 382409 and came under fire from enemy tanks and A/Tk guns. C Sqn on left, B Sqn on right, A Sqn watching flanks.
0910 – C Sqn pushed forward to engage enemy tanks.
0915 – One enemy tank set on fire.
0940 – Heavy fire from 88mm Bty to left flank, 2 Grants knocked out.
0950 – 1 Grant and 1 Honey knocked out and another enemy tank set on fire. Very heavy and accurate fire from 88’s, caused Regt to withdraw slightly. Bty RHA gave support and engaged the enemy guns.
1030 – Tank attack reported coming in on 1st RTR on left. C Sqn moved round quickly to give support.
1100 – Patrol of A Sqn sent out to look at 2 burning Grants and try and locate crews, driven off by A/TK fire.
1400 – Some crews of the tanks knocked out in the morning walked in and reported that Italian infantry had been sent to destroy the damaged tanks and presumably had captured Capt RS Kemp, 2Lt Williams and 2Lt Wilkinson (wounded) and some of the crews. Remainder of the day was spent in this area, some slight shelling. After dark Regt withdrew and leaguered some 3 miles back.
Losses 3 Grants
  2 Stuarts
Claims 2 enemy tanks destroyed. Several other tanks and A/Tk guns thought to have been damaged or destroyed.
11/6/42 Regt moved to ridge East of un-named BIR and spent the morning on maintenance.
1430 – Enemy column 600 MT and tanks reported at EL IGELA. Regt ordered to move immediately South to position near NADURET EL GHESCAUSC. 1st RTR on left. Bays took over our old position. Patrol of A Sqn sent out to watch West flank. 2 patrols of A Sqn sent down to the south to watch the enemy column now reported to be advancing East along Trigh EL ABD.
1510 – Regt in position South of NADURET EL GHESCAUSC. C Sqn facing SW. B Sqn facing South. A Sqn patrols on contact with enemy column. Lt J Knott’s tank brought in having been hit by 50mm shell from a Mark III. Lt Knott, gunner and loader killed.
1800 – Order from Bde: Regt to move by roundabout route to B.727. Regt was heavily shelled whilst on the move. When about 3 miles away from B.727, 30 Mark IIIs and IVs were seen rapidly advancing North from Trigh EL ABD.
1900 – Regt turned half right and took up position in battle line facing South and ready to engage the enemy tanks who had however halted just out of range. 1st RTR on right, RHA Bty engaged enemy MT moving East along the Trigh.
2000 – Bays came up and took position on left, CO suggested to Bde a combined attack by ourselves and the Bays against the enemy tanks who were still stationary. At last light C Sqn pushed forward slightly and engaged the enemy tanks and succeeded in knocking one out. After dark the Regt moved back ½ mile and leaguered.
12/6/42 0500 – Regt moved forward and took up same positions as yesterday.
0630 – Regt was heavily shelled by 105mm and casualties were caused, Capt SW Porter was wounded. Enemy tanks had by now been reinforced and now numbered about 70. Two 88mm also opened up and knocked out one tank of C Sqn.
0900 – Regt moved back slightly to better position.
1140 – Heavy shelling and minor casualties caused due to shrapnel. 88’s on left still causing trouble, but Regt remained in position.
1150 – Enemy appeared to be establishing themselves on the high ground to the South and the CO asked if he could have support otherwise he would be compelled to with draw. Regt moved back slightly and lined up with 1st RTR on right and Bays on the left.
During the afternoon haze the enemy pushed forward A/Tk guns and sniped at our tanks causing many casualties to tanks by damaging suspension, tracks and gun mountings. Lt JG Mauldon brought up his party and replenished all tanks in battle positions whilst under heavy fire from enemy Arty. Later the enemy put in a determined attack with a large force of tanks. The Regt held their ground until the RHA Bty behind was able to withdraw, then withdrew slowly Northwards.
Regt reached Pt. 176 on the escarpment and prepared to take up a position but received orders to move at once down the escarpment and rally near Pt. 190. Regt moved down narrow pass in escarpment which was unfortunately blown up just in front of the leading tank, most tanks were able to negotiate the obstacle, tanks on tow were however unable to be got across and had to be destroyed to avoid capture. Regt arrived in area 394421 at last light and leaguered with 32nd Army Tank Bde.
Losses
     -3 Grants destroyed, several others damaged.
13/6/41 Regt moved to Bde area 403424. Orders then received for Regt to take up a position at 396421 facing South. B Sqn on right, C Sqn left, 3/5th RTR on left. Regt’s role is to stop any attack up escarpment or from EL ADEM. Orders received from Bde to move to area BIR EL ZEBLI 386426.
1700 – Regt arrived at BIR EL ZEBLI and received orders to push on South to help 3/5th RTR who were engaging enemy tanks in the BIR ER RIGEL area.
1730 – Regt arrived near Bir RIGEL and took up a position facing South and engaged enemy infantry, A/Tk guns, MT and tanks who had overrun a small box in this area. After dark Regt received orders to move North to a leaguer area to be detailed later. Regt ran onto an unmarked minefield in Pt. 187 area (383425) and remained in this area for the night.
14/6/42 Regt moved off at first light back to BIR EL ZEBLI. One tank which had been damaged in the minefield had to be destroyed. On arrival Regt was ordered to move to Pt. 190 392426. B Sqn took up position on ridge South of Pt. 190. A Sqn patrols out on flanks, 3/5th RTR on right. Enemy Armd cars reported to the South, visibility very bad owing to dust storm. Light Sqn 1st RTR came under command of Regt also took over 3 remaining Grants. A Sqn moved into TOBRUK to refit.
1840 – Patrols report 6 enemy AFVs moving NW, engaged by 3/5th RTR.
1855 – 2 enemy tanks at 395418 moving ??? by patrols who had been fired on.
1900 – B Sqn ordered to move to Bde area. Regt to hand over all tanks this evening.
2100 – Regt moved to Bde area. Order about handing over tanks cancelled and Regt ordered to move tonight through TOBRUK and then on to SIDI REZEGH.
2200 – Regt moved through gap in TOBRUK minefields eventually halted at 0430 at 405430.
15/6/42 0630 – Regt moved on and halted again to refuel and have breakfast at road junc 413432.
1000 – Regt moved to 435416 and spent the remainder of the day in this area.
16/6/42 Orders from Bde: Bde to advance south to SIDI REZEGH. Order of march – 6th RTR, 3/5th RTR right, CLY left, Bty RHA and Coy KRRC with each Regt.
0715 – Regt moved off.
0745 – Regt reached foot of escarpment at 437411. Orders now received for Regt to move via ??? Regt took up position SW of aerodrome at SIDI REZEGH facing West. 200 MET reported at Pt. 178 428407. Patrol of Lt Sqn sent out to investigate. After dark Regt moved back to SIDI MUFRAH Area and leaguered for the night.
17/6/42 Regt remained in leaguer area with patrols out forward. Orders received for an attack to be made with the object to relieve BELHAMMED. Order of march 9th Lancers right, 6th RTR left 5th RTR protecting right flank. Enemy tanks reported by patrols advancing East. Regt ordered to move at once and take up position West of SIDI MUFRAH. 9th Lancers taking up position on right. 26 enemy tanks reported attacking right flank. 40 enemy tanks advancing on Regt’s front, being engaged by our Grants. Stuarts out as protection left. Regt ordered to withdraw and move via SIDI MUFRAH to BIR EL HAMAT 459384. On arrival Regt was ordered to move South to Pt. 176 and leaguer.
Losses -1 Grant destroyed.
18/6/42 Regt remained in this area all day. Orders received for forming a column composed as follows:-
RHQ – 4 Grants, B & C – 12 Grants each, A Sqn (9th Lancers) – 18 Crusaders, Recce Sqn – 10 Stuarts. Orders were received later in the day cancelling the above. 1st RTR Sqn relieved by A Sqn 6th RTR.
19/6/42 Orders received. Bde moving back to KHIREIGAT area. Order of march – 60th, 1st RHA, 6th RTR right, 9th Lancers left. A Sqn protection rear. Regt moved due East through a gap in the wire and then to a leaguer area 2 miles NW of BIR KHIREIGAT.
20/6/42 Regt remained in leaguer area doing maintenance and reorganising.
22/6/42 0700 - News of the fall of TOBRUK. Regt’s role is to counter attack against any enemy attack on SALUM area, whether from West or SW.
0730 – Regt took up position facing NW. B Sqn on left, C Sqn on right, A Sqn on flanks and with patrol forward. Regt on 15 mins notice to move. Day was spent in this position, not very much maintenance possible. Strength – 27 Grants, 18 Stuarts.
