The 23rd Hussars were raised on 1st December 1940 from elements of The 10th Royal Hussars (PWO) and the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars. They landed in Normandy in June 1944 and fought with distinction in North West Europe.
The first operational tanks arrived in March 1941, and by August the 23rd Hussars had 28 Valentines on the strength. The first Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Roscoe Harvey, a 10th Hussar, who would later be acknowledged as Britain’s finest armour tactician in the Second World War. (He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on three occasions. His first DSO was awarded following the battle of Knightsbridge in the Western Desert, whilst commanding the 10th Hussars.) The regiment was equipped with Sherman Tanks and assigned to the 29th Armoured Brigade, now commanded by Brigadier Roscoe Harvey DSO, of the 11th Armoured Division. They arrived in Normandy in June 1944, a week after D Day. After Operation GOODWOOD the losses of armour within 11th Armoured Division were so high that the 24th Lancers were disbanded, and its remnants absorbed by the 23rd Hussars. From Normandy to the Baltic, until the German surrender, they were seldom far from the fighting. During the Ardennes Offensive they were in reserve, being re-equipped with Comet tanks, but they were rapidly deployed into a defensive line along the River Meuse with their Sherman tanks. In 1945, they took part in Operations VERITABLE and BLOCKBUSTER and were part of the force that liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April, before crossing the River Elbe and capturing Lubeck, and advancing to the Baltic. They lost 150 men and a further 450 were casualties. They were disbanded in January 1946.