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Chain of Command Abyssinia: The Royal Tank Corps

6th Battalion Royal Tank Corps was created by amalgamating, two of the RTC’s independent armoured car companies in 1934. ‘Armoured car company’ was a misnomer as only one unit actually had armoured cars, which were subsequently surrendered for re-deployment. The other company had Vickers Light Tanks Mk.II, which were to be the only vehicles with the battalion until late 1935. 

The Abyssinian Crisis saw 6th RTC equipped with additional light tanks and the arrival of its Medium Tank Mk. IIs. The two companies of the battalion were now organised into mixed companies. Company headquarters consisted of a single Medium Tank for the company commander, a single Light Tank for the second in command and a reconnaissance section of two Carden-Loyd carriers, each mounting a Vickers gun and led by the adjutant. There were two light tank platoons, each of three light tanks and two medium platoons, each of two medium tanks.

Despite tentative experiments from the Late Twenties, there was no actual doctrine for combined arms in the British Army in 1935. No artillery observers were attached to tank units, nor were there any motorised infantry units in existence, let alone attached to tank units. When they were eventually attached, it was as ‘security’ units to allow re-fueling and re-armament and they were never meant to fight alongside them.

This list is specifically intended to form a wholly armoured force, as detailed in Big Chain of Command. This list is therefore somewhat different to the typical infantry-based list in Chain of Command, in that it is almost entirely composed of armoured vehicles.

You can find their Army list here: The Royal Tank Corps

RTC

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