1900 – Information from Bde: 10th Indian Div withdrawing from SALUM. Regt probably follow withdrawal No 2 tomorrow.
23/6/42 0730 - Same orders as yesterday. A Sqn patrol sent to take minelaying party up to a gap in wire.
1000 – Orders received for Regt to move and take up position at 506340 facing West. Reports of enemy MET concentrating at ???
1100 – Regt moved. A Sqn protection front, B Sqn on right C Sqn on left.
1300 – Regt in position with A Sqn patrols to front.
1500 – Patrols report being shelled.
1800 – Orders to move back to NW of Conference Cairn.
1810 – Above order cancelled.
1900 – Report of large concentration of MET in ??? area.
2030 – Regt commenced to withdraw though 8th RTR and moved back all night on bearing 111 for 53 miles.
24/6/42 0545 – Moved off.
0800 – Arrived area BIR KHAMSA and moved on, finally halting for refuelling at 593306. Moved on again. Report that 2Lt Mauldon and Lt Goodyer had been captured. Lt Gain’s troop still missing.
1530 – Refuelled at Pt. 216 631307. Orders to join Bde for night leaguer in area 662309 and leaguered for the night.
25/6/42 0630 – Moved off.
0900 – Arrived at MINQUAR EL KHAFIT. Orders from Bde to move to area BIR EL QUAIM. Orders cancelled, ordered now to move South 705304.
1200 – Arrived in this area and leaguered. Maintenance carried out.
1350 – Major General Lumsden DSO MC, commanding 1st Armd Div, visited Regt.
2000 – A Sqn missing patrol rejoined Regt with fitters and 4 German POWs. Lt Goodyer and 2Lt Mauldon rejoined Regt having escaped from German column.
2200 – Regt moved 1.5 miles NW to leaguer position in rear of RHA.
26/6/42 0700 - Brigadier AF Fisher now commanding 1st Armd Bde visited Regt. Two patrols sent out 11 miles West.
0745 – Orders to move to area 693315.
0900 – Regt arrived in position. Patrols of A Sqn out to front.
1000 – 5 Messerschmidts flew over area.
1200 – Enemy 2000 MT and tanks expected to attack MATRUH. 20/30 tanks expected advance West and cover attack. Regt’s role to move forward to line Pt. 210 688316, Pt. 214 693318, and cover SIWA track and be prepared to attack enemy tanks.
1230 – Air battle over our position.
1300 – CO, Sqn Ldrs, LO and officers from 8th RTR recced battle position by BIR SALAHIN.
1730 – Brigadier visited Regt. Orders to leaguer in area 698310.
1930 – 100 enemy tanks reported 710335 area.
2000 – CO went to Bde. Orders from Bde prepare to move more to right.
2015 – Orders from Bde prepare to move on bearing 80°.
2030 – CO returned. Orders for Regt to leaguer in area 708313.
2200 – Regt arrived in leaguer area.
27/6/42 0530 – Orders from Bde to move along 312 Grid for 6 miles. (Bearing 266)0645 – Patrols report 12 enemy tanks in front, 698312. Regt halted and formed battle line. B Sqn right, C Sqn left and advanced to ridge in front of present position. 702313.
0710 – B Sqn engaged enemy tanks. C Sqn trying to work round on left.
0720 – Threat to right flank by enemy column. A Sqn ordered to high ground on right. B Sqn to face slightly NW. C Sqn to take over B Sqn position.
0730 – RHQ and gunners O/P shelled by enemy Arty.
0735 – Reports of 16 enemy tanks and MET at 696313.
0740 - Sqns in new positions.
0750 – A Sqn reports ground between enemy tanks and our Sqns clear of enemy guns.
0810 – A Sqn patrol on right flank reported enemy gun positions and contacted O/P of Bty for CB shoot.
0815 – B and C Sqns ordered forward. A Sqn to cover right flank.
0830 – Brigadier visited CO.
0835 – Order to B & C Sqns to attack. A Sqn reports column on right withdrawn. Enemy tanks withdrew slightly and Regt came under heavy fire from tanks, A/Tk guns, 88’s and Arty, and suffered some casualties.
0930 – Regt ordered to withdraw slightly and form up again in hull-down position in original place. Several crews including wounded from tanks rejoined. REs sent forward and blew up 3 Grants which had been knocked out.
1100 – Regt replenished.
1200 – LO with 8th RTR reported 4 enemy tanks advancing on ridge in front. CO ordered B & C Sqns forward to take up positions on ridge in front.
1215 – B & C Sqns in position, under slight shell fire. C Sqn reported 1 Mark III hit with HE. 1 captured Roberts gun destroyed. A Sqn report 12 Mark IIIs trying to work round our right flank, being kept under observation.
1230 – March Column contacted CO and offered support with Arty and A/Tk guns if the Regt was to attack again. 1 enemy tank destroyed by C Sqn. REs sent for to blow it up.
1300 – Brigadier came up to see CO. Orders for Regt to go back to second ridge again. This was accomplished and Regt was shelled fairly heavily.
1330 – CO went to Bde.
1430 – CO returned from Bde. Orders for Regt to move area 708312 and take up positions facing West. 1st RTR on right, 8th RTR on left.
1530 – On arrival in this area Regt ordered to take up position on East flank of box formed by 8th RTR facing North, 1st RTR West. Regt refuelled and was ordered to carry spare petrol on sides of tanks.
Losses       -5 Grants destroyed
Claims -    8 tanks damaged, 1 6pdr destroyed, crews of 2 88’s killed and 1 50mm A/Tk gun destroyed
28/6/42 0001 – Regt ordered to move at 0030 hrs. order of march – 1st RHA, KRRC, 6th RTR, Bde, 1st RTR. Regt moved at 0030 hrs. halted to replenish at 0430 hrs and arrived in area 797303 at 1100 hrs. day spent in this area on maintenance and reorganisation. A Sqn was attached to 1st RTR and C Sqn 1st RTR came under command 6th RTR as D Sqn.
1930 – Reports of enemy column of tanks and guns moving East in area 773815 – 775802. Regt ordered to move NW to support 10th Indian Div. Regt moved 5.6 miles on bearing 310 and was then held up by minefield. Regt took up positions covering the minefield.
2100 – Regt withdrew and leaguered back in area 797302 with Chestnut Battery and A Echelon.
29/6/42 0530 – moved out into our positions.
0900 – CO went to Bde.
1030 – A Sqn rejoined Regt.
1130 – Regt moved.
1300 – Regt arrived and took up battle positions at 813314. C Sqn facing North, D Sqn facing NW, B Sqn in reserve behind RHQ, A Sqn doing patrols at 813307 – 811318. Reports of enemy column of tanks and MET stationary at FUKA.
1815 - Report of enemy column at 807318 moving South.
1850 – Brigadier visited CO.
1930 – Officer from infantry came in and reported enemy column on road had been halted and 3 vehicles destroyed by them. Reports southern column 12 tanks 500 MET moving SE 804307 being engaged by 1st RTR.
2000 – Southern column now at 806398. 8th RTR dispatched to try and deal with them and help 1st RTR.
2030 – Column on road shelled by Chestnut Bty RHA.
2230 – Regt leaguered covering Bty who had orders to be prepared to shoot on to road. Orders for Regt to move at dawn to ALAM EL TAMR to replenish, the object then being to destroy the Southern column in conjunction with 22nd Armd Bde who had moved during the night.
30/6/42 0500 – Regt moved to ALAM EL TAMR.
0645 – Regt arrived area 823303 where Bde was met.
0700 – Orders to move 1 mile further on.
0730 – Regt came under slight fire from the West. D Sqn moved off West. B Sqn covering NW. C Sqn in reserve near Bde. A Sqn sent out to make contact.
0745 – Orders for Regt to remain in reserve, enemy were being dealt with satisfactorily.
0800 – A Sqn reported M13 tanks to their front (Troop A Sqn under 2Lt Garrard) destroyed 2 M13 tanks.
0845 – 4 prisoners from Littorio Div brought in by A Sqn.
0930 – Regt rallied just behind the main feature and replenished.
1000 – Regt ordered to move on centre line 115°. Enemy column reported in 8429 area.
1130 – After 8.6 miles Regt halted. 8th RTR and RHA engaging column to South.
1300 – Regt halted in area 846294 and took up positions to cover Div HQ which was moving SE.
1330 - Regt moved on.
1700 – Regt halted and took up position in area 860284.
1800 – Orders for Regt to move with Bde at 0800 hrs – order of march – 6th RTR, Bde, 8th RTR.
2000 – Regt formed and moved off
2045 – Regt halted and ordered to leaguer in this area for night. LO sent to Bde.
Battle Casualties
June 1942
Officers
Lt JMW Knott Killed in action 11/6/42
2Lt DP Williams Missing believed POW 10/6/42
Capt RS Kemp Missing believed POW 10/6/42
2Lt P Wilkinson Missing 10/6/42 [buried Knightsbridge War Cemetery]
2Lt K Stark Missing 27/6/42
Capt SW Porter Wounded in action 12/6/42
Capt RHA Powell Wounded in action 27/6/42
Lt HA Cosgrave Wounded in action 9/6/42
Lt CW Allingham Wounded in action 9/6/42

