108 Anti Tank / Tank Attack Regiment 1st Armoured Division, 2nd AIF

About This Unit

The 108th Anti-Tank Regiment was formed in Adelaide at Wayville on 9 January 1942, under the name of the 8th Anti-Tank Regiment. It was formed by absorbing universal trainees with men from the 29th Anti-Tank Battery which had being formed in South Australia in September 1941.

The 29th Anti-Tank Battery had itself being formed by taking a nucleus of men from the 13th Field Regiment which had being posted at Woodside. 

After being formed the 8th Anti-Tank Regiment was moved to Warradale Camp, South Australia where it started accepting universal trainees to continue filling in its ranks. Once completed the regiment would consist of four Batteries (29, 30, 31 and 32) each of which consisted of four Troops, with each troop having four guns. However, by the time the unit moved to Warradale it was still a very long way off being complete.

On 26 January 1942 (Australia Day) its name was officially changed under military orders to the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment. On the same day, the 30th and 31st batteries were created, which along with the existing 29th Battery gave the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment three batteries of four batteries. Despite having a critical shortage of equipment - the regiment had no anti-tank guns, barely enough tents to house all of the men and only enough rifles to arm one in 20 men - drill and imaginary gun practice ensured at a frantic rate. 

On 2 March 1942, the 32nd Battery was created, thus completing the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment. A few days later the unit also received its first 2-pound anti-tank guns and a month later on 6 April 1942 the regiment had all 48 weapons.

On 12 April 1942, just a few days after coming up on full strength, the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment was posted to the 1st Australian Armoured Division as part of the 1st Support Group. On 26 June 1942 the 108th regiment vacated Warradale Camp and was transferred via train to Tamworth in New South Wales, where the 1st Armoured Division was slowly being assembled with units coming from all around Australia for the first time.

Around this time, 32nd Battery was disbanded and its members were spread out amongst the remaining three batteries and a short time later the 31st Battery was transformed into the 227th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery.

Finally, on 3 November 1942 at Gunnedah, New South Wales, the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment was disbanded. This was part of the move by the Australian Army to decentralise it artillery units, partially those part of the AMF. It effectively eliminated all artillery 'regiments' as units and made the regiments' batteries new singular units. In the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment's case, the regiment was disbanded but the 29th and 30th Anti-Tank Battery still operated, but now as their own independent units.

In mid-December 1942 the 29th and 30th Anti-Tank Batteries received orders that they were to be transferred to Western Australia, along with the rest of the 1st Armoured Division. It was possibly the largest single movement of vehicles and guns in Australia's history.

In 1943 a generic change in nomencalture was put in place re-designating Anti Tank units as 'Tank Attack'; presumably to give it more of an offesnive tenor rather than defensive as implied by the word 'anti'.

Upon arriving in Western Australian in February 1943 the 29th and 30th Batteries were posted to positions just outside of Geraldton where they remained until September 1943 when it was announced that the 1st Armoured Division was to be disbanded due to the subsiding Japanese threat. Despite this, however, the 29th and 30th Tank Attack Batteries remained at Geraldton where they were posted to the 1st Armoured Brigade. By December 1943, however, military authorities decided that the anti-tank batteries were no longer required and many of the men were discharged or transferred to other units.

The fate of the 30th Tank-Attack Battery is unknown, but its partner, the 29th Tank-Attack Battery was transferred to Holdsworthy, New South Wales where it became the Depot Battery, Tank-Attack Wing of the School of Artillery. Here it served out its final days before on 7 March 1945 the unit was disbanded. Thus ending the 29th Battery and the 108th Regiment as a whole.

Although the 108th Anti-Tank Regiment was made up of members from both 2nd AIF and Militia, the unit, and later its two batteries strictly remained an Militia unit - not permitting service outside of Australia (and its Territories).