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Title:ARMOUR IN THE NORMANDY 'BOCAGE' [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 113-3
Summary: 8th Corps' armoured formations come to grips with fighting in the 'bocage' of Normandy where the out-numbered Germans exploit the countryside's inherent suitability for defensive warfare and inflict heavy losses on British AFVs.
Description: Sherman and Firefly tanks of the 2nd Armoured Battalion Grenadier Guards rumble along the main Caen-Vire road out of the Souleuvre valley, where they had been engaged in fighting for the Arclais ridge, and head for St Charles de Percy. The armoured column passes two destroyed Universal carriers lying derelict on the roadside verges. A Bren gun carrier leaves behind it the Souleuvre valley and a stretch of the Caen-Vire highway known to the Guards Armoured Division as 'Mortar Gulch' (?). The Grenadier Guards' tanks harbour in a field bordered with thick hedgerows. Near Montchamp, a Sherman tank of the 1st Armoured Battalion Coldstream Guards has been destroyed by two 88mm hits, one penetrating the glacis plate at the driver's position, the other piercing the armour covering the differential gears. Nearby lie two blackened bodies. A jeep travels up a lane in typical bocage country.
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations, War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Laws, George E J1916-02-15 (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Grenadier Guards, Armoured 2nd Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Coldstream Guards, Armoured 1st Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Div, Armoured, Guards, 5 (regiment/service)
British Army, Corps 8 (regiment/service)
British Army, Guards Bde Gp 32 (regiment/service)
Keywords: armour, United States - tank: M4 Sherman & [British] (object name)
armour, United States - funnies: M4 Sherman Firefly & [British] (object name)
casualties, British dead (object name)
materiel - wreckage (object name)
Operation Bluecoat, Mont Pinçon 1944, North West Europe, Second World War (event)
Calvados, France (geography)
Normandy, France (geography)
Notes: Note: Refer to A70 113-12, 119-3 and 4 for material showing the Guards Armoured Division in action in the 'bocage' and refer generally to footage showing 8th Corps formations in action during "Bluecoat". Of particular menace to Allied tank units operating the 'bocage' were German tank-hunting teams armed with 'Panzerfaust' or 'Panzerschreck' rocket launchers.
Remarks: A good visual record of the 'bocage' country and of a knocked-out Sherman tank.
Documentation/associated material: read 'The Story of the Guards Armoured Division 1941-1945 by Captain the Earl of Rosse and Colonel Hill, 'The History of the 2nd World War - Victory in the West : Volume 1' by L F Ellis and 'The Household Cavalry at War - The 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment' by Boden Orde, which has many detailed descriptions of the character of the fighting in the 'bocage' south of Caumont.