Other Ranks

Tpr Palmer S Killed in action 11/6/42
Tpr Dixey H “ “
Tpr Watson D “ 12/6/42
Sgt Potter F “ 27/6/42
Tpr Pettitt J Died of wounds 11/6/42
Tpr Arscott F “ 27/6/42
Tpr Martin G Missing believed killed 27/6/42 [buried Halfaya War Cemetery]
Tpr Young A “ 27/6/42 [buried Halfaya War Cemetery]
Tpr Ingram C “ 27/6/42 [buried Halfaya War Cemetery]
Tpr Ellis C Missing believed POW 10/6/42
Tpr Forsyth G “ “
Cpl Wilson J “ “
Tpr Smith W “ “
Tpr Pay L “ “ [buried Knightsbridge War Cemetery]
Tpr Tweddell R “ “
Tpr Roberts J “ “
Tpr Jones R “ “
LCpl Cottage D “ 30/6/42
Tpr Hughes R “ “
Sig Farrant W “ “
Sig Thompson J “ “
Sig Ensom J “ “
Tpr Cheetham J Missing 27/6/42
Tpr Baldwin T “ 10/6/42 [buried Knightsbridge War Cemetery]
Tpr Goodrich J “ 27/6/42
Tpr Mayo J Wounded & missing 27/6/42 [buried Halfaya War Cemetery]
Tpr Grave C “ 10/6/42 [buried Knightsbridge War Cemetery]
Cpl Hudson A Wounded in action 12/6/42
Tpr Cotterill H “ 11/6/42
Tpr Smith W “ “
Tpr Brown J “ 12/6/42
Tpr Achilles J “ 10/6/42
Tpr Askin F “ “
LCpl Fraser J “ “
Tpr Friday J “ “
LCpl Thomas D “ “
Sgt O’Hare P “ 12/6/42
Tpr Metcalfe J “ “
Tpr James P “ 13/6/42
Sgt Wheals R “ 26/6/42
Tpr Usher J “ 27/6/42
Tpr Grimmett A “ 27/6/42
LCpl Croney R “ “
Tpr Wright H “ “
Tpr Bassett H “ “
Tpr Fox H “ “
Tpr Venn L “ “
Tpr Villiars L “ “
Tpr Lindsay A “ “
Transcriber’s Note – Additions enclosed in [ ] are searches made using Commonwealth War Graves Web site to resolve ‘missing’. If there is no entry then the name could not be located on the site.

July 1942 CO: Lt Col HM Liardet
Jul 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/7/42 0200 – Orders to continue march
0500 – Regt reached minefield and went through gap, then ordered by Bde to change course to 140° for 3 miles, where Regt halted. All RHQ tanks now crock, and going was very soft for B vehicles.
0800 – Regt moved North and took up positions with A Sqn forward and patrol overlooking main road. Not able to do much maintenance as Regt was on 5 minutes notice to move.
1600 – Regt moved out and took up positions about 1½ miles NW of Bde HQ, C Sqn right, B Sqn left, D Sqn reserve.
1700 – Report of 20/30 enemy tanks in area 876284. 8th RTR moved forward to deal with them.
1715 – A Sqn patrol reports information from O/P that enemy Infantry and A/Tk guns North of Pt. 33, on pushing forward came under fire from these and withdrew again.
2030 – Orders for Regt to rally in 1st RHA area.
2100 – CO returned from Bde, Regt is to move 6 miles South with RHA, helping to tow their tractors and vehicles through the bad going.
2359 – Regt moved off with 1st RHA.
2/7/42 0200 – Regt arrived in area and leaguered.
0500 – Regt moved into position D Sqn facing West, C Sqn NW, A Sqn with a patrol forward. B Sqn in reserve.
0815 – Regt ordered to move forward 2 miles and form up on left flank of 1st RTR facing West and SW. position taken up D Sqn right, C Sqn left, B Sqn reserve. A Sqn patrols in front.
0830 – CO contacted CO 1st RTR.
1130 – Report of 1st RTR being attacked by 20 tanks. B Sqn ordered to be ready to move to support them
1200 – B Sqn went forward to support 1st RTR.
1300 – Orders for attack on 2000 MET reported in Square 8628 where Field Marshal Rommel was believed to be. Centre line 270 ° - 12 miles, replenishing on the 87 Grid line, then North until contact is made.
1400 – Regt moved. A Sqn protection front. D Sqn right. C Sqn left. B Sqn reserve. A Echelon and RHA Battery. Bearing changed to 245°.
1430 – Regt came under fire from A/Tk guns and Arty from right and engaged them with MGs. Orders were to press on and disregard flanks.
1530 – Regt halted after 8 miles and was then ordered to go back again on same bearing to support 8th RTR who were being heavily engaged by enemy tanks. Regt moved and came under fire from A/Tk guns and Arty with MET from left flank. Regt moved into a long wadi and engaged enemy with considerable success, several A/Tk guns and lorries destroyed and others withdrawing. Regt prepared to exploit but was ordered by Bde to move East to support 22nd Armd Bde, on coming out of edge of wadi, Regt ran on to the Battery of 88’s and two tanks of D Sqn were destroyed and Sqn Leader was badly wounded. Situation was very grave as it seemed that A/Tk guns covered all exits from the wadi, eventually Regt moved due West for about 1 mile and then swung due South and managed to get away, withdrew South to Pt. 103, where wounded were attended to by New Zealand Battery. At last light Regt moved due North for about a mile and had a good shoot against enemy MET, tanks and A/Tk guns with RHQ troop in the van. After dark Regt rallied and leaguered in the area.Losses     – 5 Grants destroyed
Claims     - Many A/Tk guns damaged and enemy transport destroyed.
3/7/42 Regt moved into position at first light, come under shellfire. Ordered to move nearing 320° until further instructions from Bde. Moved North and found enemy attack developing on 1st and 8th RTR. Regt took up a good hull-down position on right to 8th RTR covering two valleys and awaited any enemy advance. Regt ordered to move to left and support 8th RTR. B Sqn took over C Sqn’s positions and the latter moved off to support 8th RTR. Most of the other vehicles in the area, A/Tk guns and Crusaders withdrew slightly. Several times during the day the enemy tried to bring forward 88’s but withdrew again when heavily shelled by our 75’s.
1400 – Enemy tanks and MT advanced NE towards B Sqn but were driven back, tried then to establish A/Tk guns on the ridge but these were also driven back. Enemy MET then started moving off SW covered by tanks, were engaged by RHA 75’s and MGs and withdrew again.
1430 – C Sqn rejoined from left flank of 8th RTR and took up position on right of B Sqn. Some odd shooting by enemy tanks and A/Tk guns who were engaged when possible.
1700 – Regt replenished under heavy shellfire, enemy tanks were attacking along the ridge on our left. C Sqn ordered to be ready to move to left to support 8th RTR again.
1830 – C Sqn moved over to ridge on left of 8th RTR. Twelve Lee’s of 4th Hussars joined us on ridge and prepared to take over our positions. Enemy tanks advanced down the valley, engaged by Regt, A/Tk guns and 4th Hussars. Five enemy tanks knocked out, 2 burning, remainder withdrew. Regt was then ordered to join B Sqn and was in action immediately against enemy tanks in front. One enemy tank was destroyed. Reports of Infantry attack, on right rear ridge we had left. C Sqn sent over to deal with this threat. All the time the Regt was under heavy shellfire, and C Sqn suffered some casualties from Battery 88’s on right flank. Regt advanced and enemy withdrew. Had a very successful shoot against MET and tanks and pushed forward onto ridge in front, which gave good observation after dark. Regt rallied and leaguered about 500 yards behind this position, as it was intended to re-occupy in the morning. In the evening attack Lt Gain’s tank was hit and he and his driver were killed. Capt Fidler also received a hit, which went down the barrel of 75mm, one man killed and remainder of crew wounded. Some very fine shooting during the day by Chestnut Battery RHA in support of the Regt. Regt re-organised into two Sqns – one Stuart and one Grant, under Major EJA Pettman and Major FR Caley. Major DJ Coulson and D Sqn officers went back to A2 Echelon area to try and get more tanks.
Losses     -4 Grants, 1 Stuart damaged.
Claims     -6 tanks destroyed, 2 A/Tk guns, several MET.
4/7/42 0515 – Regt advanced onto ridge in front and caught enemy in leaguer, had a first class shoot with HE and AP at about 2000/3000 yards range and many MET were set on fire. Little fire in return and most of the MET dispersed or withdrew West. Regt sat in this position most of the day, there were odd exchanges of fire, until the haze became too bad. Regt replenished tank by tank. About 1700 hrs there was movement amongst the MET and tanks. Our Arty fired a heavy concentration and the Regt advanced:- A Sqn left, B Sqn and RHQ right, 8th RTR and light tanks of 1st RTR on right. Very successful push, enemy withdrew to West and left behind many derelict tanks and vehicles ( 7 or 8 Mark IIIs and IVs). Some successful shoots against 88 Battery by tanks and RHA. Regt rallied in this forward position on a ridge facing West. Replenished again. Brigadier visited Regt. Reports of enemy tank attack coming in down the valley, which did not materialise, some guns and 88’s could be seen being towed into position but were engaged by the RHA and withdrew. Reserve went forward and blew up enemy derelict tanks. At last light, Infantry and A/Tk guns came up to take over positions. Regt moved back 500 yards and rallied. Strength now about 10 Stuarts and 8 Grants.
Losses     -Nil.
Claims     -2 88’s put out of action. Several A/Tk guns destroyed.
5/7/42 0500 – moved out into position. Mist reduced visibility to about 50 yards. When this cleared Regt moved forward to same ridge, which we occupied yesterday evening. A Sqn out on ridge in front. Little to be seen of enemy except derelicts. MET and guns in wadi in front engaged by RHA. Regt was shelled, mainly overs intended for RHA. Major DJ Coulson came up and took over command of Sqn from Major FR Caley. Regt remained in position. RHA shelled enemy MET and OPs and any other movement was engaged by 75’s. Lt Col HM Liardet relinquished Command and Lt Col EC Mitford MC took command of combined 1/6th RTR. Complete re-organisation to take place during night in leaguer. Heavy shelling of RHQ in evening. Regt leaguered in same area. Report that 3/5th RTR were taking over tomorrow and Regt was moving back a few miles to re-organise.
6/7/42 0830 – Regt moved back into position on the ridge. Some of the worst crocks went back to the A2 Echelon area where the RTA – Capt Ramseyer – had set up his own workshop.
1330 – Regt was relieved on the position by 3/5th RTR and moved back to leaguer area with the rest of A1 and A2 Echelon. The remainder of the day was spent on reorganisation and maintenance. Orders were now received that 1st RTR and 6th RTR were not to be amalgamated. 6th RTR were to take over enough B vehicles to bring Regt up to strength and also some light tanks for RHQ. Regt was to be reorganised on a two Sqn basis – A & C Sqns under Major EJA Pettman and Major DG Coulson. 1st RTR going back to Delta to reorganise. Regt was to be ready to take up position on ridge again tomorrow. Strength 10 Grants, 14 Stuarts. All tanks in rather a poor condition, several with over 300 engine hours and tracks worn down to the metal. None could be guaranteed for more than 30 miles.
7/7/42 Regt moved 2 miles West and leaguered again in Bde area. Brigadier visited Regt and talked to all ranks. Regt remained in leaguer all day. Four new Lee’s arrived for C Sqn from 4th Hussars. Crews were reorganised so that where possible all tanks were manned by 6th RTR crews, other crews to be returned to units.
RHQ -4 Stuarts
A Sqn -13 Stuarts
C Sqn -13 Grants

