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Tank Museum photo No 0601/F/3Tank Museum photo No 0601/F/3


Tanks armed with 17 Pounder guns began to arrive. At the first test , the flash made observation impossible and singed off the gunner's eyebrows; and the blast blew over a hut.
On the 2nd of June we left for Southampton Docks. The move was flawlessly organised, civilians en route were wonderfully kind and dashed out at halts to give us tea and buns - to the great disgust of the Military Police who had (quite rightly) been ordered to keep us in purdah to the bitter end. We embarked that evening. The weather seemed perfect. We were setting out to add a date to the history books.
Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry.


Tank Museum photo No. 2995/E/4Tank Museum photo No. 2995/E/4


The next day the Regiment, covered by the Fireflies which had been grouped together under captain Cotton, advanced to point 72, to the west of the main road. Only the 17 Pounders had enough range to give effective covering fire in this open, rolling country. Point 72 was quite a commanding feature, with good views up the valley of the Orne which, at this time, was being cleared by the Canadians; but any move towards Verriers brought down extremely heavy fire. The Germans put in no armoured counter-attack, but there were tanks and SP guns milling around in an apparently aimless manner. The Fireflies, by very accurate shooting, managed to knock out a party of five German tanks.

4th County of London Yeomanry, 19th July 1944.


Tank Museum photo No 2996/B/3Tank Museum photo No 2996/B/3

No. 3 Troop of A Squadron, the forward troop covering the right flank, were the first to make contact. Sergeant Gordon, commanding a 17 Pounder tank reported three Tigers advancing slowly north, in line ahead, along the Falaise-Caen road.

When the range had closed to 800 yards Captain Boardman gave the order to fire. Sergeant Gordon engaged the rear tank of the three. Two shots from Trooper Ekins, the gunner, set it on fire. Time 1240 hours. The second tank traversed right and fired three shots at Sergeant Gordon, but anticipating this he was already reversing into cover. Unluckily as he did so either his turret flap hit a branch of a tree or it received a glancing blow from a shot; whatever the cause it came crashing down onto the Sergeant's head almost knocking him out. Lieutenant James dashed over to Sergeant Gordon's tank, took command, quickly moved to a new fire position and Trooper Ekins fired one shot at the second tank. It exploded in a flash of flame. Time 1247 hours.

By this time the third Tiger was in a panic, milling around wondering how he could escape. To add to his confusion Captain Boardman peppered away with 75mm armour piercing which stopped him but did not put him on fire. Two shots from Trooper Ekins settled the matter and this tank also started to burn. Time 1252 hours. Three Tigers in twelve minutes is not bad business.

1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry 8 August 1944.


Tank Museum photo No. 2996/C/4Tank Museum photo No. 2996/C/4


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