4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards

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4th/7th Dragoon Guards
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards
4th-7th Crest.png
Regimental Crest and tie colours
Active1922–1992
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Type Royal Armoured Corps
RoleMain Battle Tank
Size550
Motto(s)Quis Separabit (Latin - who shall separate us).
March(Quick) St Patrick's Day. (Slow) Regimental Slow March of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards (amalgam of the slow marches of the 4th and 7th Dragoon Guards)
Anniversaries Normandy Day (6 June), Dettingen Day (27 June).

The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment of the British Army formed in 1922. It served in the Second World War. However following the reduction of forces at the end of the Cold War and proposals contained in the Options for Change paper, the regiment was amalgamated with the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, to form the new Royal Dragoon Guards in 1992.

There are 13 Cavalry Regiments of the British Army each with its own unique cap badge, regimental traditions, and history. Of the currently 9 regular cavalry regiments; 2 serve as armoured regiments, 3 as armoured cavalry regiments, 3 as light cavalry and 1 as a mounted ceremonial regiment. There are also four yeomanry regiments of the Army Reserve, of these, 3 serve as light cavalry and 1 as an armoured regiment. Each yeomanry light cavalry unit has been paired with a regular unit of the same role, the armoured yeomanry unit is paired with the 2 regular armoured units. All except the Household Cavalry are part of the British Army's Royal Armoured Corps.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

History

Formation

The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards parade with their new Standard Beaverette reconnaissance cars, 25 July 1940 IWM-H-2499-Beaverette-19400725.jpg
The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards parade with their new Standard Beaverette reconnaissance cars, 25 July 1940

The regiment was formed in India, as the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards, in 1922 by the amalgamation of the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards and 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards; it gained the distinction Royal in 1936. [1] The regiment returned to the United Kingdom in 1929, was mechanised in 1938, and transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939 prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. [2]

British Raj British rule on the Indian subcontinent, 1858–1947

The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also more formally called the Indian Empire. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.

Mechanized infantry military service branch which uses infantry with armored transport vehicles

Mechanized infantry are infantry units equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs) or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for transport and combat.

Royal Armoured Corps loose association of armoured regiments

The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) provides the armour capability of the British Army, with vehicles such as the Challenger 2 Tank and the Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle. It was created as a loose association of armoured regiments, both the Royal Tank Regiment and those converted from old horse cavalry regiments. Today it comprises fourteen regiments - ten regular and four Yeomanry.

Second World War

'C' squadron, 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards enter Weert, 1 October 1944 Armoured Fighting Vehicles entering Weert, Belgium Art.IWMARTLD5455.jpg
'C' squadron, 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards enter Weert, 1 October 1944

In 1939, equipped with Vickers Mk.VI light tanks, it deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), as the reconnaissance regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division under I Corps. It participated in the Battle of France, fighting in northern France and Belgium, and evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. The personnel of the regiment landed in England on 3 June 1940, having abandoned their vehicles. [2]

Light Tank Mk VI 1936 light tank family

The Tank, Light, Mk VI was a British light tank, produced by Vickers-Armstrongs in the late 1930s, which saw service during the Second World War.

France Republic with majority of territory in Europe and numerous oversea territories around the world

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

British Expeditionary Force (World War II) British Army in Western Europe from 1939 to 1940

The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the name of the British Army in Western Europe during the Second World War from 2 September 1939 when the BEF GHQ was formed until 31 May 1940, when GHQ closed down. Military forces in Britain were under Home Forces command. During the 1930s, the British government planned to deter war by rearming from the very low level of readiness of the early 30s and abolished the Ten Year Rule. The bulk of the extra money went to the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force but plans were made to re-equip a small number of Army and Territorial Army divisions for service overseas.

