Thistle Publishing

Taming the Panzers: Monty's tank battalions 3rd RTR at war


ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS FORMATIONS IN BRITISH MILITARY HISTORY


In the Great War, C Company of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment earned distinction with Big Willie, Little Willie, and the Savage Rabbits – code names for the earliest tanks that eventually stormed the Hindenburg Line and helped win the war.


In May 1940, they fought to defend Calais and gave the BEF vital time to evacuate the Dunkirk beaches. In early 1941, they were the key armoured regiment in the ill-fated campaign in Greece which delayed Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia.


They fought in all the North African campaigns and were brought back to lead the Normandy invasion in Operations Epsom, Goodwood and Bluecoat and the brave charge through the Third Reich to reach the Baltic. Eventually they tamed the Mk 4s, Panthers and Tigers that Hitler sent against them, cementing their magnificent legacy.


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