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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
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13/18 R. Hussars Tactical marks - 8AB vs 27AB
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#034
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Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 08:30 AM UTC
Hi,

The continuation of my research about 13th /18th Royal Hussars led me to have doubts about tactical marks.

27th Armoured Brigade – February to 29 July 1944
– 13th /18th Royal Hussars (senior regt.)
– 1st East Riding Yeomanry (2nd regt.)
– Staffordshire Yeomanry (junior regt.)
8th Armoured Brigade
Till 29 July 44
– 4th/7th Dragoon Guards (senior regt.)
– 24th Lancers (2nd regt.)
– Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (junior regt.)
After 29 July 44
– 4th/7th Dragoon Guards
– 13th/18th Royal Hussars
– Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry

Tactical markings colours:
– senior regt. – red
– 2nd regt. – yellow
– junior regt. – blue

So, at the end of July 44, there are, at 8th AB, two regts with red tactical markings – 4/7 DG and 13/18 RH – on their vehicles.

I’ve not been able to find the precedence of the regts on 8th AB, after the replacement of 24th Lancers by 13th/18th R. Hussars; both, 4/7 DG and 13/18 RH, were formed in 1922.

Had 4/7 DG changed ? Or, there are no changes – both kept red?

Had the 13/18 RH changed to yellow – previsiouly used by 24 L ?
If yes, the change had been done at once (13/18 RH only at the end of August entered active battle) ?
Or, tha change has been done progressively – when repaired, replacement vehicles, etc?

At forums – topics and reviews – CAROLE with yellow marks is considered incorrect; that’s obviously true for D-Day and Normandy (with the Seahorse badge of 27 AB) but, it’s also incorrect for exampje, late 44 or on February 45 when KO (with the Fox head badge of 8 AB) ?

TIA
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 09:25 AM UTC
José,

I believe 4/7 DG were formed in Oct 1922 which would then make them senior to 13/18H - formed a month later in Nov.

Therefore, it follows that upon resubordination to 8 Armd Bde, 13/18 H would have been required to repaint their Squadron markings to yellow.

Of course, this may not have happened overnight; there were battles to be fought (!) but once out of the line for rest/maintenance etc I would imagine that a day's work would suffice for this to be achieved. The true answer might, might be found in the Regiment's War Diaries but as these were concentrating on tactical events I feel it is unlikely that a hard pressed Adjutant would comment upon any repaints.

Brian

Brian
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#034
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Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 10:42 AM UTC
Hi,

Brian thanks for your reply.

According to what I found 13/18 RH till the end of August was not at the first line, so probably they have done it at that time.
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 02:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text

José,

I believe 4/7 DG were formed in Oct 1922 which would then make them senior to 13/18H - formed a month later in Nov.

Therefore, it follows that upon resubordination to 8 Armd Bde, 13/18 H would have been required to repaint their Squadron markings to yellow.

Of course, this may not have happened overnight; there were battles to be fought (!) but once out of the line for rest/maintenance etc I would imagine that a day's work would suffice for this to be achieved. The true answer might, might be found in the Regiment's War Diaries but as these were concentrating on tactical events I feel it is unlikely that a hard pressed Adjutant would comment upon any repaints.

Brian

Brian



The seniority doesn't just come from when units were formed or in this case reformed. Dragoon Guards will always be senior to Dragoons, Hussars etc and Bellis confirms that 4/7 was the senior Regt by 45 over 13/18th H and SRY. Markings did not always get changed due to the nature of the conflict at the time and turret numbers did tend to go away on some replacement vehicles becoming markings on a wooden panel, Ammo box lid etc (Particularly 13/18th). I have seen reallocated vehicles still with their original Aos from Normandy as late as may 45
Al
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#034
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Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 10:00 PM UTC
Hi,

Al thanks for your reply.
Removed by original poster on 06/28/20 - 21:48:39 (GMT).
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 01:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No there's no confusion. You've misunderstood the marking system. The whole of the senior brigade had red markings, differentiated by the number on the square. In the case of 13th/18th Hussars when they left 11th AD, they went to 8th Independent Armoured Brigade. All the regiments in this brigade had red squares with a white band below (as it was an army tank brigade), 13/18th were numbered 995, replacing 24th Lancers. 4/7th DG were numbered 994. While with 11th AD I presume 13/18th would have been numbered "51" on a red square. This info from Jean Bouchery, the British Soldier, part 2.



Steve,

I think you might have this a little bit awry; 13/18H were never part of 11 Armoured Division. They may well have been involved in say, an operation that was a Div effort but the whole rationale of the independent brigades was to be allocated as and when by Army HQ.

