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Title:A TANK SQUADRON TAKES A BREAK IN THE 'BOCAGE' [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 123-8
Summary: After a week's fierce fighting on the Sourdeval-Bas-Perrier ridge, the 6th Guards Tank Brigade goes into reserve.
Description: The Fourth Tank Battalion Grenadier Guards' No. 1 Squadron is seen in harbour near the Vire-Estry road. The crews of the squadron's heavily-armoured Churchill Mark VI tanks take advantage of the lull in the fighting by lazing in the sun. To reduce the number of casualties suffered by tank commanders during the fighting in the overgrown 'bocage' country, a plate of armour is welded onto the back of a Churchill's turret hatch by two Light Aid Detachment fitters; note the spare track links draped over the turret sides for additional protection. The squadron's CO, Major Gascoigne, dozes quietly under his tank. Tank crewmen indulge in horseplay by virtually force feeding their youngest member from a gin bottle. Major Gascoigne joins a tank crew in eating a snack consisting of spam sandwiches in the lee of their tank.
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations, War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Lawrie, William Fairlie1919-07-01Family origin: Glasgow, Scotland (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Grenadier Guards, Tank 4th Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Corps 8 (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (regiment/service)
British Army, Guards Tank Bde 6 (regiment/service)
Keywords: armour, British - tank: Churchill (object name)
engineering, military, British: welding (object name)
recreation, Allied military - casual (object name)
Calvados, France (geography)
Normandy, France (geography)
Notes: Note: See with A70 123-5, 6 and 7 for footage showing the 6th Guards Tank Brigade in action in the 'bocage' and refer generally to material showing 8th Corps formations in action during "Bluecoat". The armour plate seen being fitted here onto a Churchill turret hatch was intended to protect the tank commander from being shot in the head by snipers, a common occurrence in the Normandy campaign.
Remarks: Good shots of Churchill tanks and their crews resting and eating, etc. in 'bocage' country.
Documentation/associated material: read 'The 6th Guards Tank Brigade - the Story of Guardsmen in Churchill tanks' by P Forbes, 'The History of the 2nd World War - Victory in the West : Volume 1' by L F Ellis and 'The Grenadier Guards in the War of 1939-1945' also by P Forbes.