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Fact file: 6 SA Armoured Division

This division – the first true armoured division in South African military history – was formed in South Africa on February 1, 1943 from new recruits and units that had served in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd SA Infantry (and Armoured) Divisions. After completing its training in Egypt, the division landed at Taranto, Italy on April 20, 1944.

Answers.com avers that despite leading the advance on Rome, the division was denied the honour of "taking" the city (entering the city first) by the United States Army. “However, the division was one of the first allied units to enter Florence two months later. The division's active role in the war ended when the German forces in Italy surrendered on May 2, 1945. Major General WHE (Evered) Poole was the sole divisional commander during its existence.



Divisional Troops



  • 11th Anti-Tank Regiment, SAA 15-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 1st/11th Anti-Tank Regiment, SAA 05-Oct-43 08-May-45


Field Artillery

  • 166th (Newfoundland) Fd Regiment, RA 18-Aug-44 attached

  • 1st/6th Field Regiment, CFA, SAA 05-Oct-43 08-May-45

  • 22nd Field Regiment, (SA Irish) SAA 15-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 23rd Field Regiment, SAA 15-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 4/22 Field Regiment, SA Artillery 05-Oct-43 08-May-45

  • 6th Field Regiment, SAA 15-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 7th Field Regiment, SAA 01-Oct-43 05-Oct-43


Light Antiaircraft

  • 12th Light AA Regiment, SAAF 15-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 1st/12th Light AA Regiment, SAAF 05-Oct-43 21-Jun-44


Medium Artillery

  • 76th Medium Regiment, RA 13-Jun-44 05-Aug-44 attached

  • 7th/23rd Medium Regiment, SAA 05-Oct-43 08-May-45




Field Park Squadrons

  • 17th Field Park Squadron, SA Engineers 15-Feb-43


Field Squadrons

  • 12th Field Squadron, SA Engineers 15-Feb-43

  • 622nd Field Squadron, RE 30-Jun-44 attached

  • 8th Field Squadron, SA Engineers 15-Feb-43



  • 4th/13th Frontier Force Rifles 18-Aug-44 13-Jan-45 attached

  • 74th Light Antiaircraft Regt, RA (as inf) 25-Aug-44 28-Sep-44 attached

  • Cape Town Highlanders 01-Oct-43 05-Oct-43

  • Imperial Light Horse Sep-43 05-Oct-43


Support Battalion

  • "DSR" Mar-45? 08-May-45


Support Group

  • Royal Durban Light Infantry Dec-43 20-Jan-45



  • 19th Field Ambulance, SAMC 05-Aug-44

  • 20th Field Ambulance, SAMC 05-Aug-44



  • Natal Mounted Rifles 15-Feb-43 20-Jan-44




11 South African Armoured Brigade 08-Feb-43 08-May-45

  • 1st Pretoria Regiment 09-Feb-43 08-May-45

  • Prince Alfred's Guard 09-Feb-43 08-May-45

  • Special Service Battalion 09-Feb-43 08-May-45

  • ILH/Kim.R (Imperial Light Horse/

  • Kimberley Regiment 05-Oct-43 24-Feb-45

  • The Kimberley Regiment 09-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • 4th/13th Frontier Force Rifles 13-Jan-44 08-May-45


12 South African Motorised Brigade 08-Feb-43 08-May-45

  • 1st Witwatersrand Rifles 09-Feb-43 30-Jun-43

  • FC/CTH (First City/Cape Town

  • Highlanders Regiment) 05-Oct-43 08-May-45

  • Regiment de la Rey 09-Feb-43 30-Jun-43

  • Royal Natal Carabineers 28-Jul-43 08-May-45

  • The First City Regiment 09-Feb-43 05-Oct-43

  • WR/DLR (Witwatersrand/de la Rey

  • Regiment)1 30-Jun-43 08-May-45

  • RB/RPS (Regiment Botha/Regiment

  • President Steyn) Mar-45? 08-May-45


13 South African Motorised Brigade 13-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • ILH/Kim.R (Imperial Light Horse/

