Experience from the Western Desert and lessons from the disastrous raid at Dieppe in August 1942, Online Cigarettes Store USAin which the Canadians had taken heavy losses, inspired the British Army to invent a collection of specialist vehicles to deal with obstacles and strong points for the beach assault and for the fight inland.
This responsibility fell to Major General Percy Hobart, a former Sapper officer who had commanded 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats, in North Africa. Known as “Hobart’s Funnies”, these vehicles were grouped in the 79th Armoured Division and were the first vehicles on D-Day to assault up the beaches and penetrate the Atlantic Wall.
• The Crocodile was a flamethrower carrying 400 gallons of fuel that could project flame Newport Pleasure over 100 metres at trenches, bunkers and fortifications – with terrifying psychological effect.
• The Assault Vehicle Royal Engineers, known as the AVRE, fired a 40-pound high explosive ‘dustbin’ charge a distance of 150 yards. It could be fitted with fascines or small bridges to breach ditches and tank obstacles, mine ploughs to open routes through minefields. Its crew of six could dismount to place demolition charges or prepare obstacles.
• The ARK was a Churchill chassis with ramps fore and aft that other tanks could drive over to breach obstacles and small rivers.
• The Duplex Drive Sherman tank, an American innovation with a watertight canvas screen, could Newport 100s Boxpropel itself on to a beach from a landing craft several miles offshore. These were used in the initial assault to support the first waves of infantry.