Regt moved into close leaguer at last light.
8/7/42 Regt moved into air dispersion. No orders for move, so crews continued maintenance. Regt now under command 2nd Armd Bde. Brigadier Biggs visited the Regt.
1700 – Sqn of 10th Hussars (14 Crusaders) came under command of Regt. Warning orders received from Bde. Possible move on codewords. BRANDY – 255°, KUMMEL – 180° 6th RTR on right of Bde, CLY leading, 3/5th RTR left. Orders for Column tomorrow under Major JAC Richardson with A Sqn Tp, RHA Tp, A/Tk guns to operate under 9th Australian Div.
9/7/42 0900 – Major JAC Richardson’s force left. Orders to be ready to move at 1500 hrs. recce of way out of present area of soft going carried out by Infantry and RHA Tp. RHA did shoot in the evening. Regt remained in area for rest of the day. Orders from Bde to move 0900 hrs 10th July.
Strength
RHQ -5 Stuarts
A Sqn -13 Stuarts
B Sqn (10th H) -15 Crusaders
C Sqn -10 Grants
10/7/42 0830 – Reports from 3/5th RTR of 28 tanks, 6 guns, 15 MET, 1 88mm in area 883273 being engaged by RHA.
0900 – Battery RHA rejoined its Regt to join in A/M shoot. CO went to Bde. CO returned from Bde, 8 enemy tanks and MET at 873263, 4 tanks and MET at 873253. Regt Group to be ready to move on Codeword HAM to attack the Northern party. Regt opened rear-link to 7th Armd Div under whose command Regt comes, if we move. Reports from Australian Field Amb that Major JAC Richardson had been wounded and was on D1 list. CO went to Bde. Orders ready to move first light 11th July to area DEIR EL HIMA where 35 enemy tanks had been reported. Regt to be reserve, 3/5th RTR right, CLY left. Course bearing 237° - 4 miles.
11/7/42 Capt JA Rycroft went off to 9th Australian Div to join A Sqn.
0545 – Regt moved off, order of march – B Sqn, RHQ, C Sqn, A Echelon.
0630 – Regt reached area DEIR EL HIMA and halted. 3/5th RTR reported in action with tanks and A/Tk guns. Tp of B Sqn sent forward to make contact with CLY. Reports that 12 enemy tanks were attacking CLY. Regt ordered to help. C Sqn sent to left flank of CLY and to support them. Rest of Regt moved forward to new position about 1000 yards to left rear of 3/5th RTR. Slight shelling of RHQ & B Sqn. Remainder of day spent here. Major General Lumsden DSO MC, visited Regt on way to Bde. New Zealand Infantry Div come up and took position on ridge in front, under heavy shellfire. CO went to Bde. New Zealand Infantry attack at dawn tomorrow. 2nd Armd Bde to support and stop any counter attack by tanks. During the day the CO and Adjt were filmed. Regt leaguered in this area. Some shelling near leaguer during the night.
12/7/42 Report received that Major JAC Richardson had died of wounds. Regt moved to SW and took up position facing NW on left flank of New Zealand Div. Regt moved back to leaguer area.
13/7/42 0900 – Regt ordered to move South about 1 mile to new position on a ridge.
2Lt H Cosgrave rejoined from hospital. 2Lts J Reid and EJ Draper joined from RAC BASE Depot. Orders for Regt to move West to area 886272. Enemy tank threat to EL ALAMEIN Box, Bde to be ready to counter attack NW.
1700 – Regt ordered to take up position on left flank of 3/5th RTR. In the event of an advance, 3/5th RTR right, 6th RTR left, 9th Lancers reserve. Regt leaguered in this area.
14/7/42 0500 – Regt moved into open order, formed up on left of 3/5th RTR as yesterday. Orders received for Regt to be ready on Codeword RADICAL to move SW to 270 Grid line to meet threat from enemy tanks reported to the SW. written orders received for operations tomorrow in conjunction with New Zealand Div.
15/7/42 Regt moved into open position facing on bearing 315°. Reports New Zealand Div successful on left flank and held up on right. Reports of tanks attacking New Zealand Bde and New Zealand Brigadier asked for assistance. Regt advanced on centre line until enemy minefield held it up, B Sqn tried to find gaps. 200 Italian POWs surrendered from box in this area and were handed over to Infantry. Guns also in area were captured.
One Crusader blown up on mine. Regt moved off trying to find gap to the left. Enemy tanks reported by B Sqn guarding left edge of minefield. C Sqn moved up and engaged MET and Infantry, unable to get within range of tanks owing to minefield which appeared to run South. Regt position 878273. B Sqn lost one Crusader. B Sqn tried to edge round to the South. Two enemy tanks reported in area 872271. Tp C Sqn went down to support B Sqn and destroyed one M13 tank.
Some MET to the South of this area engaged by RHA. C Sqn moved North and took up position on left of 9th Lancers and then advanced with them but had trouble on minefield, 3 tanks blown up and Sqn unable to advance further. The 3 tanks were later towed out and repaired. C Sqn Tp captured two Italian lorries. 20 enemy tanks being engaged in the NW by 9th Lancers. C Sqn moved SW through the minefield and went to help 9th Lancers. A Echelon caught in heavt Stuka and Ju88 raid on Gunners Regt ordered to leaguer in present position. C Sqn to withdraw from present position after last light and leaguer with rest of Regt. Regt formed leaguer.
Claims     -1 M13 destroyed, 2 lorries captured
Losses     -1 Cruiser destroyed, 1 Cruiser and several Grants damaged on mines.
16/7/42 Regt moved out of leaguer and took up same position as yesterday. Reports of various parties of tanks and MET to C Sqn’s front which were engaged when possible. One enemy tank and 3 lorries destroyed. B Sqn also had small parties of tanks and MET to their front, including two captured Grants. A/Tk guns of KRRC coy were brought up and attached to B Sqn.
Stuka raid on New Zealand position; bombs fell near A Echelon and RHQ. Tp of C Sqn which ran on minefield yesterday came up again and was now attached to B Sqn. Contact was made with CLY who were on left flank.
In the evening we were informed that an attack was expected to the North. B Sqn and RHQ moved North and joined C Sqn and remainder of Bde on the West side of the minefield. The attack developed as expected with Infantry and tanks at last light. It was beaten off with heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy. The Regt was mainly in reserve watching the left flank but got in a good shoot at dusk against Infantry and MET and caused considerable damage. After dark Regt withdrew through minefield and leaguered with A Echelon.
Losses      -1 Crusader damaged
Claims      -1 tank destroyed, 3 lorries destroyed. Probably many more lorries were destroyed and considerable casualties inflicted on enemy Infantry.
17/7/42 0500 – Regt moved out of leaguer and took up same position as yesterday and had a good shoot at various targets – tanks MET and Infantry. Enemy tanks mostly withdrew West out of range. Roberts guns came up and co-operated where possible. Brigadier past on message of congratulation from Corps Commander to Bde for last night’s action.
Regt pushed forward patrols in front and shot-up odd parties of enemy Infantry and also engaged an enemy A/Tk gun. Reserve went forward and destroyed enemy tanks and vehicles in the valley. Six tanks reported at 872273 by 9th Lancers. Our tanks unable to engage owing to bad visibility. Two 88’s located to C Sqn’s front, one tank hit and slight damage done. The guns were engaged by our tanks and silenced.
Regt moved back at last light and leaguered with A Echelon and replenishment party in area 882275. Some bombing during the night in the vicinity. Thought to be RAF, but recognition signals had no effect.
18/7/42 Regt sent forward two patrols – 1 Grant, 1 Crusader on to our old position which the New Zealanders had taken over. Remainder of the Regt moved into open leaguer and proceeded to make and mend.
1500 – Grant Sqn of 1st RTR under Major Hotham came under command of Regt. Orders for Regt to be ready to move to yesterday’s position to protect left flank of Indian Div which was making an attack at Pt. 62. Regt to be ready to move into position by 1730 hrs and to prevent any tanks counter attacking.
1700 – Regt moved forward.
1800 – Regt moved to yesterday’s position. Six enemy tanks reported to front engaging our Infantry and were in turn engaged by our tanks and A/Tk guns. During the day A Echelon was caught in a bombing raid and 2 vehicles were damaged. After dark Regt withdrew and leaguered back in area 882275.
19/7/42 0515 – Regt moved forward onto position on ridge. B Sqn (10th Hussars) and 2 Tps C Sqn went to old area in South to observe SW, very little to report all day except that the odours arising from the valley and the flies were far from pleasant. SSM F Rycroft went forward on foot to within 300 yards of an enemy strong point in a depression just in front, made a sketch map showing gun posts. The CO passed this to Bde with a suggestion that a night Infantry attack could deal with this.
Two Stuka raids on the right. Report of RAF destroying 38 Stukas during the day. Regt moved back after dark and leaguered in usual area.
20/7/42 Regt moved into open formation. Patrols of B Sqn sent forward to old position to observe. One Tp C Sqn also sent forward in case any targets presented them selves. Major EJA Pettman and A Sqn now back at B Echelon minus tanks. Capt Rycroft, reported wounded on the 16th whilst with A Sqn.
A Sqn now going back to HAMMAM to draw new tanks and re-form. Lt T Stainton posted to A Sqn as 2i/c and promoted Captain.
21/7/42 Regt moved into open leaguer with patrols out, carried out more maintenance and reorganisation. Operation Orders received for operations commencing tonight. Heavy barrage on enemy posts commenced at last light and continued for a long period. Regt sent out 2Lt Carroll as LO to 6th New Zealand Infantry Bde whom we are mainly supporting.
22/7/42 Regt ordered to move at first light to old ridge in support New Zealand Bde, who were being attacked by enemy tanks in front. C Sqn sent forward to deal with these, ran into heavy A/Tk fire from depression in front which we had presumed to have been eliminated last night. 3 Grants were knocked out. Sqn forced to withdraw back to ridge. Some shelling all along the ridge. The Div Commander was wounded while visiting the Bde forward control which was with RHQ.
1130 – enemy tanks on out front engaged by A Sqn (1st RTR). C Sqn advanced again and engaged enemy tanks. A Sqn destroyed 3 tanks, one Mark III and two Mark IVs. C Sqn destroyed two Mark IVs.
1215 – Patrol 10th Hussars Sqn sent to make contact with New Zealand Bde, failed but made contact with 23rd Armd Bde on right. 2Lt JA Garrard reported up at RHQ that A Sqn had arrived in A Echelon with 12 light tanks. CO ordered them to remain in that area, reorganise for the rest of the day.
1300 – C Sqn destroyed another Mark III which burnt nicely.
1500 – C Sqn destroyed yet another Mark III. Regt reduced rather in tanks mainly owing to trouble with 75mm guns. CO went to Bde for orders for move. Order of march – 9th Lancers, 6th RTR, A Sqn, B Sqn, C Sqn left through gap in minefield to 875 Grid then North 277 Grid then West. Object to harass EL MREIR position. Bde commenced to advance under cover of smoke screen 9th Lancers reported they were engaging enemy tanks. S Sqn went up to support. C Sqn still covering depression on right. B Sqn behind A Sqn. 9th Lancers evidently in trouble and had lost several tanks. Regt ordered to cover their withdrawal. A Sqn put down an effective smoke screen which enabled 9th Lancers to get back to the old ridge. A Sqn then withdrew to fire position in rear of Pt. 64. Regt took up approx old position, C Sqn left, A Sqn right covering the depression. Heavy bombing raid by Ju 87 and Ju 88 on the area, some casualties amongst 10th Hussars Sqn. Regt moved back and leaguered in old area and were joined by A Sqn (6th RTR) with 15 tanks.
Claims     - 7 tanks as specified, 1 88mm gun, 2 A/Tk guns and some MET and Infantry.
    Losses - 4 Grants – 1 recoverable, 1 Crusader (recoverable) Many tanks damaged but mostly repairable, the main causes of trouble to be the lack of protection for the mantlet of the 75’s.
23/7/42 Regt moved into open leaguer. A Sqn (1st RTR) went forward on to ridge in front and were heavily shelled for some time. Patrol of A Sqn (6th RTR) also forward. Some casualties caused to A Sqn (1st RTR) by shelling. A Sqn (1st RTR) destroyed one Mark III. One of our Grants recovered by Capt Ramseyer and fitters. Regt ordered to move to area 885275 ready to move North after dark to area 884285 and then to attack West at dawn against the Italian Divs.
Recce made of minefield on 280 Grid line showed no gaps at Pt. Where Bde was supposed to be going through. Operation cancelled. Brigadier visited the Regt. Bombing raid by Ju 88’s on our area; several near misses on the tanks and 6 or 7 casualties caused. Regt leaguered in this area.
24/7/42 Regt formed open leaguer in same area. Day of rest as Bde was in Div reserve.
25/7/42 Open leaguer in same area. Int. Officer on recce of northern area route in the morning. Report that 2Lt PM Carroll had been killed whilst with New Zealand Infantry Bde.
1830 – CO went to Bde. Returned; no move until 2100 hrs – 26th RTR leaguered in same area for night.
26/7/42 Regt remained in leaguer area. Written orders received for tomorrows operation. Readiness to move by 2045 hrs cancelled and now to move 2345 hrs.
Regt Strength
Stuarts 12
Crusaders 11
Grants 18