After re-equipping with Beaverette armoured cars, the regiment was posted to the 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade and then, in December 1940, to the 27th Armoured Brigade, part of 9th Armoured Division, equipped with Covenanter tanks. [2] At this time, a small group of personnel was detached to form the cadre of a new regiment, the 22nd Dragoons. [3] [4] In 1943, the regiment joined 79th Armoured Division, equipping with amphibious Valentine tanks, and later re-equipping with M4 Sherman DD tanks. [2]

Standard Beaverette

Standard Car 4x2, or Car Armoured Light Standard, better known as the Beaverette, was a British armoured car produced during the Second World War.

The 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade was a regular British Army unit during the Second World War. Having three branches in the brigade doing different jobs. One branch was a command group with eight officers, six scour cars and seven light tanks. Second branch was an office and recon group which consisted of an officer, assortment of normal vehicles and a light machine gun. The final admin group contains another assortment of transport vehicles, a water bowser and four light machine guns.

27th Armoured Brigade

The 27th Armoured Brigade was an armoured brigade of the British Army that served in World War II and played a crucial role in the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 and the following Battle of Normandy until disbandment in late 1944.

Under command of the 8th Armoured Brigade, the regiment landed on King Green, Gold Beach, at 07:20 on 6 June 1944 as part of the D-Day landings, supporting the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division. The regiment later participated in the Battle for the Falaise Gap, and as part of the armoured forces in Operation Market Garden - the regiment pushing as far as Driel, on the south bank of the Rhine a couple of miles from Arnhem. [2] Among other notable achievements, it was the first armoured unit to cross the Seine. [2]

8th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 8th Armoured Brigade was an armoured brigade of the British Army formed in August 1941, during the Second World War and active until 1956. The brigade was formed by the renaming of 6th Cavalry Brigade, when the 1st Cavalry Division based in Palestine converted from a motorised formation to an armoured unit, becoming 10th Armoured Division.

Gold Beach Code name for one of the zones for amphibious landings in Northern France on D-Day, 6 June 1944

Gold, commonly known as Gold Beach, was the code name for one of the five areas of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during the Second World War. Gold, the central of the five areas, was located between Port-en-Bessin on the west and La Rivière on the east. High cliffs at the western end of the zone meant that the landings took place on the flat section between Le Hamel and La Rivière, in the sectors code-named Jig and King. Taking Gold was to be the responsibility of the British Army, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided by the Royal Navy as well as elements from the Dutch, Polish and other Allied navies.

Normandy landings First day of the Allied invasion of France in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Post-war

The regiment ended the war in Bremerhaven, and a year later was deployed to Palestine for a tour of duty lasting from 1946-1948. [2] The regiment was then deployed to Libya in June 1948, rotated back to England in November 1952, and then to Lumsden Barracks in Fallingbostel in June 1954 as part of 7th Armoured Division. [5] The regiment returned to England in October 1959 and then went to York Barracks in Munster in August 1962 from where it deployed a squadron to Aden in August 1965. [5] It was posted to Lisanelly Barracks in Omagh in September 1966 from where it sent a squadron to Cyprus in December 1967. [5] It was sent to Athlone Barracks in Sennelager in March 1969, and after returning to the UK in June 1973, went back to Lumsden Barracks in Fallingbostel in October 1976. [5] It returned to the UK again in March 1981 and was then posted to Hobart Barracks in Detmold in April 1983. [5]

Bremerhaven Place in Bremen, Germany

Bremerhaven is a city at the seaport of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Palestine (region) geographical region in the Middle East

Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, parts of western Jordan.

Libya Country in north Africa

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.

Amalgamation

Following the reduction of forces at the end of the Cold War and proposals contained in the Options for Change paper, the regiment was amalgamated with the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, to form the new Royal Dragoon Guards in 1992. [3]

Regimental museum

The regimental collection is held in the York Army Museum at the Tower Street drill hall in York. [6]

Colonels-in-Chief

Regimental Colonels

Colonels of the regiment were: [3]

4th/7th Dragoon Guards
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards (1935)

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References

  1. A History of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and their predecessors published by the Regiment, author JM Brereton 1982.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards history". The Creully Club. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. "4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards". British Army Locations 1945 on. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  6. "The York Army Museum wins Heritage Lottery Fund support". 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 17 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.