79th Armoured Division Units

The 79th Armoured Division was a unique armoured formation amongst all the combatants in WWII. Its units were equipped with various 'funnies' - speciallised armour for various assault engineering functions. The division was not intended to fight together as a formation, but its battalions (or even smaller sub-units) would be detached to fight with other units as required.

Overview of units

Churchill AVREs (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers). These were conversions of standard Churchill gun tanks. They carried a 290mm Spigot Mortar, which was muzzled loaded! AVREs could be equipped with various extra equipment , including bridges, facsines and bobbins (large carpet roles). Pendraken 10mm models.

AVRE regiments has blue engineer serials number 1233, 4 and 5, for the 5th, 6th and 42nd Assault Regiments.

Churchill Crocodile Flamethrowers. These were conversions of Churchill gun tanks (mainly VIIs) to replace the hull machine gun with a flamethrower. The fuel was in a separate armoured trailer towed behind the tank, with the fuel hose going under the tank. Field conversion kits were provided for REME units to convert tanks. They had a flame range of 100m and often their appearance was enough to cause the German troops to surrender. Pendraken 10mm models.

Churchill ARKs (front one is going backwards!!) This was one of the variants of churchill bridge layer, the bridge was carried on top of the tank, and positioned using a large hydraulic ram. I was rather expecting to get the SBG AVRE when I ordered these, but unfortunately Pendraken don't have that version yet.

RAM Kangaroo APCs. The RAM was a Canadian version of the Sherman, they were unneeded as gun tanks, and were converted to be APCs by the removal of the turret, to create a compartment to carry 8-12 soldiers. Compared to the various half-tracks the RAM was very well armoured. These are Pithead models, which come with a nice round group of soldiers to fit in the compartment -- unfortunately I have lost one :-( I have added a floor of plastic-card to the crew compartment so that the troops can be removed to indicate if the vehicle is 'loaded' or not.

These will have markings to represent 49th Armoured Carrier Regiment, serial is white 158 on green over pale blue.

LVT Buffalo, these were amphibious tracked transports. They only had light armour, in British use MGs were only mounted on some vehicles -- unlike the US Marines the British rarely used Buffalos in an assault role. A buffalo's tracks would be come badly worn after only a small distance of travel on land.

These will have markings for 11th RTR, dark green serial with 122

The Pendraken pack comes with both the full version, and a water-line version. Though perhaps these should not have been photoed on a grass background!

Some extras, Pendraken D7 Armoured Bulldozer, Minifigs Grant ARV, and Pendraken Sherman Flail.

Unfortunately the Grant ARV lost its lifting hook in an accident with a falling desk lamp -- it may now become an artillery tractor.

The bulldozer would probably have markings as per the assault engineer regts

The flail attachment on the Pendraken Sherman is rather basic, it is missing the motor boxes on the side of the tank, the lane marking boxes at the rear, and the chains are very simple strands. Which is a shame as flails were heavily used in NW Europe. The flail regiments had standard 51-53 on red serials.

 

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