British Tanks on Malta

Davide Pastore davide.pastore at alice.it
Fri Feb 2 04:02:06 EST 2007


According to Phillip Vella's (Malta: Blitzed but not Beaten) the
armoured force on the island included 14 tanks:

Group #1) 1st Independent Troop, Royal Tank Regiment
commander: A/Major R. E. H. Drury
4x Infantry Mk II (A12 Matilda Mk II or III) + 2x Light Mark VIB
Arrived on ?
(Matildas were nicknamed: Faulknor, Gallant, Greyhound, Griffin)

Group #2) A Squadron, 6th RTR
commander: A/Major S. D. G. Longworth
8x mix of Cruiser Mk I (A9) + Cruiser Mk III or IV (A13 Mk I or II)
Arrived on 12 January 1942 with "8 of 13 tanks"
(Fleet Operation MF-3, convoy MW-8A/B, apparently five were on
board Themopylae, lost en route)


Questions:

1) When did the first group arrive on Malta?

2) Which battalions/regiments were the first group detached from?
I think Matildas came from 7th RTR, am I correct? Or was it 44th
RTR (see #6 below)? And maybe 3rd (King's Own) Hussars for
the lights?

3) Was really the second group a detachment of 6th RTR? I find
it very strange, because as early as June 1941 (operation Battleaxe)
6th RTR had A15 Crusarders. By spring 1942 (battle of Gazala)
it would have converted to Grants and Stuarts.

4) According to Osprey New Vanguard #8, some Valentine might
have served in Malta too, unspecified date. Any info?

5) Same source tells Matildas formed "No. 4 Independent Troop,
Malta Tank Squadron, Royal Tank Regiment". Any info about
the organization of this squadron, and about its other troops?

6) Also, I have two reference about at least some Malta tanks
being part of "1st Independent Troop, 44th Royal Tank Regiment"
AND "X Troop, Royal Tank Regiment". Very confusing. Did an
evolution happens, amongst this maze of designations?

-- 

Davide

"Solo se la vostra visione va oltre quella del vostro maestro,
siete adatti per ricevere e tramandare la trasmissione."

(Massima Zen)



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