2/8th Armoured Regiment

In November 1940 the Australian War Cabinet aproved the formation of an armoured division and the 1st Armoured Division was raised in July 1941. The 2/8th Australain Armoured Regiment was raised in Victoria as part of the division’s 2nd Armoured Brigade. In September 1942 the 2/8th, along with the 2nd Armoured Brigade, became part of the 3rd Armoured Division.

In April 1943, after over 18 months of training, the 2/8th was sent to New Guinea, where it became part of New Guinea Force, to relieve the 2/6th Armoured Regiment. This was the 2/8th’s only operational deployment. Using M3 Stuart light and M3 Grant medium tanks, the 2/8th’s main role was to defend Allied airfields against possible attack by Japanese paratroopers. The regiment was headquartered at Port Moresby, where it also had one of its tank squadrons, while the other squadron’s were at Milne Bay and Buna. The regiment also carried out joint training exercises to imporve tank and infantry co-operation in jungle warfare. The regiment returned to Australia in February 1944.

Throughout 1944, as the war moved futher away from Australia, the Australian Armoured Corps was reduced considerably, as many armoured units were disbanded. The 2/8th, among these units, was disbanded in May. The regiment’s personnel were transfered to the Royal Australian Engineers, where the men’s mechanincal knowledge and skills were used to reinforce the 41sts, 42nd, and 43rd Landing Craft Companies, and other water transport units. It was with these new units that men from the regiment again served in New Guinea, as well as in New Britian and Bougainville durring 1944 and 1945.

Glossary

Equipment

Battle Honours

  • nil

Casualties

  • 3 died

For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Second World War Nominal Roll (external website) databases.

Commanding Officers

Decorations

  • nil

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

References

  • 2/8 Australian Armoured Regiment Association, Armour to anchors : the history of the 2/8th Australian Armoured Regiment 1941-44 and service with the 41, 42, 43 Australian Landing Craft Coys. 1944-46, A.I.F., (Karingal, Vic.: 2/8th Australian Armoured Regiment Association, 1991)
  • AWM52/3/1/14: 2/8 Armoured Regiment
  • MacArthur-Onslow, Denzil, "A brief history of the Australian Armoured Corps" MSS1403