Strength of a UK Cruiser Armoured Regiment on the Eve of CRUSADER

Strength of a UK Cruiser Armoured Regiment on the Eve of CRUSADER


This information is from the war diary of 3 County of London Yeomanry (3 CLY), one of the three regiments in 22 Armoured Brigade, together with 4 CLY and 2 Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. The brigade was equipped with 166 Crusader tanks and had only arrived in Egypt from the UK in late September 1941. While it was part of 1 Armoured Division together with 2 Armoured Brigade, for the start of CRUSADER it was subordinated to 7 Armoured Division, since 1 Armoured Division was still in transit to Egypt, and wouldn’t arrive until December 1941. By the time the parent division arrived, 22 Armoured Brigade was fought out, having been severely beaten by the Axis forces no less than three times.

Crusader 6

Two Crusader tanks of an unknown unit in the Western Desert, November 1941. IWM

Order of Battle

The strength shown is that of 26 October, three weeks before the operation started, and is at or close to full complement.


39 Officers, 584 other ranks

A Echelon (fighting) vehicles – 62

52 Cruiser Mk.VI and Mk.VIa (A15 Crusader) tanks

10 scout cars (Daimler)

B Echelon (services) vehicles – 109

68 3-ton lorries

20 15 cwt-trucks

8 utilities (presumably normal passenger cars?)

4 15-cwt water tankers

2 8-cwt trucks

1 15-cwt office truck

1 w/t van (wireless transmission, i.e. radio)

2 3-tonner fitters lorries (trucks carrying tools for mechanics)

1 solo motorcycle

2 motorcycles with sidecars

The scout cars were used for communications service during wireless silence periods and sometimes for patrols. My guess is they took the part that in Europe a dispatch rider on a motorcycle would have taken (motorcycles not being very mobile in the desert).