The regiment was formed in 1922 as part of a reduction in the army’s cavalry by the amalgamation of the 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales’s) and The Carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards), to form the 3rd/6th Dragoon Guards. Both regiments were based in India at the time of their amalgamation; the newly formed regiment departed in 1925 for Britain. It regained its carabinier association in 1928 when it was renamed the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards).
In 1936 the 3rd Carabiniers was posted to Sialkot, India; their first deployment of the 1930s. It began its mechanisation process in 1938, changing its horses for armoured vehicles, and became part of the newly formed Royal Armoured Corps(RAC) the following year.
Second World War
When the war began in September 1939, the 3rd Carabiniers were still based in India. In 1941, a cadre from the regiment was used to form the 25th Dragoons, which saw service in Burma; it was disbanded in India in 1947. The 3rd Carabiniers, itself, would serve solely in Asia after Japan’s entry into the war in December 1941. The regiment was initially based away from the frontline, guarding southern India from potential Japanese invasion. In 1943, it absorbed the personnel of the recently disbanded 26th Hussars.
Now equipped with the M3 Lee medium tank, the regiment was sent to North-East India with the 254th Indian Tank Brigade in December 1943. They took part in the Battle of Imphal, which began in late March 1944 after the Japanese launched the U-Go offensive. On 20 March, around Tamu six of the regiment’s tanks clashed with six Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go tanks, destroying five of them and capturing the other. Later, in the battle to retake Nunshigum Ridge, on 13 April, tanks from the regiment’s ‘B’ Squadron supported the 1/17th Dogras in fierce fighting that dislodged the Japanese defenders. The Nunshigum action later became the 3rd Carabiniers’ regimental anniversary. The regiment continued its involvement in the Imphal battle until the Allied victory at Kohima on 22 June 1944 ended the Japanese offensive.
The 3rd Carabiniers, operating usually at squadron level or lower, took part in the successful advance deep into occupied Burma, taking part in (among others) an intense action at Kennedy Peak. Early 1945 saw the regiment engaged in fighting at Shwebo and Sagang; it took part in the capture of Ava and Mandalay in March, and later around the Irrawaddy River.
Post-World War II
After the war’s official end in September, the regiment remained part of the British garrison in India up until the British withdrawal. The regiment’s departure came in early 1947 when they embarked aboard the Highland Princess at Bombay, becoming the last cavalry regiment to leave India.
The 3rd Carabiniers was posted to the British Army of the Rhine in West Germany in 1952, based in Osnabrück remaining there until 1959. After that, it moved to Catterick, England, but its stay there was short, as it joined the Strategic Reserve at Tidworth the following year. In 1961 the regiment deployed its ‘C’ Squadron to Kuwait as part of a British force charged with deterring Iraq from fulfilling its threats to annex it. A return to West Germany came the following year, when it joined the 20th Armoured Brigade in Detmold.
Having been armed with tanks since the early 1950s, the regiment was re-roled to a reconnaissance unit in 1967, first operating the Ferret scout car. Deployments to the British military installations in Libya and Cyprus followed. The regiment in 1968 also had one squadron each in Sharjah and Aden. A brief posting to Münster, West Germany took place in 1969 before moving to Herford, West Germany.
On 2 July 1971, the regiment amalgamated with the Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons), forming the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys).
- Anniversaries: Nunshigum (13 April)
- Associated Yeomanry:
The 3rd Carabiniers possessed a total of 62 battle honours, of which 49 were inherited from its predecessor units and were earned prior to the regiment’s formation in 1922. During the Second World War, the amalgamated regiment received 13 battle honours. The full list of battle honours held by the regiment are:
- Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Warburg, Beaumont, Willems, Talavera, Albuhera, Vittoria, Peninsula, Sevastopol, Delhi 1857, Abyssinia, Afghanistan 1879–80;
- Second Boer War: Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899–1902;
- First World War: Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Ypres 1914 ’15, Arras 1917, Cambrai 1917 ’18, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, France and Flanders 1914–18;
- Second World War: Imphal, Tamu Road, Nunshigum, Bishenpur, Kanglatongbi, Kennedy Peak, Shwebo, Sagaing, Mandalay, Ava, Irrawaddy River, Yenangyaung 1945,Burma 1944–45.
- Chant 1988, p. 16.
- “3rd Carabiniers”. British Armed Forces and National Services. www.britisharmedforces.org. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- Allen 2000 p. 657.
- Allen 2000, p. 209.
- Brayley 2002, p. 43.
- Allen 2000, p. 254.
- Allen, Louis (2000) . Burma: The Longest War 1941–45. London: Phoenix Press. ISBN 1-84212-260-6.
- Brayley, Martin (2002). The British Army 1939–45 (3): The Far East. Men-at-Arms # 37. London: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-238-5.
- Chant, Christopher (1988). The Handbook of British Regiments. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-00241-7.