ARMOURED VANGUARD FIRST TO LAND
Before the first assault waves hit the Normandy beaches, they were preceded by an array of brilliant and wacky tanks. John Ash tells how the strangest of them all – the brainchild of an émigré engineer – was the charge of a unit ejected from France in 1940.
“The spirit of the Regiment would remain the same whether mechanised or horsed,” explains the official history of the 13th/18th Hussars when converting in 1939. However, few anticipated that in five years this regiment would go from equines to an altogether stranger beast – a tank that, bizarrely, could float.