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Synopsis

This fascinating book describes how Major General Percy Hobart created, trained and commanded 79th Armoured Division, aunique formation crucial to the success of the D-Day Landings and the Allies drive through to Germany.Hobarts 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 in 1939, retired in 1940 and became a corporal in the Home Guard. At Winston Churchills inspired behest, he was called back to create and train 11th Armoured Division which, once done, he was seen as too old to lead in action. Instead he was ordered to form 79th Armoured Division and charged with developing specialized armoured vehicles necessary to breach the Atlantic Wall. Hobarts Funnies, as these innovative weapons were known, included mine-clearing tanks, bridge-carrying tanks, flamethrowers, swimming tanks and amphibious assault vehicles.Brigades and units of 79th Division were deployed wherever they were needed by Second (British) and First (Canadian) Armies.Indeed, no major operation between Normandy and the final victory took place without their involvement. Post-war theadoption by all armies of specialized funnies is the lasting tribute to his vision and genius. Based on detailed research and personal recollections, Hobarts 79th Armoured Division at War is a worthy tribute to this extraordinary man and his legendary Division, both of which played so significant a part in the Allied victory.

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