Regt formed up and moved off 2345 hrs
27/7/42 Bde moved North at a very slow speed and eventually reached concentration area at 0500 hrs. the gap in the minefield had apparently not been cleared so the Bde’s role was changed to support the Infantry and to launch a counter attack in the event of the former being attacked by tanks. Patrol of A Sqn (6th RTR) sent out to contact Infantry in front.
1015 – Durham Light Infantry holding line of road between K13 – K14, EYK 14 and thence SE. enemy pocket located in square 975286. Regt ordered to attack and wipe out this place. A Sqn patrols to go forward and locate gap in minefield and with support of 10th Hussars to try and locate enemy position. Grants then to come forward to deal with them. OPs going forward with A Sqn.
A Sqn and 10th Hussars moved forward and had some difficulty in negotiating the gap. Regt on coming through this gap was engaged from the left by A/Tk guns. C Sqn came up and engaged these guns. A Sqn and 10th Hussars pushed on to the next ridge and reported A/Tk guns firing from position in front. C Sqn moved forward onto this ridge and B Sqn took over C Sqn position. C Sqn engaged enemy tanks and guns ahead and destroyed a 50mm and 75mm.
10th Hussars tried to push round right flank; they captured some prisoners but came under heavy A/Tk and mortar fire, one tank was damaged and they withdrew slightly. An 88mm or 76mm gun on the far right now opened fire and forced C Sqn to come down from the ridge. A Sqn was detailed to salvage or destroy all the equipment in the area over-run. B Sqn 10th hussars continued to try and push round to the right but were unable to get far forward owing to another minefield and intense A/Tk fire, they however engaged targets of MET and Infantry in that area.
C Sqn moved up on to the ridge to fire but were continually forced to come down again owing to heavy fire from the large A/Tk guns. Two Grants were hit and casualties caused. One tank was able to withdraw to the A Echelon but the other required a transporter.
In the evening under cover of smoke the enemy attacked with a force of tanks and a SP gun (105 or 76.2). The Regt being in a bad position in the valley was forced to withdraw ½ mile through the gap and took up a battle position behind the minefield. During this time 2 Grants of B Sqn were destroyed and the Grant damaged earlier had to be destroyed. Major Hotham, 1st RTR, was missing. 5th RTR came up behind ready to support. When the Regt got into battle line behind the minefield they were able to get a good shoot and destroyed 2 enemy tanks and silenced the SP gun.
At last light the Regt received orders to withdraw, as tomorrow the Bde was to be in Corps reserve outside the ALAMEIN Box. Regt moved in line and picking up A Echelon on the way moved via NS track to ALAMEIN station and thence East to a leaguer area 431898.
Claims     -2 Mark III destroyed, 2 Mark III probably hit, 1 75mm knocked out, 1 50mm knocked out, MET and Infantry engaged and some prisoners taken. 2 Carriers and one Russian 76mm A/Tk gun salvaged. 3 A/Tk guns destroyed.
Losses     -3 Grants destroyed, several Grants damaged, 1 Stuart damaged, 1 Crusader damaged.
28/7/42 Regt remained in leaguer area. Spent the day reorganising, damaged tanks evacuated. Bathing parties organised. 10th Hussars Sqn drew 7 more Crusaders. Confirmed that Major Hotham was killed in yesterday’s action. Our 76mm gun was handed over to Bde Recovery section. Slight air activity in the evening, one Macchi 200 shot down in our area. During the night a Ju88 machine-gunned the area but did no damage.
Regt Strength
     12 Grants
     17 Crusaders
     11 Stuarts
29/7/42 Regt moved at 1330 hrs to new rest area. Tanks 436881 via Pt 95, BIR GABALLA. A Echelon moved in Bde party, but owing to bad going did not arrive till later in the day.
30/7/42 Remained in area. CO and RHQ staff of 1st RTR came up to organise hand over.
31/7/42 Recces carried out – CO and Int. Officer of HEMEIMAT area with Bde party, - Capt Fidler and 2Lt Garrard of area NW of present position.
Tank State
     15 Grants
     17 Crusaders
     11 Stuarts
 
