As well as all the research, digging and cleaning that goes on. I have also spent a little time recently into the origins of these tags. I wanted to know the origins of these troops before joining the RAC. Our database shows almost every regiment that was ever in the British Army, including the Connaught Rangers, disbanded in the 1920's! So with Excel at my fingers tips I set out to create some pie charts, these will also continue to update with every dog-tag I enter.
Now as you can see above, it looks impressive, but to even see the scale I had to fill my entire monitor with the pie chart, even then all the text just didn't fit. Although it does show the crazy amount of origins of these troops. With too many sources, I decided to limit it down, to a few categories. Those with an Armoured or Cavalry unit came first, then those I grouped as 'Support' units, such as Royal Artillery, RAOC, RE etc. Infantry based regiments, such as the Guards regiments. Then came all the troops that had no previous regiment, like the General Service Corps and all the other large recruiting depots used later in the war. Lastly came the 'other' groups, including those service numbers that are still unknown.
What became instantly clear was really low amount of troops from the Armoured and Cavalry units against the really high amount churned through the General Service Corps processing service. These troops once drafted would be given their basic training and assigned to units all these of course went to the RAC.
The only other data I put together was about the postwar tags that don't feature much on the website yet. Mainly as we haven't done much research into them. Its hard enough trying to dig up details of wartime tags... let alone more modern records. These post war tags don't give us any insight into the regiment to which the early block style serial numbers do. These however tell us a window of time in which they recruited or where called up for National Service. We believe that this site where the dog-tags were found was closed in the late 1960's.
Well, this chart gave me a clear indication that the bulk of these post war tags were given serial numbers after October 1950 and before Feb 1951. This drew my attention to what was going on post World War 2 that British troops were involved in.
1948 - 1960 - Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought in pre- and post-independence Federation of Malaya, from 1948 until 1960. The main antagonists were the Commonwealth armed forces, and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
The "Malayan Emergency" was originally the colonial government's term for the conflict. The MNLA called it the Anti-British National Liberation War. The rubber plantations and tin-mining industries had pushed for the use of the term "emergency" since their losses would not have been covered by Lloyd's insurers if it had been termed a "war".
1950 1953 - KOREAN WAR - This being the most relevant for this project, over 85% of the post war dog-tags were issued during this time, although the scale was nothing like the drafting as during World War 2, the need for these troops still increased.
The North Korean tanks had a good deal of early successes against South Korean infantry, elements of the 24th Infantry Division, and the United States built M24 Chaffee light tanks that they encountered. Interdiction by ground attack aircraft was the only means of slowing the advancing Korean armor. The tide turned in favour of the United Nations forces in August 1950 when the North Koreans suffered major tank losses during a series of battles in which the UN forces brought heavier equipment to bear, including M4A3 Sherman medium tanks backed by U.S. M26 heavy tanks, along with British Centurion, Churchill, and Cromwell tanks.
1952 1960 - Mau Mau Uprising. The Kenya Emergency featured the Mau Mau groups of people, politically dominated by the Kikuyu people, the white European settlers in Kenya, and the British Army, e.g. the local Kenya Regiment (British, auxiliaries, and pro–British Kikuyu people).
1956 1956 - Suez Crisis was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser from power. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated Great Britain and France and strengthened Nasser.
On 29 October, Israel invaded the Egyptian Sinai. Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to cease fire, which was ignored. On 5 November, Britain and France landed paratroopers along the Suez Canal. The Egyptian forces were defeated, but they did block the canal to all shipping. It later became clear that the Israeli invasion and the subsequent Anglo-French attack had been planned beforehand by the three countries.
The three allies had attained a number of their military objectives, but the Canal was now useless.
Heavy political pressure from the United States and the USSR led to a withdrawal. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had strongly warned Britain not to invade; he now threatened serious damage to the British financial system by selling the US government's pound sterling bonds. Historians conclude the crisis "signified the end of Great Britain's role as one of the world's major powers". The Suez Canal was closed from October 1956 until March 1957. Israel fulfilled some of its objectives, such as attaining freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran, which Egypt had blocked to Israeli shipping since 1950.