A US-made Diamond T 980 / M19 tank transporter unit in British service demonstrates its ability to haul a Churchill Mk II infantry tank over some soft ground to a group of officers.

Dead in the water....literally.
An Allied M4A2 lies waterlogged and awaiting recovery from the River Biferno, near Campo-Marino, Italy, October 1943.
Allied forces needed to overcome and cross scores of water-obstacles as they advanced up the length of the long Italian penninsula.
The tac-mark on the turret indicates that this was tank "3" of "C" Squadron.
The red-white-red flashes were national ID markings applied to British tanks and other armoured vehicles.

L/Cpl E Martin of the Corps of Military Police sits astride his motorcycle and chats to Cpl Joyce Collins and L/Cpl Celia Strong, members of the ATS and clerks at 21st Army Group HQ, 28 July 1944.
Source: IWM

During the early stages of the desert campaign when British armour was getting routinely picked off by well-sited German anti-tank screens...including of course their Flak 88s...numbers of the British equivalent QF 3.7" AA guns were languishing unused in Egypt.
It seems that apparently no-one had the foresight or imagination to bring them forward and use them as the Germans used theirs!
However...by the time of the Tunisian campaign in 1943, common-sense coupled with experience prevailed and the 3.7"s were occasionally used both in an anti-tank role and for indirect fire, as well as in their primary role as AA guns.
Here we see a 3.7" gun of 264 Battery, 58 Regiment, Royal Artillery, supporting an infantry attack near Medjez-el-Bab in April 1943.

His Majesty, King George VI, paid a visit to General Montgomery's HQ in Tripoli, in June 1943.
In honour of the occasion, "Monty" presented a sharper than usual military appearance wearing crisp Khaki Drills with a necktie!
His shirt displays the insignia of the Eighth Army on both sleeves, with slip-on General's rank insignia on the shoulder straps.
Topped-off, of course, with his trademark double-badged beret.
His Majesty wears a khaki cotton tropical "bush jacket".

Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, "The Black Watch", 153rd Infantry Brigade, 51st (Highland) Infantry Division move up to the front at Gabes, Tunisia, on Valentines of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, April 1943.
Note that they wear their regiment's traditional Highland bonnets rather than steel helmets!

Original colour photo with text from rear ,it shows a great example of a Lance Corporal from the Grenadier Guards part of Guards Armoured Division. Pirbright was for many years the Guards Divisions training Depot.

Under the shade and cover provided by some Tunisian palm-trees, General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Commander, British Eighth Army, confers with Lieutenant-Colonel A. C. Clive of the 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 7th Armoured Division, during Monty's visit to the Mareth Line, March 8th, 1943.
The vehicle is a turretless M3 light tank known simply as a "Stuart Recce" in the British Army.
The name "AUDAX" along with the division's famous "Desert Rat" insignia has been applied to the side of the hull.
This evolved from an initiative by 1st Armoured Division which recognised that the turreted 37mm gun of the M3 was effectively obsolete and that by removing the whole turret, the vehicle's silhouette would be lowered and its already good turn of speed increased, thus creating a more effective reconnaissance tank.
Armament consisted of a pintle-mounted .30 cal or sometimes .50 cal machine gun.
On the down-side, their crews had no overhead cover and were therefore vulnerable to airbursts. Nevertheless, numbers were so converted and served with "recce" units until the war's end.
Some were also used as tractors for a/t guns like the QF 17 pounder.

Necessity is the mother of invention.
The Germans planted many thousands of mines in their so-called "Devil's Gardens" in front of their defensive Mareth Line in Tunisia, circa 1943.
Obviously, these minefields needed to be breached before the Allied forces could safely advance.
Thus, engineers of the British Eighth Army devised this "remote-controlled" mine-detecting vehicle on the basis of a 15cwt CMP truck.
Mounted on a flexible frame at the front of the vehicle were heavy, spiked concrete rollers which were intended to detect the start of a minefield, after which the vehicle retreated and engineers took over the task of locating and lifting the mines by hand.

A litter of helmets dots the French coast in summer 1940 during the famed Dunkirk evacuation of WW2, This miracle saved the BEF when French forces were outnumbered and suffering heavy losses.

One of the units of the Royal Navy's Coast Watch. A team of sailors who are dedicated to the defense of the coast and establishments therin. They are dressed, unusually, in army khaki battledress but with naval caps and leggings. They are being paraded before taking up their positions. c. 1940.
Source: IWM

During the hours of dusk the (28th) infantry of the 51st Highland Division mounted Sherman tanks and were carried into position (to cut off any Germans who attempted to escape from woods) in the area of Herogenbosch
29.10.44 Sgt Mapham
Caption from rear of photo

The British knew they were on to a winner with the new QF 17 pounder anti-tank gun.
They were keen to get it into action asap for obvious reasons but development of a new carriage lagged behind that of the gun itself.
So, as an interim measure, the tried and tested 25 pounder carriage was modified to take the new gun.
These "hybrids" were known as "Pheasants" and are identifiable by their square, hinged gun-shields and the counter-balance behind the muzzle-brake.
They also sometimes used the 360 degree "cartwheel" traversing platform of the 25 pounder.
Tunisia, 1943.

By mid-war the Valentine had become obsolete as a gun tank. However, its chassis was essentially sound and was used as the basis for a number of specialised variants.
This field-modified example mounts a 25 pounder within an open-topped armoured box, thus creating an SPG.
This idea was standardised and produced in limited numbers as the "Bishop".
This example was deployed in support of the 1st Parachute Battalion at Le Krib, Tunisia, March 1943.


Sergeant Edmonds and CSM Currie of the "A" Company, 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (11th Infantry Brigade / 78th Division) examining captured German MP40 submachine guns, probably near Sidi Nsir, Tunisia, 2nd January 1943.

Slow and steady wins the race.
The Vickers .303 heavy machine-gun might have lacked the high rate of fire of the MG 34s and MG 42s it faced on the battlefield, but it would fire steadily all day long as long as there was ammo to feed it.
It put the "r" in reliable.
This is Vickers machine gun team of 10th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, training near Bou Arada, Tunisia, 30th April 1943.

@Skyline Drive loving all the North Africa pictures and Italy - my father was attached to the 51st Highland Division


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