Jul 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment     – A Squadron OC Major EJA Pettman
9/7/42 Strength:-
     13 Stuarts
     3 A/Cars
     1 Troop RHA
     1 Troop A/Tk guns

0900 – Move off under Major Richardson to join ACs (Royals) and gunners at 443985.
1630 – Move off to join 9th Australian Div at 889295 (EL DABA). Group arrives at 0255 hrs

10/7/42 0545 – Counter enemy shelling in our leaguer at 889295.
Casualties:-
   Major JAC Richardson wounded – died of wounds on the following day.
   Major commanding Gunners wounded,
   L/Sgt C Drake killed,
   Tpr J Saunders wounded.
0900 – Move off under Major Pettman to EL ALAMEIN Gate at 882297. Tank force under command of 2Lt JA Garrard carry out fighting recce in area. Shoot by RHA.
1630 – Return to base established at 891294.
Claims     -1 88mm A/Tk gun
Losses     -1 Stuart, recoverable.
11/7/42 0550 – Sqn and remainder of Group prepared to engage the enemy and moved off in the area of TEL EL EISA railway station.
0600 – No 4 Troop rounds up approx 1600 prisoners believed to be Trente Div troops.
0800 – Sqn breaks into Tps and patrols an active front in area 874296. During this period heavy shelling was encountered and enemy air activity was on a big scale covering the whole of the sector in which the group was operating.
1100 – Australian gunners shell the enemy and Stuarts push forward to the ridge 876295.
1300 – enemy counter shelling on a big scale and patrol reported position of enemy guns to OP who dealt with same very quickly.
1630 – Patrols came in from their respective areas and the group returned to base at 891294.
Casualties     Sgt A Horwood
Claims      7 Italian 75mm field guns, Infantry
Losses     1 Stuart damaged.
12/7/42 Capt JA Rycroft rejoins the Sqn from the Regt and takes over acting Sqn Commander.
0600 – Maintenance and gun cleaning etc. Major Pettman left for 9th Australian Div HQ for orders.
1900 – Sqn moved off to engage enemy but a change in orders caused the Sqn to return to base.
13/7/42 0530 – Normal maintenance.
1400 – Sqn with remainder of group moved along coast track to a position behind 8th RTR at 88003001. Tps were ordered out on recce over the ridge to our front. Australian gunners giving the enemy hell during the time we were in that area, caused slight but inaccurate counter shelling. Enemy air activity during the day was on a medium scale but dive bombing was very poor.
Stuart commanders sprayed enemy aircraft with .30 AA Browning and some good small arms fire against attacking aircraft.
2000 – Sqn leaguer 1 mile North of 88003001 for the night.
Claims     - 1 47mm A/Tk gun.
14/7/42 0600 – Return to base at 891294 and remain there resting until 2000 hrs. during this time 4½ inch guns 1 mile to our West pounded the enemy throughout the day. Air activity slight.
2000 – Sqn move off along coast track and leaguered at 88003001 for the night. Enemy shelling was encountered during the night.
15/7/42 0430 – Sqn moves off and patrols area between TEL ELEISA station and Kilo 130. Returned back to 88003001 until 1800 hrs.
1800 – Sqn again takes up position between station and Kilo 130 as the light begins to fail. Enemy Infantry and A/Tk guns were seen coming over the ridge in front. These were engaged by the whole Sqn until the light failed.
2000 – Sqn returns to leaguer at 88052997.
Claims     Infantry
Losses     2 Stuarts, both recoverable
Strength:- 9 Stuarts, 3 ACs, 1 Tp RHA, 1 Tp A/Tk guns.
16/7/42 Sqn found day leaguer at 88052997 and carried out maintenance. Major Pettman attended conference at Australian Div HQ in the morning and again in the evening.
17/7/42 Sqn moved out with the group at 0500 hrs together with 9th Australian Div carriers and Crusaders to protect the right flank of the Australian Infantry who during the night had captured “21 Ridge” –879294 – 876296. Sqn area 876296 to 875297. On arrival at this area about 100 prisoners were taken after a short engagement. Various targets were engaged during the day, mainly MG positions that were shooting at the Infantry. During the afternoon after very heavy shelling and dive bombing attacks, the Infantry were forced to withdraw from the Western end of the ridge. The Sqn covered this withdrawal during which Capt Rycroft was wounded in the foot; his tank had been hit and his 37mm and coax put out of action so he got out of his tank and engaged the enemy with his AA Browning. 2Lt Garrard was slightly wounded in the head, LCpl Jones was wounded in the head by ‘splash’. During this withdrawal three 6pdrs (whose portee truck had been destroyed), were recovered at about 1700 hrs a Sqn of the 44th RTR under Major Drury arrived and relieved us.
18/7/42 Sqn withdrew from Group and returned to base at 891294. Handed tanks over to Australian Div cavalry.
19/7/42 Sqn under Major Pettman moves to original B Echelon leaguer area.
21/7/42 Move to 30 Corps TDR and take over 16 Stuarts and at 1300 hrs left TDR to rejoin Regt. Leaguered at 440895 for the night.
21/7/42 Rejoined Regt.
Battle Casualties July 1942
Officers Killed in Action
Lt AP Gain 3/7/42   2Lt PM Carroll 22/7/42

Died of Wounds received in Action

Major JAC Richardson 10/7/42

Wounded in Action

Capt JA Rycroft 17/7/42

Other Ranks

Killed in Action

Tpr Morton P 3/7/42   L/Sgt Drake C 10/7/42
Tpr Clare D 3/7/42   L/Sgt Simon C 16/7/42
Tpr Parker A 3/7/42   Cpl Asty J 22/7/42
Tpr Smith F 22/7/42   Tpr Bolding W 27/7/42
Tpr Belt G 27/7/42   Cpl Brudnell J 27/7/42

Died of Wounds

Tpr Rodd G 15/7/42
L/Sgt Connor A 25/7/42

Missing – Believed Killed

L/Sgt Robinson J 2/7/42

Missing

Tpr Jones E* 22/7/42   Tpr Cobbold F* 22/7/42
Tpr Kearton R* 22/7/42   Tpr Sawdon J* 22/7/42

Wounded

Cpl Russell R 2/7/42   Tpr Bowman J 3/7/42
Tpr Boocock J 3/7/42   Tpr Beevers T 4/7/42
Tpr Saunders J 10/7/42   Tpr Henley H 15/7/42
LCpl Thomas W 18/7/42   Tpr Claughton T 18/7/42
Tpr Butler J 22/7/42   Tpr Wilding N 22/7/42
Tpr Barlow G 22/7/42   Tpr Watts G 22/7/42
Tpr Roos E 22/7/42   Tpr Smith J 23/7/42
Tpr Wright J 23/7/42   Tpr Bolan J 23/7/42
Tpr Croston 23/7/42   Tpr Stedman B 23/7/42
Tpr Bird A 22/7/42   Ssgt Bell F 27/2/42
Tpr Gleeson A 27/7/42   Cpl Wood S 27/7/42
Tpr Sawle W 27/7/42   Tpr Corfield S 24/7/42
Tpr Billings C 17/7/42   LCpl Jones G 17/7/42
Tpr Curtiss C 27/7/42        

[Transcriber’s Note – using the Commonwealth War Graves Web site] Personnel marked * were killed on the 22 and are named on the Alamein Memorial – extract below. All others have been checked and are not listed on the Memorial.

The Alamein Memorial Land Forces panels commemorate the soldiers of the British Commonwealth and Empire who fell in the campaigns in Egypt and Libya, and in the operations of the Eighth Army in Tunisia up to 19th February 1943 - the date when it came under the command of General Eisenhower - and who have no known grave.

