The Division was formed in 1943 to concentrate all the specialised tanks being designed for the invasion force into one administrative formation. These included: mat-laying tanks for crossing soft patches of sand; ramp tanks for scaling sea walls; bridge carrying tanks; flail tanks for clearing minefields; flame throwing tanks; and swimming tanks that sometimes ‘failed’ to swim.
The Division did not operate as a single fighting formation; its different specialised units, under Tactical Command of 21st Army Group (General Montgomery), were used as necessary. The Division’s commander, Major General Hobart, was an ingenious and ardent pioneer of armoured warfare. Having taken early retirement in 1940, he served as a Corporal in the Home Guard until he was brought back into service on the personal intervention of Prime Minister Churchill.
(Major General Sir Percy Hobart).
Headquarters, 79th Armoured Division & Headquarters Squadron.
90th Field Security Section, Intelligence Corps.
30th Armoured Brigade.
Headquarters, 30th Armoured Brigade & Signal Section.
2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons).
1st Lothians and Border Horse.
141st Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. Attached from 2nd July to 4th September.
1st Tank Brigade.
Headquarters, 1st Tank Brigade & Signal Section.
11th Royal Tank Regiment.
42nd Royal Tank Regiment.
49th Royal Tank Regiment.
1st Assault Brigade and Assault Park Squadron, Royal Engineers.
Headquarters, 1st Assault Brigade, Royal Engineers & Signal Section.
5th Assault Regiment, Royal Engineers.
6th Assault Regiment, Royal Engineers.
42nd Assault Regiment, Royal Engineers.
No. 264 Special Delivery Squadron, Royal Armoured Corps.
79th Armoured Divisional Signals, Royal Corps of Signals.
Headquarters, 79th Armoured Divisional Royal Army Service Corps.
502nd Armoured Brigade Company, Royal Army Service Corps.
75th Armoured Brigade Company, Royal Army Service Corps.
109th Divisional Troops Company, Royal Army Service Corps.
16th Light Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.
Headquarters, 11th Armoured Divisional Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
30th Armoured Brigade Workshops, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
1st Tank Brigade Workshops, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
1st Assault Brigade Workshops, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
79th Armoured Divisional Ordnance Field Park, Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
79th Armoured Divisional Postal Unit, Royal Engineers.
79th Armoured Divisional Provost Company, Corps of Military Police.