  • Kimberley Regiment 24-Feb-45 08-May-45

  • Natal Mounted Rifles 20-Jan-45 22-Jan-45

  • Natal Mounted Rifles/SAAF 22-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • Royal Durban Light Infantry 20-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • 15th Field Regiment, SAA 20-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • RB/RPS (Regiment Botha/Regiment

  • President Steyn) Mar-45 08-May-45

  • 5th Field Company, SA Engineers 20-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • 18th Motor Brigade Signals 20-Jan-45 08-May-45

  • 19th Field Ambulance, SAMC 01-Feb-45 08-May-45


24 Guards Infantry Brigade 20-May-44 19-Feb-45

  • 1st Battalion, The Scots Guards 01-Mar-40 31-Aug-45

  • 3rd Battalion, The Coldstream Guards 13-Mar-44 28-Feb-45

  • 5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards 05-Jun-42 28-Mar-45

  • 23rd (Army) Field Regiment, RA 05-Apr-44 14-Aug-44

  • 42nd Field Company, RE 13-Mar-44 10-Mar-45

  • 201st Guards Brigade Workshop, REME 13-Mar-44 31-Aug-44

  • 24th Independent Brigade Group (Guards)

  • Workshop, REME 01-Sep-44 10-Mar-45

  • 550th Company, RASC 05-May-44 10-Mar-45

  • 137th Field Ambulance, RAMC 14-Aug-44 10-Mar-45

  • 226th Field Ambulance, RAMC 21-Apr-44 14-Aug-44


Higher formations served under

  • HQ British Troops Egypt 01-May-43

  • III Corps 01-Jan-44 14-Mar-44

  • Egypt Force 14-Mar-44 14-Apr-44

  • 8th Army Reserve 21-Apr-44 28-May-44

  • 1st Canadian Corps 28-May-44 06-Jun-44

  • XIII Corps 06-Jun-44

  • 8th Army Reserve 06-Aug-44 20-Aug-44

  • IV US Corps 20-Aug-44 07-Oct-44

  • 5 US Army 07-Oct-44 31-Oct-44

  • IV US Corps 31-Oct-44 15-Jan-45

  • II US Corps 15-Jan-45 30-Apr-45

  • 5 US Army 30-Apr-45



  • South Africa 01-Feb-43 19-Apr-43

  • At Sea 19-Apr-43 30-Apr-43

  • Egypt 30-Apr-43 16-Apr-44

  • At Sea 16-Apr-44 21-Apr-44

  • Italy 21-Apr-44 08-May-45


Battles, actions and engagements

  • Rome 22-May-44 04-Jun-44

  • Advance to the Tiber 22-May-44 04-Jun-44

  • Celleno 09-Jun-44 09-Jun-44

  • Bagnoregio 11-Jun-44 13-Jun-44

  • Allerona 15-Jun-44 15-Jun-44

  • Trasimene Line 20-Jun-44 30-Jun-44

  • Arezzo 04-Jul-44 17-Jul-44

  • Advance to Florence 17-Jul-44 10-Aug-44

  • Monte San Michele 18-Jul-44 20-Jul-44

  • Monte Domini 21-Jul-44 24-Jul-44

  • Monte Kili 21-Jul-44 23-Jul-44

  • Paula Line 30-Jul-44 04-Aug-44

  • Gothic Line 25-Aug-44 22-Sep-44

  • Monte Porro del Bagno 15-Sep-44 18-Sep-44

  • Femmina Morta 17-Sep-44 18-Sep-44

  • Catarelto Ridge 28-Sep-44 03-Oct-44

  • Monte Vigese 30-Sep-44 06-Oct-44

  • Monte Stanco 07-Oct-44 13-Oct-44

  • Monte Salvaro 19-Oct-44 23-Oct-44

  • Bologna 14-Apr-45 21-Apr-45

  • Monte Sole 15-Apr-45 18-Apr-45

  • Camposanto Bridge 22-Apr-45 22-Apr-45



6 SA Armoured Division, along with 1 SA Infantry Division were reformed in the early post-war years. The formations were subsequently disbanded as there was a general shortage of volunteers for the Active Citizen Force2.



1 The “Royal Boere”.

2 Cmdt CJ Nöthling, Ultima Ratio Regum, Artillery History of South Africa, Military Information Bureau, SADF, Pretoria, 1987, p237.


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