3rd Army Tank Brigade (Australia)

3rd Army Tank Brigade (Australia)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Australian 3rd Army Tank Brigade

caption=A 3rd Army Tank Brigade M3 Grant in January 1943
The Australian 3rd Army Tank Brigade was an Australian armoured brigade. The Brigade was formed in May 1942 and disbanded in September 1943.


The 3rd Army Tank Brigade was formed on 6 May 1942 by bringing together three armoured regiments which had previously formed part of the 1st Cavalry Division. As with all British Commonwealth Tank Brigades, the primary role of the 3rd Army Tank Brigade was to provide armoured support to infantry formations. In keeping with this role the Brigade was initially equipped with Matilda II tanks which had previously been issued to the 1st Armoured Brigade.

Upon formation the 3rd Army Tank Brigade was concentrated in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales for training with the Brigade eventually being located at Singleton. The 1st Army Tank Battalion was detached from the Brigade and re-assigned to the newly formed 4th Armoured Brigade in February 1943.

As it had been decided that the 4th Armoured Brigade would be responsible for providing all armoured support to Australian Army units in the Pacific Theatre the 3rd Army Tank Brigade headquarters and support units were gradually disbanded between 6 August and 26 September 1943. The 2nd and 3rd Army Tank battalions were, however, retained as independent battalion groups until their disbandment in March 1944 (the 2nd Army Tank Battalion was also re-equipped with M3 Grant medium tanks in September 1943).

The Brigade was commanded by Brigadier J.A. Clarebrough throughout its brief history.

The 1st Army Tank battalion was the only element of the Brigade to see action. After its separation from the Brigade the Battalion served in the Huon Peninsula campaign of 1943-1944 and, after being re-designated the 1st Armoured Regiment, the Australian liberation of Balikpapan in Borneo in 1945.


Upon formation, the 3rd Army Tank Brigade consisted of:
* 3rd Army Tank Brigade HQ
* 1st Army Tank Battalion (Matilda II) (previously the 1st Light Horse Regiment)
* 2nd Army Tank Battalion (Matilda II) (previously the 2nd Armoured Car Regiment)
* 3rd Army Tank Battalion (Matilda II) (formed by expanding the 1st Light Tank Company)
* Signals, engineers and service troops

See also: Australian Armoured Units of World War II

Source: Major General R.N. Hopkins (Retired). "Australian Armour. A History of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps 1927-1972". Australian Government Publishing Service. 1978

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