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5th Royal Tank Regiment (5 RTR) was an armoured regiment of the British Army in existence for 52 years, from 1917 until 1969. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It originally saw action as E Battalion, Tank Corps in 1917.

5th Royal Tank Regiment
Covenanter tanks entraining Thetford May 1942 IWM H 20244.jpg
Covenanter tanks of 5 RTR entraining at Thetford in Norfolk, United Kingdom, May 1942
Active1917– 1969
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Part ofRoyal Armoured Corps
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II

At the Battle of Cambrai in late 1917, during World War I, the squadron of tanks led by Arthur George Griffiths made a huge impact on the battle. The commanding general asked for the squadron of tanks to be doubled in size, and so Griffiths's squadron evolved into the 5th Tank Regiment.

The regiment saw wide-ranging service in World War II and fought in nearly all of the major allied campaigns, from the 1940 retreat from France through to the North African Campaign, Normandy and on into Germany.[1] It became part of the 22nd Armoured Brigade of the 7th Armoured Division.

In December 1946 the regiment was the first to use Centurion tanks in regular service.[2]

In 1960, under the command of Hugo Ironside, it amalgamated with 8th Royal Tank Regiment without change of title. It was disbanded in 1969.

The 5th Royal Tank Regiment Reunion Association holds annual reunions.

In 2007 an image of a 1944 tank commander in the 5th Royal Tank Regiment uniform was used on one of a series of Royal mail stamps featuring British Army uniforms.[3]


  1. ^ Urban, Mark. The Tank War (2013)[page needed]
  2. ^ Munro, Bill (2005). The Centurion Tank. The Crowood Press Ltd. p. 46. ISBN 1-86126-701-0.
  3. ^ Farmer, Ben (17 Sep 2007). "Stamps show history of Army battledress". Retrieved 4 January 2009.

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