August 1942 CO: Lt Col EC Mitford
Aug 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/8/42 RHQ, A Sqn, B Sqn and B Echelon moved back by road from leaguer North of DEIR EL AGRAM (436881) and took over Camp 9 Mariopolis from 1st RTR. C Sqn remained in the field under command 1st RTR.
10/8/42 Operation order – 6th RTR to take over local defence commitments from 1st RTR.
15/8/42 Regt ordered to form mobile AFV Column for local area defence and also mobile MT Column.
16/8/42 Operational Order No 2 received from 1st Armd Bde.
17/8/42 Regt formed MT Column under Major RHN Simonds.
27/8/42 Lt GD Addison MC joined the Regt and was posted to B Sqn.
29/8/42 Operation order from 1st Armd Bde, Regt to form mixed column to operate under orders of 1st Armd Bde in area 516911.
30/8/42 Major EJA Potter appointed 2i/c Regt.
31/8/42 Lt C Jones posted from B Sqn to HQ Sqn.

Subject:- Simcol.

Appendix
  1. Information
       It is considered possible that parachute attacks may be made against certain installations in the Delta. 1/6 RTR are producing a column of motorised infantry prepared to reinforce troops already stationed at these installations.
       This column will be known as ‘Simcol’ and will be prepared to move immediately on receipt of orders.

  2. Composition
    Column Commander -Major RHN Simonds
    Column Sergeant Major -SSM T Laws

    HQ Troop

    Troop Cmdr. Lt A Aplin
    Troop Sgt-Major SSM T Laws
    Troop Sgt Sgt Parker
    Full Rank NCO NIL
    Junior NCO 3
    Other Ranks 34
    Provided by HQ Sqn 3 x 30 cwt
    Vehicles 1 x 8 cwt (Col Commander)

        SSM Laws will command one vehicle in this troop and will have with him a Medical Orderly and medical equipment under arrangements made by Medical Officer.

    No 1 Troop

    Troop Cmdr. 2Lt MWD Dawson
    Troop Sgt Sgt Sharp
    Full Rank NCO 2
    Junior NCO 4
    Other Ranks 41
    Provided by B Sqn 1st RTR
    Vehicles 4 x 30 cwt

    No 2 Troop

    Troop Cmdr. Capt RHA Powell
    Troop Sgt Sgt Potherbridge
    Full Rank NCO 2
    Junior NCO 4
    Other Ranks 41
    Provided by HQ Sqn
    Vehicles 4x 30 cwt

    No 3 Troop

    Troop Cmdr. 2Lt JG Mauldon
    Troop Sgt Sgt Latter
    Full Rank NCO 2
    Junior NCO 4
    Other Ranks 41
    Provided by A/B/C Sqns
    Vehicles 4 x 30 cwt

  3. Arms     Each troop will be armed with 3 Bren guns, 2 TSMGs and all men not otherwise armed will carry rifles. B Sqn 1st RTR will provide for No 1 Troop, 1 Bren and 2 TSMGs.
    • One signal pistol per troop
    • Grenades will be issued when available.
    • Officers, Bren gunners (Nos 1 & 2) and TSMG gunners will carry revolvers
    • Arms total:- Bren – 12, TSMGs – 8, rifles - 146, pistols – 59, signal pistols – 4.

  4. Ammunition
    • Brens - 2,000 rounds per gun
    • TSMGs - 1,000 rounds per gun
    • Rifles - 100 rounds per man
    • Pistols - 18 rounds per man
    • Signal - 6 cartridges of each colour.

  5. Personnel

        Officers, SSM and Troop Sgts are permanent detail and will only leave camp provided they have a relief of equal rank standing by and fully conversant with his duties.
        Remainder will be detailed for periods of 3 days and will be confined to camp during this time.
        Each vehicle will be commanded by an officer or full rank NCO and in addition each vehicle will have a Junior NCO responsible for ensuring that the full scale arms, ammunition, rations, water and POL is on the vehicle.

  6. Administration
        Vehicles for the column will be allocated by the Transport Officer, organised into troops in the camp area and on no account be used for any other purposes.
        Each vehicle will have on it at all times the arms and ammunition of its crew, 3 days HS rations plus 3 days vehicle rations, and equivalent water for the crew, and POL reserve for 250 miles.
        Regimental Police and guard will provide a permanent sentry for these vehicles.
        Column will parade at 0800 hours daily commencing 18/8/42, by troops, and will be liable to practice turnouts at any time, day or night.

    Sgnd Captain & Adjutant

6th Royal Tank Regiment
Operation Order No. 2

Information     In the event of an enemy breakthrough on the El Alamein line, it is likely that he will attempt to cut the main Cairo road and attack the emergency landing grounds in this area and attempt to penetrate in to the Delta. Various columns of all arms have been organised against the enemy.

1st Armd Bde Information     1st Armd Bde will be responsible for operating columns within the area South of Amiriya Peninsular to area d.2 AA Bde, Mile 154 Alexandria – Cairo road, and if necessary as far as the area Wadi Natrun.

Regimental Intention     The Regiment will form a mixed column and operate under orders from 1st Armd Bde, in the area 516911.

Method

  1. The mixed regimental column will be composed as follows:- Regimental HQ
    Commanding Officer 1 car
    Adjutant 1 Bantam
    Medical Officer 1 30 cwt truck W/T
    Lt C Jones 1 30 cwt (petrol)
      1 15 cwt GS (Medical)
      3 3-ton (Tank Troop Echelon)
      1 3-ton ( A Sqn Fitter)
      1 30 cwt Water Truck
      1 Motorcycle

    Motor Squadron      As already detailed (less one 30 cwt truck and 2 No 19 sets.

    Tank Squadron

    • 3 Stuart Tanks manned by A Sqn
    • 3 Grant Tanks manned by B Sqn
    • 2 Crusader Tanks manned by 3rd CLY
    • Commander – Captain T Stainton

  2. On the order for this column to move, the remaining personnel of 6th RTR and 3rd CLY will proceed in regimental transport to TDR. All stores which can be lifted in existing transport will be taken.
  3. The Officer i/c Transport will prepare daily a detail of the employment and reporting place of each vehicle in order to carry stores and spare personnel. Vehicles will report to their respective places on orders. Meanwhile stores will, so far as possible, be maintained in a state in which they can be loaded on to the vehicles in minimum time from the receipt of orders.
Sgnd Captain & Adjutant 29 August 1942

September 1942 Missing

s.
October 1942 CO: Major EJA Pettman
Oct 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
3/10/42 Capt RB Terry (RAMC) attached this unit as Medical Officer
5/10/42 Capt BAM Brown (RAMC) ceased to be attached on posting to No 1 General Hospital.
8/10/42 Capt FC Whitty relinquishes appointment of Adjt on posting to XI List.
9/10/42 Capt FC Whitty and Lt GP Jackson struck of strength on posting to 10th Corps HQ.Lt C Addison re-granted temp rank of Capt and appointed Adjt. Capt (Rev.) HJM Lewis (RAChD) was posted to HQ 1st Armd Div.
10/10/42 Lt A Aplin granted temp rank of Captain.Regt formed Tank Hunting Platoons for protection of area (91 Sub Area). A Platoon consisted as follows:-
Platoon HQ
1 Officer
  • 1 Sgt
  • 1 Runner

  • Sections of
    • 1 NCO
    • 10ORs

    a total of four Platoons were formed.
  • 20/10/42 Names of all available personnel forwarded to 91 Sub Area as a Provisional Company for safeguarding of communications etc of this area.
    Appendix C – B Sqn of 6th RTR Detached as “Tank Protective Detachment – 8th Army”
    Oct 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment Appendix C - B Sqn
    1/10/42 Strength of Sqn
    • Major RHN Simonds – Sqn Commander
    • Capt RHA Powell
    • Capt RW Hill
    • Lt EJ Draper
    • LT GD Addison
    • 2Lt G Chadwick
    • ORs – 143

