Royal Armoured Corps

Second World War

The Royal Armoured Corps was formed on 4 April 1939 and it incorporated regular army cavalry regiments and yeomanry regiments that were equipped with armoured vehicles and tanks. It also included the battalions of the Royal Tank Regiment.

To manage the training requirements for the men within these units, Training Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps were established. As of June 1940, these produced 128 trained men per month. A full transcript of the War Establishment is available for PDF download. By October 1940, the output had increased to 280 trained men per month and the focus was now on vehicles equipped with Besa machine guns with only eight Vickers Mk I guns on tripods on the war establishment (PDF transcript available here).

There was a separate establishment for the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Ranges and they had their own Vickers MGs with which to train – PDF download here.

There was also a Base Depot and School established in Egypt to deal with the immediate demands in the Middle East. This conducted machine gunner training as part of their gunnery training. The War Establishment is available for PDF download here.

On 3 January 1942, the Royal Armoured Corps changed their cap badge to the ‘mailed fist’ design.