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"TO&E Nottinghamshire Yeomanry in the Desert?" Topic

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ArkieGamer15 Jan 2015 10:31 a.m. PST


I'm working on a project with a friend of mine using Jim Day's Panzer miniatures rules for microarmor, and, in general, we're planning to cover the period between 2nd El Alamein and Tunisia.

He's working up Axis forces, while I'm developing an armo(u)red squadron of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry and 8th Armoured brigade. After much searching on the internet, I've determined that an armoured squadron should consists of an HQ unit of 4 tanks, and four troops of 3 tanks each. All of the same type. The core of my force will be made up of Shermans.

That's all fine and dandy, and I can add in other units (armored cars, Crusaders, Grants, and such) from other formations in the brigade to spice things up, but I'm REALLY fascinated by a paragraph I read on Wikipedia about the 8th Armoured's use of "Armoured Regimental Groups" at the Mareth line. Here's a link to the article. If you look at the chart of the brigade formation, you'll notice that scout cars (presumably from the Brigade's pool?) have been assigned to each regiment, there's a variety of tanks in each regiment, and, finally, the infantry companies have been parceled out to the individual armored regiments. Perfect.

Unfortunately, there's no citation for where the information in the table is coming from, and I'm not at all clear on how the various types of tanks would have been distributed among the sub-formations in the regiment.

All that's a long-winded way to get to my question…can anyone provide further information on what the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Armoured Regimental Group might have looked like, in detail? If not, can you point me in the direction of a good reference work on the subject?


By the way, if you're interested in looking at the project-in-progress, feel free to click this link and this link

Jemima Fawr15 Jan 2015 11:24 a.m. PST

Hi Arkie,

For your searching you might be interested to know that the Notts Yeomanry were more commonly known as the Notts (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry or Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry or simply Sherwood Rangers. The official abbreviation was SRY.

There was also a South Notts Hussars Yeomanry, but they were serving as a Field Artillery Regiment at the time.

I'm not familiar with their composition in North Africa, though even in 1943, all-Sherman regiments were still rare (possibly non-existent?). Many had two squadrons of Shermans and one of Crusaders or Stuarts for recce. In 1942 it was common to find a massive variety Shermans, Grants, Stuarts and Crusaders all in the same regiment.

Scout Cars would normally be found in all regiments, in the RHQ Liasion and/or Recce Troops, though the regimental Recce Role was often taken by Stuarts (often turretless by 1943) or Crusaders. That said, squadrons from Armoured Car Regiments could sometimes be attached, though they were normally doing recce stuff at a higher level.

The term 'Group' simply means a unit with stuff attached. So an Armoured Regiment Group is an Armoured Regiment with perhaps some Motor Infantry, RHA, etc, directly attached.

Some Chicken15 Jan 2015 11:56 a.m. PST

Mark Bevis (British And Commonwealth Armies 1939 -45 Supplemental Volume 1) suggests the three armoured regiments in 8th Arm Bde had the same squadron organisation in 1943:

1x Sqdn of 2x troops each of 3 Grants plus 1x troop 3 Crusader III (HQ 3 x Grants)
1x Sqdn of 4x troops each of 3 Sherman II (HQ 3 Sherman II)
1x Sqdn of 4x troops each of 3 Crusader III plus 1x troop of 3 Crusader II (HQ 2x Crusader II or II Close Support)

As Jemima said, the organisation included a recce troop of 10x Daimler scout cars (3 sections of 3 plus HQ) and it is likely these were being referred to. Attached infantry would have probably been a company from the Bde's motor battalion (1st Bn The Buffs), although Bevis also includes a battalion from the 131st Inf Bde on the roster but doesn't say which one.

The Bevis series is very useful, although it is best to check that the volume you are buying (there are 4 or 5 from memory) covers what you are looking for before you part with your money. Hope this helps.

Jemima Fawr15 Jan 2015 12:45 p.m. PST

Ah yes, they were in the same brigade as 3 RTR, which was the one I was thinking of wrt three different squadrons. 3 RTR had replaced the Grants with a second Sherman squadron by the end of the campaign, so the SRY presumably followed suit.

ArkieGamer15 Jan 2015 12:58 p.m. PST

Fantastic, guys! Thanks for the wealth of information. That's everything I need to know, for the moment.

For what it's worth, the wikipedia article I linked to agrees that it was The Buffs being split into companies and attached to the various armored regiments.

I'll look into the Bevis volumes-thanks for the tip.

Jemima Fawr15 Jan 2015 2:34 p.m. PST

If you're interested, you could try reading Alamein to Zem Zem, which is the North African memoir of the war poet Keith Douglas (he was later killed at Tilly-sur-Seulles in Normandy), who fought with the SRY. It's years since I read it, so can't remember if he gives any clues re regimental organisation, but it is one of the classic WW2 war memoirs.

ArkieGamer15 Jan 2015 2:56 p.m. PST

I'm interested! I read Brazen Chariots this past summer, which seemed to give a good bit of insight into the life of a desert tanker. I'm definitely up for more memoirs-especially well written ones.

Jemima Fawr15 Jan 2015 2:59 p.m. PST

Of course Patrick Delaforce's 'Taming The Panzers' will also be useful, as it's the history of 3 RTR, who also served in 8th Armoured Brigade. It was also Crisp's regiment (author of Brazen Chariots). Delaforce also did a brigade history for 4th & 8th Armoured Brigades, called 'Monty's Marauders'.

ArkieGamer15 Jan 2015 7:02 p.m. PST

I've ordered Alamein to Zem Zem, and will place the others in my 'to read' list. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

Lt Col Pedant16 Jan 2015 2:12 a.m. PST

I'll second Douglas' A to Z. You won't be disappointed. My favourite line in it is:

' I like you, sir. You're Bleeped text or bust.'

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