Military Wiki
10th Armoured Division
Active 1 August 1941–15 June 1944[1]
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Armoured division
Size Second World War
13,225-14,964 men[2]
186 tanks[nb 1][nb 2]
Garrison/HQ Western Desert
Engagements North African Campaign

The 10th Armoured Division was a British Army armoured division active from 1941–44 and 1956–57. It was formed from the 1st Cavalry Division, a 1st Line Yeomanry unit. The 1st Cavalry Division had been serving in Palestine. The division was converted from cavalry to armour and redesignated from 1 August 1941.


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.[5] It later was transferred into Egypt, serving under HQ Middle East, XXX Corps, 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.

10th Armoured Division was also briefly active after the war ended in Libya in the 1950s, incorporating 25th Armoured Brigade,[6] but was disbanded in July 1957.[7] The 25th Armoured Brigade was formed in 1952 to provide an operational headquarters for the troops in Libya. 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, and the 14th/20th King's Hussars.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

General Officer Commanding

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

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

Component Units

8th Armoured Brigade

9th Armoured Brigade

later removed for use as an Independent Brigade

Support Units

See also


  1. 164 M4 Shermans, 8 cruisers, and 14 anti-aircraft tanks.[3]
  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 the Second World War.
  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 retrained control of the division after it was reformed as an armoured division.[1][11]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Joslen, p. 25
  2. Joslen, p. 129
  3. Joslen, p. 7
  4. 4.0 4.1 Joslen, p. 26
  5. 10th Armoured Division at Orders of, accessed October 2011
  6. [1][dead link]
  7. Hansard, March 1958
  8., Order of Battle, British Army, 1952
  9. See "Britain, Libya and the Suez Crisis", Journal of Strategic Studies, April 2007.
  10. Cliff Lord, Graham Watson, The Royal Corps of Signals, 2004, p. 47
  11. Mead, p. 101
  12. Army Commands


  • 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 links

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