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.