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Hobart's 79th Armoured Division at War (Paperback)

Invention, Innovation and Inspiration

WWII D-Day & Normandy Tanks Military

By Richard Doherty
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 233
Illustrations: 36
ISBN: 9781526731524
Published: 3rd July 2018

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Hobart's reputation as an armoured warfare specialist began in the pre-war era. In 1923 he transferred from the Royal Engineers to the Royal Tank Corps and quickly established himself as one of the foremost thinkers on armoured warfare. By 1938 he was GOC Mobile Division, later 7th Armoured Division, in Egypt. Unable to suffer fools at all, he was relieved of his command (sacked!) in 1939, retired in 1940 and became a corporal in the Home Guard.

At Winston Churchill's inspired behest, he was ordered to create and command 11th Armoured Division. Although he trained the new division to a very high standard, he was seen as too old to lead it in action he was 57. Instead he was told to form 79th Armoured Division and design specialized armoured vehicles necessary to breach the Atlantic Wall. The Division played a major part in the D-Day landings and the subsequent campaign in NW Europe. Hobart's Funnies included mine-clearing tanks, bridge-carrying tanks, flamethrowers, swimming tanks and amphibious assault vehicles.

Brigades and units of the Division were deployed wherever they were needed by Second (British) and First (Canadian) Armies and no major operation between Normandy and the final victory took place without them present.

Percy Hobart's skills played a significant part in the final Allied victory and the lasting tribute to that vision was the adoption by all armies of the specialized funnies that his Division introduced to modern warfare.

This book is based on official records, published materials and personal recollections.

Richard Doherty is a prolific author with a vast knowledge of the Second World War.
The book covers the strategic and the tactical; at times describing both unit actions and the bravery of individuals through telling the story of the division and its widely dispersed units and the dangerous roles it undertook.

IPMS Magazine September - October 2018

About Richard Doherty

Richard Doherty, recognised as Ireland’s leading military history author, has thirty published books to his credit, plus many articles in journals and magazines. Included in his Pen and Sword titles are The Thin Green Line: The History of the RUC GC; Helmand Mission; Victory in Italy and Hobart’s 79th Armoured Division at War. He has worked on radio and TV historical series, including The Sons of Ulster and One Man’s War, as well as contributing to other programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? He is also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, speaking at venues such as the National Army Museum, the Tank Museum and the US Marine Corps Staff and Command College, Quantico, Virginia.

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