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Second Armoured Brigade UK
Image Details:

Second Armoured Brigade UK

Author: Imperial War Museums INS 5320
Year: 1940
Description: The symbol of the most heavily 'armoured' wild animal was obvious for an armoured formation. There were at least three versions of this badge. The earliest seems to be a simple standing rhino. A later version has a more aggressive appearance with the rhino charging, often with the addition of a curly tail. The story is that this version was adopted at Khataba in 1942 when the Division was refitting prior to Alamein. A Sapper in 3 Troop of the Cheshire Field Squadron RE painted a charging rhino for the signboard outside Div. HQ. The staff preferred this version and it was universally adopted. There is third version where the charging rhino has a segmented hide. The Division was neither fully equipped nor trained at the outbreak of war and was significantly deficient in its establishment of tanks. Both its infantry battalions and one regiment of tanks were removed and sent to Calais and its two artillery regiments were already with the BEF as GHQ troops. Its Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Regiment lacked Bofors guns and the Division was also deficient in many of its supporting services. It was nevertheless sent to France, arriving through Cherbourg in mid-May 1940. By the time it landed the advancing Germans had cut off contact with the main body of the BEF north of the Somme and the Division fought, alongside 51st Highland Division, under French command south of the Somme. Most of the personnel were able to return to the UK but all equipment was lost. The Division reformed and undertook anti-invasion duties in South East England until 1941 when it was sent to Egypt. From the end of 1941 it fought in the Western Desert, Libya and Tunisia and later in Italy. The Division ceased to be operational on 28 October 1944 and its HQ was disbanded in Italy on 11 January 1945. In November 1945, 6th Armoured Division, then stationed in Austria, was redesignated 1st Armoured Division. When the Division was broken up the rhino badge, in both standing and charging forms, was retained by 2nd Armoured Brigade. The 2nd Armoured Brigade was a Regular Armoured Brigade at the outbreak of war with the title of 2nd Light Armoured Brigade. The unit was redesignated 2nd Armoured Brigade on 14 April 1940. In March 1942 it was reorganized as an Armoured Brigade Group with additional units under command. It reverted to an Armoured Brigade on 7 July 1942. On 1 May 1945 it was redesignated an Armoured Brigade Type B, that is with no infantry component, and was intended to act independently, outside of a divisional organization. Hitherto it had had, for most of its active service, a motor infantry battalion under command. The Brigade's history is essentially that of the 1st Armoured Division up until 25 September 1944 when it ceased to be under command of that Division. It fought the remander of the campaign (Argenta Gap and into Northern Italy) in support of, successively, 46th Division, 8th Army (Eighth Army), 1st Canadian Division and 78th Division. The badge in its original form seems to have ceased to exist when the Division was broken up. It was carried forward after the war with 25th Armoured Brigade which wore the rhino in a white oval on a black rectangle.
Location: Museums
Subject: Culture
Species: Black Rhino
File Size: 51,7 kb
Dimensions: 800x532 px
High-res: This image is protected and you can not download the high-res version To view the high resolution image please register and contact the moderator

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