So its up to the rest of us amateur historians, writers and professionals to put this right. I am going to try and publish a page on my blog every day until 6th June 2014 about D-Day and I am starting with the infamous 'Hobart's Funnies'.
|Major General Sir Percy Hobart http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/fileadmin/historyLearningSite/genera4.jpg|
Major-General Sir Percy Hobart was one of the many characters in World War 2 that were eccentric. Hobart's ideas about armoured weaponry were so ahead of their time in the 1930's that he was largely confined to a desk and an early retirement (Neillands, De Normann p.51).By 1940 Hobart had been relieved of his post in the 7th Armoured in Egypt and was serving as a Corporal in the Home Guard(Neillands, De Normann p.52). Winston Churchill intervened recognising Hobart's technical genius and reassigned him to the 79th Division which consisted of modified armour especially developed for use on D-Day.
The Bobbin was a modified Churchill tank that laid down a road over quicksand for other vehicles to follow.
They were useful at Gold Beach laying 4 lanes over soft sand for other vehicles to follow, without these bobbin tanks vehicles would not have advanced inland.
|Petard crew with a 'dustbin'.|
|D-D tank full steam ahead.|
DD tanks were amphibious with a canvas screen and a propellor which enabled them to be launched away from shore. They could not be launched too far out, as was proven at Omaha when the majority were lost.
|Facine obstacle clearing.|
These are just a few of Hobart's inventions. On D-Day itself they would be loaded in order, i.e mine clearer first, then maybe the carpet layer, followed by the Petard and Crocodile. Without them there would have been many more casualties.
Neillands,R, De Normann, R, D-Day 1944, Voices From Normandy, London (1993).
Ambrose, S, D-Day, U.S.A (1994).