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Title:THE TESTING OF SPECIALISED ARMOURED FIGHTING VEHICLES DESIGNED FOR OPERATION OVERLORD (PART 2) [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 5-2
Summary: Trials are held at 79th Armoured Division's 'E' Wing at Brancaster to test the feasibility of landing armoured fighting vehicles on a mudflat-covered shore.
Description: I. Sherman Crab flail tanks sweep a minefield where Teller mines have been buried in pairs in the Orford Battle Area. The cameraman observes one Crab flailing away and later surveys its damaged chain drum and flail jib as it motors slowly over ground churned up by Teller mine explosions. A Churchill AVRE fitted with Goat Mark III equipment plants a 'mattress' of high explosive against a 12-foot high, 8-foot thick replica of a German promenade wall at Saxmundham.
II. At Brancaster, a Churchill Mark II tank charges steel anti-tank girders, a Churchill Bobbin Mark I lays its canvas tracking and a Sherman Crab successfully flails its way through barbed wire on 'E' Wing's beach. Assault engineers test the beach's firmness and plant signs indicating where AFVs can travel. Two Crabs beat parallel line along the sand as mines at the water's edge (?) are detonated in the background. Two Churchill Mark IIs drag barbed wire coils away. Assault sappers lay Sommerfeld steel tracking on four foot wide access strips to form a carpet for heavy vehicles.
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations, War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Grant, Ian James1917-04-16Family origin: Edinburgh, Scotland (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, 79th Armoured Division, Wing E (regiment/service)
Royal Navy, LCT 907 (regiment/service)
Keywords: armour, British - funnies: Churchill Bobbin Mark I (object name)
armour, British - tank: Churchill (object name)
armour, United States - funnies: M4 Sherman Crab & [British] (object name)
engineering, military, British - Mulberry: traffic carpet (object name)
operations, British military - preparation: D-Day (object name)
training, British military - specialist: beach landing (object name)
Brancaster, Norfolk, England, UK (geography)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 498 ft; Running time: 6 mins
Notes: Summary: see with A70 5-1 for coverage of 79th Armoured Division's trials of specialised AFVs prior to D-Day. Part I of the synopsis was filmed on 5/4/1944, part II on 11/4/1944. The best solution to tracklaying on beaches during amphibious assaults was found in the Churchill Bobbin Mark I - see also A70 5-1.
Remarks: good footage. Best seen with the items of ciné material listed above and with footage showing specialised armour participating in the pre-invasion Operations "Fabius II and IV and in action on D-Day, during the siege of Le Havre and the assault on Walcheren.
Documentation/associated material: for a bibliography, refer to the publications listed in A70 5-1.