Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

What happened after D Day ?

The Flails certainly continued on to Germany likewise the AVRE, I should imagine the more specialised stuff like Bobbins would have been held in reserve in theatre.

Don't forget the obstacles they were designed to overcome on the beaches would still be found inland, bunkers minefields etc, plus river crossings could raise the same problems as beach landings.
Weren't Bobbins, SBG bridges, fascines just accessory fittings to AVRE? sort of like Wading trunks they could be dropped when not needed and collected for later use
 

Chef

LE
They were a small but over-inflated part of the assault- in terms of the outcome, they had no effect, but did help in small pockets and once the beachhead was established, were just left aside.

They were successful at clearing mines from Sword beach but the rest were novelties at best.
Yet continued to be used till the war's end. Presumably for novelty effect. Every beach was taken but I suspect the Americans on Omaha might have appreciated some funnies.
 
This might help

6aa5d45b65d3cc1d1b3e677dbd3b3f64.jpg
Title: VANGUARD OF VICTORY : THE 79TH ARMOURED DIVISION

Author Name: Fletcher, David

Publisher: HMSO: 1984

ISBN Number: 011290422X
s-l1600.jpg
ISBN Number 13:
9780112904229
 
Having read your post properly, the Westminster Dragoons took their Flails across Europe likewise the Crocodile. Read 'Flamethrower' by Andrew Wilson.

One of our teachers was in Crocodiles and they were using them to flame the huts in Belsen after the Typhus outbreak when they were liberated.

Bet he got some deep down visceral pleasure out of that Order.
 
Okay so I am not trying to start a pissing contest but I think the IWM description is wrong in regards to the wasp's coming from the SLI.

To back up this statement in the below screen grab from the IWM video, I nearly 100% sure the soldier nearest the camera is wearing a Wiltshire regiment cap badge.

Also in the attached video preporting to be from the burning of Belsen the wasp's have the # 56 on their mudguards this was the Wiltshire Regt's recognition marking in 43rd Wessex Div.

I might send something to the IWM as I think I could be correct.

View attachment 533313

the 43rd Infantry division badge is clearly visible on some of the Wasps...

1609111522018.png

1609112619547.png


56 was assigned to 4th Wiltshires..


I've had no luck running down the plate T 209825
 
I can't really add much, but I can confirm what you say. The only Funnies used on the two American beaches were the Duplex Drive swimmers. Even these were a failure in American hands, particularly at Omaha, as they were launched too far out.

This Wiki page gives some information about the American failure to use Funnies

There is a bit more in the DD article proper.

 
Okay so I am not trying to start a pissing contest but I think the IWM description is wrong in regards to the wasp's coming from the SLI.

To back up this statement in the below screen grab from the IWM video, I nearly 100% sure the soldier nearest the camera is wearing a Wiltshire regiment cap badge.

Also in the attached video preporting to be from the burning of Belsen the wasp's have the # 56 on their mudguards this was the Wiltshire Regt's recognition marking in 43rd Wessex Div.

Well spotted, and I am sure you’re correct. I went and had a look at the regimental history web pages of the Wilts and sure enough, they state that 4/Wilts were tasked to the camp, and that their Wasps were used.
However, I also pulled up a 2019 (?) local newspaper report about two old boys who are the last living members of 4/SLI and they stated that they were at the camp and they specifically mention using “their” flamethrowers. Perhaps the Belsen huts were not burned at the same time, and different units from 43 Wx Div were responsible for torching huts at different stages of the task.
As mentioned earlier, an uncle of mine was involved with clearing the camp, and I vividly remember him talking to me about it just once, on a dark, wet evening whilst walking his dog. I’ve been interested in the big cleanup ever since, especially after visiting the site of the camp. One of my first mistakes was to think that the Wasps were Canadian, because they are clearly the II C variant (the position of the flame fuel tank is the recognition feature.) However, I later found out that most British Wasps were converted to the Canadian standard at some point after D-Day.
We live and learn.
 
Last edited:

Mölders 1

Old-Salt
I can think of few things worse than operating a flame thrower. Killing someone by any means is never going to be pleasant. But setting someone on fire seems particularly horrible

Flamethrowers proved to be very valuable assets during the Island Campaign/Fighting in the Pacific War.......
 

Chef

LE
Bet he got some deep down visceral pleasure out of that Order.
@Bodenplatte has corrected me on who did the cleaning up at Belsen. I can see how urban myths begin. He was one of several teachers who'd served during the war. Army, RN and RAF (air gunner) all represented.

We were a lucky generation to be taught by such people. I wish I'd appreciated it more at the time.
 
@Bodenplatte has corrected me on who did the cleaning up at Belsen. I can see how urban myths begin. He was one of several teachers who'd served during the war. Army, RN and RAF (air gunner) all represented.

We were a lucky generation to be taught by such people. I wish I'd appreciated it more at the time.
I, in turn, was corrected by @Itainthalfhotmum as to the unit to which the Belsen Wasps belonged (almost certainly 4/Wilts and not 4/SLI as I thought.)
 
Well spotted, and I am sure you’re correct. I went and had a look at the regimental history web pages of the Wilts and sure enough, they state that 4/Wilts were tasked to the camp, and that their Wasps were used.
However, I also pulled up a 2019 (?) local newspaper report about two old boys who are the last living members of 4/SLI and they stated that they were at the camp and they specifically mention using “their” flamethrowers. Perhaps the Belsen huts were not burned at the same time, and different units from 43 Wx Div were responsible for torching huts at different stages of the task.
As mentioned earlier, an uncle of mine was involved with clearing the camp, and I vividly remember him talking to me about it just once, on a dark, wet evening whilst walking his dog. I’ve been interested in the big cleanup ever since, especially after visiting the site of the camp. One of my first mistakes was to think that the Wasps were Canadian, because they are clearly the II C variant (the position of the flame fuel tank is the recognition feature.) However, I later found out that most British Wasps were converted to the Canadian standard at some point after D-Day.
We live and learn.
One of dads Cpls in his first Sapper troop had been a bulldozer driver at Belsen for the clear up which haunted him for the rest of his life. He was never tasked with the digging of tank scrapes because of his traumatic memories.
I found this that gives a bit more substance to the horror of the task. I know its the Sun Dad drove a bulldozer at Belsen ... it haunted him until day he died
 

Latest Threads

Top