    Movement orders published. Major DJ Coulson arrived to take over the Sqn from Major Simonds. 2Lt Mauldon also joined u
    2/10/42 Moved from MAREOPOLIS to 47759170. 9th Plt A Coy 1st Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, under Lt TR Ward, joined us in the evening, (1 Officer + 32 ORs). D Troop, 113 Light AA Bty, RA, under Lt Rose with 40 ORs.
    3/10/42 Day spent in settling down and making presence known to all we shall deal with in the future.
    4/10/42 Daily routine and maintenance of vehicles.
    6/10/42 Tac HQ 8th Army went out on a scheme to practice formations and manoeuvrability. Two ACs of the 6th South African Armd Cars, under Lt Cazalet joined us this morning (7 ORs). Lt GD Addison recalled to Regt, Lt PG Stevens replaced him.
    7/10/42 Received first tank, this being a Grant fitted with a diesel engine. LAD from 1st Armd Bde workshops joined us, 13 ORs.
    8/10/42 Fitters instructed by Sgt McGuire, US Army.
    9/10/42 Sgt McGuire US Army, instructed the drivers of the Sqn.
    10/10/42 Tank commanders instructed on the Grant.
    11/10/42 Two diesel Grants collected and put in 1Tp.
    12/10/42 Scheme with Tac HQ commenced.
    13/10/42 Two special Grants for GHQ Troop arrived.
    14/10/42 D Troop 6th Lt AA Bty commanded by Lt VATC Clark arrived this morning, replacing D Troop 113 Lt AA Bty.
    15/10/42 2Lt JG Mauldon instructed tank commanders on the new wireless procedures.
    17/10/42 One Grant collected.
    18/10/42 Another Grant collected.
    19/10/42 All ranks received a talk by Major Coulson on our object, formation etc.
    20/10/42 Three more Grants collected today. Ten tanks fired their guns which behaved satisfactorily
    21/10/42 A recce of our new area was made. One troop of ACs and AA moved to join the “Jocks” at TAC HQ’s Battle position.
    22/10/42 All the tanks were camouflaged and had sun-shields fitted. Major Oswald came over from HQ 8th Army and spoke to everyone about the forthcoming battle.
    23/10/42 B & A Echelon left for 446903 at 1300 hrs and 1330 hrs respectively. The tanks left by transporter at 1845 hrs. at exactly 2140 hrs, when we were still about 5 miles short of our destination the battle began with the flashes of hundreds of guns.
    24/10/42 Morning spent in spreading out into position, putting up camouflage nets, and generally settling into a position which is very good as there are some holes big enough for the tanks.
    25/10/42 A few isolated planes spent quite a few hours of the night diving about with sirens blowing and dropping bombs near us.
    28/10/42 Orders came through that we had to hand over six Grants, but handing over did not take place today. Major Coulson went out on a recce.
    29/10/42 The six Grants went off to 2 FDS at 1030 hrs. the Army Commander went out for the first time in his “General”.
    30/10/42 Another recce by Capt Hill, with two NCOs, to Gazelet.

    November 1942 CO: Lt Col EJA Pettman
    2/11/42 The General’s tank and HQ Troop went out this morning and visited 30 Corps Tac HQ. The General’s tank went out again in the afternoon, but alone this time.
    3/11/42 The General’s tank was out again today. Capt Powell, Capt Hill and Lt Stevens and Sinclair went out with an 8th Army LO and visited 1st Armd Div and 7th Motor Bde.
    4/11/42 The Greys B Echelon moved into our area. Air activity around our area during the night was on a slightly increased scale.
    5/11/42 Army Commander’s tank and HQ Troop went out this morning.
    6/1/42 Major Coulson went out in the morning to recce a new position for us. A & B Echelon came up to our position during the morning. We moved off at 1430 hrs leaving A & B Echelon behind. By 1800 hrs we had arrived within 4 miles of Daba, where we stayed for the night.
    7/11/42 Major Coulson went out again to look for a new position. A & B Echelon came up to us in the morning. We moved off at 1330 hrs and by 1800 hrs we were 15 miles short of FUKA, where we stopped for the night. Nos 1 and 2 Troops returned to Regt.
    8/11/42 Moved off at 0630 hrs and stopped about 2 miles short of ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ at 1300 hrs, where we settled down.
    9/11/42 Capt Powell, Lt Stevens and Lt Chadwick went out to look at their tanks which had been knocked out in the May battle.
    10/11/42 Tac army moved on up.
    11/11/42 Major Coulson and Capt Powell went to visit Tac HQ. We are staying here for the time being and come under 91 Sub Area.
    12/11/42 Main Army moved out this morning and Rear Army moved in.
    13/11/42 Major Coulson, Capt Powell and Lt Stevens went to visit Main Army to try and find out about our future.
    15/11/42 All unnecessary stores and the tanks were handed in today. The General’s tank was delivered to TDR with strict instructions that it should not be issued, and that everything should stay on it until such time as further instructions arrive from the General. The LAD ceased to be attached. Tomorrow the Sqn returns to the Regt.
    16/11/42 The Sqn started off at 0730 hrs, Major Coulson and Capt Powell going ahead in a Jeep to warn the Regt of our return. We stopped from 1030 to 1130 hrs having covered 66.5 miles. One of the vehicles lost a wheel, fitters and stores lorries left behind to repair it. At our next stop, at 1400 hrs, we had covered a total of 132.8 miles. The cookhouse was left behind here to prepare the evening meal. Our next stop was at 1600 hrs about 3 miles on the Cairo side of Amyria, we stopped here for the night.
    17/11/42 We left on the last leg of the journey at 0730 hrs. on arrival at the Regt all personnel returned to their original Sqns.

    November 1942 CO: Lt Col EJA Pettman
    Nov 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
    1/11/42 Normal Routine
    5/11/42 Lt PH Goodyer assigned the duties of Messing Officer.
    9/11/42 Capt RHA Powell promoted Temp Major wef 29/10/42
    17/11/42 2Lts HC Reid, JC Mauldon, G Chadwick, JA Garrard promoted Lt wef 1/10/42
    20/11/42 Cambrai Day Celebration.
    23/11/42 T/Major EJA Pettman appointed A/Lt Col wef 20/9/42.
    24/11/42 Lt Stevens, Lt Goodyer, Lt Jones appointed acting Captain

    December 1942 CO: Lt Col EJA Pettman
    Dec 42 6th Royal Tank Regiment
    2/12/42 Regt visited by Brigadier JI Chrystall CBE MC.
    4/12/42 Lt-General RGWH Stone CB DSO MC, GOC British Troops in Egypt visited the unit.
    12/12/42 The following officers taken on strength and posted to Sqn as shown:-
    Major JM Warner HQ
    Lt EW Sudale HQ
    Lt JM Robertson A
    Lt TV Ludolf B
    Lt AE Taylor C

    Major JM Warner assumed command of HQ SqnParties of tank and transporter drivers left at 0800 hrs to pick up vehicles. Tank party to SUEZ there to proceed with tanks via sea route. Transport drivers collected vehicles at MENA, 38 3-tonners, 11 15 cwt, 4 15 cwt water carts and one staff car.140 ORs joined the Regt.
    13/12/42 The following officers taken on strength and posted to Sqns as shown:-
    Lt DA Windeler HQ
    Lt HG Jenkins A
    Lt P Helps B
    Lt KEG Clark C

    15/12/42 Lt DA Windeler appointed IO.
    16/12/42 Lt Col HM Liardet OBE assumes command of Regt, Lt Col EJA Pettman ceased command of Regt.The following officers taken on strength and posted to Sqns shown:-
    Lt G Farmer HQ, Lt F Holloway HQ
    2Lt DR Whittet HQ Lt ME Smart A
    Lt EF Underwood A Lt KW Rhodes A
    Lt NC Shillinglaw B 2Lt DC Eberstein B
    2Lt SC Hadley B 2Lt SJ Weeks C
    2Lt RW Driscoll C 2Lt T Templeton C
    17/12/42 Part movement order received giving 21 Dec 42 as movement date.
    18/12/42 Maps collected. 87 ORs taken on strength.Cpl JE Johnson found guilty under Sect 8 para 2 of Army Act – Striking a Superior Officer. Reduced to the ranks and 42 days field punishment.
    2Lt DR Whittet promoted Lt.
    19/12/42 Regt prepares to move.
    20/12/42 Lt Whittet appointed Assistant Regtl Tech Adjt.
    21/12/42 0600 – Regt leaves Khatatba.
    0830 – Regt refuels at Kilo 12.
    1630 – Regt arrives Ismailia and leaguers for the night on East bank of Canal.
    22/12/42 0615 – Regt leaves.
    1750 – Regt arrives ASLUJ. Journey across North SINAI desert.
    23/12/42 0615 Regt leaves.
    1415 – Regt arrives Camp 23 TULKARM. Weather fine and sunny country side chiefly citrus fruits.
    24/12/42 0600 – Regt leaves.
    1300 – Regt arrives MAFRAQ. Warm sunny weather, journey across JORDAN climbing uphill to TRANSJORDAN. Night freezing and anti-freeze precautions taken. At Midnight Holy Communion celebrated by Padre of MAFRAQ Garrison.
    25/12/42 0630 Reveille. Breakfast 0730 hrs. 0830 Service for C of E. 1045 inter-sqn soccer competition. Evening after dark bonfires were lit and Xmas carols sung.
    26/12/42 0630 – Regt leaves.
    1315 – Regt arrives pumping station H 4. Rain during the night.
    27/12/42 0700 – Regt leaves.
    1530 – Regt arrives RUTBA in IRAQ.
    1800 – Heavy rain started and lasted several hours, many of the Regt wet through.
    28/12/42 Regt leaves.
    1500 – Regt arrives WADI MOHAMMEDI. Cloudy though mild.
    29/12/42 0645 – Regt leaves.
    1430 – Regt arrives Lancer Camp BAGHDAD. 50% of Regt allowed on pass to BAGHDAD.
    30/12/42 0700 – Reveille. Regt remains at Lancer Camp for 24 hours, while remaining 50% visit city.
    Advance party leaves for new destination.
    31/12/42 0530 – Reveille.
    0830 – Regt leaves.
    1000 – Regt arrives LATIFIYA Camp, 25 miles South of BAGHDAD. Tents pitched and general settling.

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