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James A 414 - #040 RAMC - 3

Time in Europe

By December 1943 222 FA had been moved into the 23 Light Field Ambulance, which was part of 34 Armoured Brigade. This included 107, 147, 153 Regts Royal Armoured Corps, 7 and 9 RTR (Royal Tank Regiment) These Regiments each had 22 Churchill tanks, Mk 3-Mk 6, 40 tons of metal firing a 75mm gun over 1500 yards.

107 Regt RAC had Churchill Crocodiles, a flamethrower shooting flame 150 yards which required a six-ton trailer to be towed for the fuel.

In the period from June 1944-June 1945  some 350 tanks were destroyed or damaged in battle. 240 men were killed and 440 were wounded.

Churchill tank with Crocodile  Flamethrower and trailer

c/o Kiddle

Dad had these photos, which are either of the embarkation at Tilbury, or the return from Oslo later in 1945.

Churchill MK 4 tank

c/o Wikimedia

34 Armoured Brigade movements in Europe

Dad has spoken about training on gliders, and the possibility that they would have to jump and land by parachute. The only time I am aware that gliders were used was on D-Day itself, so maybe they were trained with a view to being one of the D-Day support units, and that the plans changed.

It seems that 34 Armoured Brigade advance units embarked on 16 June at Tilbury in a flotilla of ships, which could not land them in France for several days because of the weather. Eventually the body of the Brigade were able to embark (Dad is listed as embarking on 24 June) and cross without incident.  

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