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Title:THE 11TH ARMOURED DIVISION ADVANCES TO ST MARTIN DES BESACES [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 107-1
Description: A 3rd RTR Sherman armoured recovery vehicle rumbles along a lane into St Jean des Essartiers past a knocked-out German 7.5 cm anti-tank gun which commanded a field of fire over the route leading into the village. Tanks of the 23rd Hussars carry infantry serving with the 3rd Monmouth Regiment through the 'bocage' along dusty lanes that lead to St Martin des Besaces. The procession is joined by a troop of M10 17-pounder (?) self- propelled guns from the 75th Anti-Tank Regiment and a 5th Assault Regiment Churchill AVRE from 79th Armoured Division's engineers. Armour and infantry from the 29th Armoured Brigade Group file through the cross-roads village of St Martin des Besaces. Both German unit direction signs bearing the names of battalion/battlegroup commanders and the old pre-war route sign for the N175 highway have survived the heavy fighting in St Martin, unlike a 326th Infantry Division soldier whose corpse lies by the roadside next to his MG34 machine-gun. Brigadier Roscoe-Harvey's command tank leads a procession of Shermans from the 29th Armoured Brigade Group out of St Martin des Besaces and leads towards the Souleuvre valley, followed at intervals by other armoured fighting vehicles.
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations, War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Palmer, F A W (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Royal Artillery (regiment/service)
British Army, Bde, Armoured, 29 Gp (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Tank Regiment, 3rd Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Hussars, 23 (regiment/service)
British Army, Monmouth Regiment, 3rd Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Div, Armoured, 11 (regiment/service)
British Army, Corps 8 (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Engineers (regiment/service)
British Army, Div, Armoured, 79 (regiment/service)
Keywords: armour, United States - funnies: M4 Sherman ARV Mark I & [British] (object name)
armour, German - gun [AT]: 7.5 cm Pak 40 (object name)
armour, United States - tank: M4 Sherman (object name)
armour, United States - funnies: M4 Sherman Firefly & [British] (object name)
armour, British - funnies: Churchill AVRE (object name)
casualties, German dead - battlefield (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: MG 34 machine gun (object name)
signs, military and civilian (object name)
armour, United States - SPG: M10 Achilles (object name)
Operation Bluecoat, Mont Pinçon 1944, North West Europe, Second World War (event)
Calvados, France (geography)
Normandy, France (geography)
Notes: Note: See A70 107-2 for complementary material shot by Sergeant Harris and A70 107-3 for complementary footage taken by Sergeant Lawrie and refer generally to material showing the 11th Armoured Division and other 8th Corps formations in action during Operation "Bluecoat".
Remarks: Good 'action' footage in which the close nature of the 'bocage' country and its inherent unsuitability for armoured warfare is well conveyed.
Documentation/associated material: read 'La Charge du Taureau' by Jean Brisset (in French), 'Taurus Pursuant - the History of the 11th Armoured Division' by BAOR, 'The Story of the 23rd Hussars 1940-1946 and 'The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry 1919-1956' by R J B Sellar.