José's mention of the colours is that of the composite regiments within the respective brigades, in this case 27th (initially) then later 8th. Whilst 13/18H would be required to assume the number 995 - as you identify - due to their status as the second regiment of the brigade - their squadron markings would have had to change colour, in accordance with the seniority colours as mentioned by José.

Whether they did or not is open to conjecture as discussed above.

Brian
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#034
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 02:09 AM UTC
Hi,

Thanks for your comments.

As far as I undestand British markings:
- Formations have a badge, in this case 27AB a Seahorse and 8AB the Fox head;
- Units have a AoS, in this case the red square with a white number, that change if the unit change of formation;
- Tactical marks, in this case - a diamond for HQ, a triangle for A sqdn, a square for B sqdn and a circle for C sqdn in red, yellow or blue according to seniority.
Some units also use a number to each vehicle, sometime in the same colour of the tact and others all in the same colour.

My question is about the colour of the form that identifies, in this case the RHQ or the sqdn and through the color the unit; for examle BALACLAVA used a diamond (RHQ) and CAROLE a circle, both in red when at 27AB but, in what colour at 8AB - still red or changed to yellow?

Edit - They should but, perhaps they didn't to all vehicles.
Removed by original poster on 06/28/20 - 21:49:15 (GMT).
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#034
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 06:45 AM UTC
Hi,

At IWM:
A Sherman tank of 13/18th Hussars, 8th Armoured Brigade keeps watch over the River Waal at Nijmegen, 15 October 1944.

The number ‘12’ seems to be too light to be red so it’s probably yellow; the numbers on D-Day photos appeared to be darker.

So, jf the caption is correct, at leeast, this seems to be using the 'new' color.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 07:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi,

At IWM:
A Sherman tank of 13/18th Hussars, 8th Armoured Brigade keeps watch over the River Waal at Nijmegen, 15 October 1944.

The number ‘12’ seems to be too light to be red so it’s probably yellow; the numbers on D-Day photos appeared to be darker.

So, jf the caption is correct, at leeast, this seems to be using the 'new' color.



José,

As I pointed out in my earlier post (yesterday) upon resubordination to 8 Brigade, the regimental markings (that is - the geometric symbols denoting squadrons) would technically have had to be repainted in yellow, reflecting the new seniority within that particular brigade. Whether or not it was carried out we do not appear to know for certain.

The formation sign (on the hull front and rear) would also have had to change from a white "51" in a red square, to a white "995"
again in a red square but with a white bar at the bottom of the square, as mentioned in Steve's post. We must also assume that the Seahorse emblem would also be replaced with the Fox Head emblem.

The number "12" on the photograph you have found would in all likelihood be a radio call sign so would not necessarily be in yellow in any case; what I do note is the small diamond below it on the hull which is also in a light colour, indicating a HQ Squadron vehicle.

Brian
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#034
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 08:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text



José,
...
The number "12" on the photograph you have found would in all likelihood be a radio call sign so would not necessarily be in yellow in any case; what I do note is the small diamond below it on the hull which is also in a light colour, indicating a HQ Squadron vehicle.

Brian



Brian thank you.

A doubt - I thought that the '12' wass the tank number in the regt, as BALACLAVA it's the '10' and CAROLE the '71';as far as I found RHQ (at 13/18 RH) tanks were 10 to 13.

BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 11:15 AM UTC
Could well be; it would certainly tie up with the numbers you have for the RHQ. My guess re a radio call sign was just speculation; I do not have the details you have. As an RHQ tank it would certainly explain the extra antenna.

Anyway, I hope this all helps your research.
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 07:39 PM UTC
Unless 13/18 Hussars changed their numbering system when they moved to 8th Armoured Brigade, the '12' will be the third tank in the Regt HQ Troop (the three tanks being 10, 11 and 12).

Not every regt used the turret number system and when they did, each regt chose their own way of using it.

Going back to D-Day and 27th Armd Bde...

13/18 Hussars started their number sequence with the Regt HQ and the lowest number they used was '10'.
A Sqn started with '20', B Sqn with '40' and C Sqn with '60' (there were fewer than 20 tanks in each Sqn so there were small gaps at the end of each sequence).

Staffordshire Yeomanry didn't use turret numbers but instead used very large names along the sides of the hull (in yellow outline (not solid) letters). Generally, but not exclusively, names starting with 'A' for A Sqn, 'B' for B Sqn and 'C' for C Sqn - an example of an exception would be a Firefly called 'El Hamma' that belonged the C Sqn (named after a 1943 battle in North Africa).

East Riding Yeomanry used turret numbers and started their sequence with '1' - A sqn, No.1 Troop, then B Sqn , C Sqn and finally the Regt HQ was placed at the end of the sequence (highest numbers).

