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4th Armoured Brigade

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Formation

The Mobile Division (Egypt) was formed after the Munich crisis in 1938 and initially consisted of a light Armoured Brigade (the old Cairo Cavalry Brigade), a heavy Armoured and Pivot Group. This was renamed 7th Armoured Division (the original Desert Rats) in January 1940, the Light Armoured Brigade became 7th Armoured Brigade and Heavy Armoured Group becoming 4th Armoured Brigade. Although the Battle Grouping of the Brigade changed regularly throughout the war, by November 1940 it consisted of 7th Hussars, --2nd Royal Tank Regiment and 6th Royal Tank Regiment.

Brigadier JAL Caunter DSO MC assumed command in January 1940. The Brigade played a full part in the early victories against the Italians in the Western Desert, including the capture of Sidi Barrani in December 1940 and the Battle of Beda Fomm in February 1941. Immediately prior to the Battle of El Alamein, the Brigade was re-configured as a light Armoured Brigade and continued in this role until the end of the campaign in North Africa. Following the operations from Tobruk to Tunis between May 1941 and May 1943, the Brigade reformed as an Armoured Brigade. Landing in Sicily on 10/11 July 1943 the Brigade was initially involved in the clearing of Syracuse and then advanced through Lentini, Catania, Messina, Taranto, playing a part in the Battle for the River Sangro and fighting along the Mozzagrongna Road. In December 1943, the Brigade was given orders to go to England for the first time in its history. Sailing from Naples, the Brigade arrived in February 1944. There followed a period of leave and re-equipping before intensive training commenced for the invasion of mainland Europe. Landing in France on 7th June 1944, the Brigade was quickly involved in the fierce fighting in the Bocage, around Caen and the River Odon. Action followed around Falaise and then Antwerp and the area west of the River Scheldt. 1944 ended with the Brigade fighting hard in Holland around Tilburg and the River Maas.

Recent History

4th Armoured Brigade took part in Operation Granby 1990-1991, as part of 1 (UK) Armoured Division. The Brigade deployed to Saudi Arabia in December 1990 and, following a period of intensive training from December 1990 to February 1991, played a full part in the operations of the Division. Units under command of the Brigade were:

The Headquarters deployed to Bosnia in November 1993 as as part of UNPROFOR. In February 1994, following the Peace co-ord between the Bosnian Croats and Muslims, the Headquarters also formed the basis of UN Headquarters Sector South West, with two British Battalions (1 Coldstream Guards and 1 Duke of Wellingtons Regiment), one Canadian, one Malaysian and one Spanish Battalion under command. The Headquarters was, for many years in Munster but moved to Osnabruck in January 1993, when 12th Armoured Brigade withdrew from the Army’s Order of Battle . The Brigade and Osnabruck Garrison now has a dependency which covers Osnabruck, Munster and Nienburg.

4th Armoured Brigade deployed to Kosovo in August 1999 on Operation Agricola. Aspects of the Brigade also deployed to the Gulf again on Operation Telic 1 which saw the end of President Saddam Husseins regime.

Current Location

The Brigade is currently based in Osnabruck and will be returning to the UK next year.