10th Armoured Division (United Kingdom)

The 10th Armoured Division was an armoured formation of division-size of the British Army, raised during World War II and was active from 1941–1944 and after the war from 1956–1957. It was formed from the 1st Cavalry Division, a 1st Line Yeomanry unit of the Territorial Army (TA) which had previously been serving in Palestine. The division was converted from cavalry to armour and redesignated from 1 August 1941.

10th Armoured Division
10th armoured div.svg
Formation sign of the 10th Armoured Division.[1]
Active1 August 1941 – 15 June 1944[2]
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
SizeSecond World War
13,225–14,964 men[3]
186 tanks[nb 1][nb 2]
Garrison/HQWestern Desert
EngagementsNorth African Campaign
Battle honours30 August–7 September 1942 Alam el Halfa[5]
23 October–4 November 1942 El Alamein[5]
Alexander Gatehouse


The divisional sign was a fox's mask, representing the hunting tradition of the formation's cavalry and Yeomanry units. The division was originally under command of HQ British Troops Palestine and Transjordan, but transferred to Ninth Army when the headquarters was redesignated on 1 November 1941.[6] It was later transferred into Egypt, serving under HQ Middle East, XXX Corps, British Eighth Army, and X Corps. The division fought at the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein. It was disbanded on 15 June 1944 in Egypt.[7]

The 10th Armoured Division was also briefly active after the war ended in Libya in the 1950s, incorporating 25th Armoured Brigade,[8] but was disbanded in July 1957.[9] The 25th Armoured Brigade was formed in 1952 to provide an operational headquarters for the troops in Libya. Also 1st RTR & 3rd RHA in Canal Zone, Egypt 1954/56 (Not listed on Orbat site). The Royal Scots Greys arrived in Libya in 1952, and stayed until 1955. Other units of the brigade from 1952 were the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery and the 14th/20th King's Hussars. Also the Queens Bays at Sabratha [10] In May and June 1956 the brigade was hastily expanded to division status as 10th Armoured Division, with the intention of invading Egypt from the west during the Suez Canal Crisis.[11] Planning was halted when it was found that such an invasion was banned under the terms of Britain's treaty with Libya. The Armoured Brigade Signals Squadron was expanded to 10th Armd Div Signals in May–June 1956, based in Tripoli. It began to wind up in April 1957, and disbanded completely in September 1957.[12]

General Officer CommandingEdit

Four men served as the General Officer Commanding of the division during World War II.

Appointed General Officer Commanding
1 August 1941[2] Major-General John Clark[nb 3]
26 June 1942 Major-General Alexander Gatehouse[2]
18 December 1942 Major-General Charles Norman[2]
12 January 1943 Major-General Horace Birks[2]
1955 Major-General Rodney Moore[14]

Order of battle World War IIEdit

The 10th Armoured Division was constituted as follows during the war:[2]

8th Armoured Brigade (left 16 February 1942, rejoined 27 March 1942, left 30 June 1942, rejoined 17 July 1942, left 21 November 1942)[15]

9th Armoured Brigade (from 9 October 1941, left 25 March 1942, rejoined 14 November 1942, left 27 May 1943)[16]

7th Armoured Brigade (from 3 June 1943, left 11 April 1944)[17]

23rd Armoured Brigade (from 1 June 1944, left 14 June 1944)[18]

7th Motor Brigade (from 12 September 1942, left 23 September 1942)[19]

  • 2nd Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own)
  • 7th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own)

133rd Lorried Infantry Brigade (from 29 September 1942, left 25 November 1942)[20]

201st Guards Motor Brigade (from 9 January 1943, left 1 February 1943)[21]

Divisional Troops

Royal Armoured Corps

Royal Engineers

  • 2nd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 21 November 1941, left 10 June 1943)
  • 3rd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 22 September 1942, left 15 May 1944)
  • 622nd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 11 June 1943, left 31 May 1944)
  • 141st Field Park Squadron, Royal Engineers (from 20 November 1941, left 1 April 1944)
  • 6th Bridging Troop, Royal Engineers (from 20 November 1943, left 1 April 1944)

Royal Corps of Signals

10th Armoured Divisional Signals, Royal Corps of Signals

Royal Artillery

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 164 M4 Shermans, 8 cruisers, and 14 anti-aircraft tanks.[4]
  2. ^ These figures are the war establishment, the on-paper strength, of the division for 1942–1944; for information on how divisional sizes changed over the war please see British Army during the Second World War and British Armoured formations of World War II.
  3. ^ Joslen states a Major-General C.G.W. Clark was the division's first General Officer Commanding whereas Mead informs the reader that John Clark retained control of the division after it was reformed as an armoured division.[2][13]
  1. ^ Cole p. 34
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Joslen, p. 25
  3. ^ Joslen, p. 129
  4. ^ Joslen, p. 7
  5. ^ a b Joslen, p. 26
  6. ^ "10th Armoured Division". Orders of Battle.com., accessed October 2011
  7. ^ Doherty, Richard (2013). British Armoured Divisions and their Commanders, 1939-1945. Pen and Sword. p. 233. ISBN 978-1848848382.
  8. ^ "WN1-10053 British War Office". austinchamp.com. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008.
  9. ^ Hansard, March 1958
  10. ^ Orbat.com, Order of Battle, British Army, 1952 Archived 28 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Britain, Libya and the Suez Crisis", Journal of Strategic Studies, April 2007.
  12. ^ Cliff Lord, Graham Watson, The Royal Corps of Signals, 2004, p. 47
  13. ^ Mead, p. 101
  14. ^ Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Joslen, p. 160
  16. ^ Joslen, p. 162
  17. ^ Joslen, p. 158
  18. ^ Joslen, p. 179
  19. ^ Joslen, p. 244
  20. ^ Joslen, p. 319
  21. ^ Joslen, p. 265


  • Cole, Howard (1973). Formation Badges of World War 2. Britain, Commonwealth and Empire. London: Arms and Armour Press.
  • Joslen, Lieutenant-Colonel H.F. (1960) [1960]. Orders of Battle Second World War 1939–1945. Naval & Military Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1.
  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0.

External linksEdit