Because the turret number sequence wasn't laid down as a formal instruction, I doubt 13/18 Hussars would have changed it when they moved to 8th Armd Bde - yellow would be the logical infill colour for 13/18 Hussars in 8th Armoured Brigade but equally, the numbers could have been solid white.

As an aside, note that the turret roof of '12' ('Twelfth Knight') is painted white as an air recognition aid.

Other Regts in other brigades used solid white turret numbers - when East Riding Yeomanry was transferrred to 33rd Armd Bde, their tanks started carrying plain white numbers in a different style - but they had been issued with new tanks (Sherman I instead of Sherman III) so they had a blank canvas to work with.

John
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#034
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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 11:18 PM UTC
Hi,

Brian, John thanks for the replies.

A set of decals (1/76) by DAN TAYLOR (link Robin Nielsen has noted on the topic about the ARV of C sqdn but that only now I've read completly), has this tank as T151924 “12” CHANCELLOR - RHQ 13/18 RH, 8AB).
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2020 - 08:42 AM UTC
The records I have indicate that 'Chancellor' belonged to C Squadron and that would make sense because the name starts with a 'C'.

It's possible that it was transferred to the Regt HQ at a later date but the tank in the photo has the name Twelfth Knight along the side of the hull - definitely not Chancellor.

As noted previously, the Regt HQ tanks had low numbers

10 = Balaclava (named as a Battle Honour for the 13th Hussars who took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War).
11 = ?? - although a blurred photo of this vehicle exists, the name on the side is indistinct. I have my own view on what that name is but can't confirm that and so won't confuse matters further.
12 = Twelfth Knight

John
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2020 - 02:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text



José,
...
The number "12" on the photograph you have found would in all likelihood be a radio call sign so would not necessarily be in yellow in any case; what I do note is the small diamond below it on the hull which is also in a light colour, indicating a HQ Squadron vehicle.

Brian



Brian thank you.

A doubt - I thought that the '12' wass the tank number in the regt, as BALACLAVA it's the '10' and CAROLE the '71';as far as I found RHQ (at 13/18 RH) tanks were 10 to 13.





The Numbers denote different things within different regiments so beware: For instance:
144 RAC (33AB) - Recce tp 1-11; AA Tp 12-17, RHQ 20-23; A Sqn 30-49 - B 50-69 C 70-89.
13/18th (27 AB-8AB) - RHQ 10-20, A 22-36, B 44-58 C 66-80
3 CLY (4AB) Recce 1-10 RHQ 61-64, A 5-20, B 21-36 C 37-52

As can be seen they varied dramatically and in hte case of 5 Guards Armd Bde between the three regiments in the same Bde!

Al
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2020 - 02:17 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text



José,
...
The number "12" on the photograph you have found would in all likelihood be a radio call sign so would not necessarily be in yellow in any case; what I do note is the small diamond below it on the hull which is also in a light colour, indicating a HQ Squadron vehicle.

Brian



Brian thank you.

A doubt - I thought that the '12' wass the tank number in the regt, as BALACLAVA it's the '10' and CAROLE the '71';as far as I found RHQ (at 13/18 RH) tanks were 10 to 13.





The Numbers denote different things within different regiments so beware: For instance:
144 RAC (33AB) - Recce tp 1-11; AA Tp 12-17, RHQ 20-23; A Sqn 30-49 - B 50-69 C 70-89.
13/18th (27 AB-8AB) - RHQ 10-20, A 22-36, B 44-58 C 66-80
3 CLY (4AB) Recce 1-10 RHQ 61-64, A 5-20, B 21-36 C 37-52

As can be seen they varied dramatically and to further muddy this the system of numbering varied in the case of 5 Guards Armd Bde between the three regiments in the same Bde! British Regimental markings can be a can of worms and are often unique to just that regiment. Unless one has access to the Regimental documentation of the period like tech returns, AFV state etc it will be almost impossible to determine just based on a Number. If you can find the old Bellis Datafile titles such as British Tanks and Formations 39-45 etc they help but are not infallible refernces. It is is a hge piece of detective work from a mix of primary and secondary sources to try and decode it or even understand it!
Good Luck

Al
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#034
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2020 - 09:56 PM UTC
Hi,

John, Al thank you for the comments.
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#034
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Posted: Friday, June 05, 2020 - 09:56 PM UTC
Hi,

I’ve found a very old topic (Dec2002/Jan2003) at ML:
Sherman Firefly 'CAROLE' 13/18th Hussars.
It gives some info about the change from 27th AB to 8th AB, although not conclusive.