Airborne Armour

Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938–50

Keith Flint

Despite all the works on airborne forces published since 1945, the full story of Britain's 'airborne armour' has remained untold until now. The story is in two parts - the project to fly tanks onto the battlefield to support airborne forces, and the history of the unit that operated those tanks - the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment.
Publication date:
August 2010
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
35 b/w photos & illustrations, 7 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781906033804

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
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£25.00
eBook (ePub)
ISBN : 9781908916051

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£3.99
eBook (PDF)
ISBN : 9781908916051

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Overview
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• An original account of the story of the British airborne force's ‘forgotten regiment'

Despite all the works on airborne forces published since 1945, the full story of Britain's 'airborne armour' has remained untold until now. The story is in two parts - the project to fly tanks onto the battlefield to support airborne forces, and the history of the unit that operated those tanks - the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment.

The book is the result of considerable original research and contact with surviving members of 6th AARR. It contains the full development background of airborne tanks, the British Tetrarch and American Locust, and also that of the Hamilcar glider. It examines rival or complimentary projects, and analyses the extent to which the British airborne armour project was a success.

The history of 6th AARR is traced back to the Special Service Squadrons of the RAC which pioneered armoured amphibious assault and saw action in 1942's invasion of Madagascar. One of these became the Airborne Light Tank Squadron, which grew into the Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment. This unit flew 20 Tetrarch tanks into battle on the evening of D-Day in the first ever assault landing of tanks from the air, and did the same 10 months later when 8 Locust tanks were landed as part of the Rhine crossing operation.

6th AARR also had a proud history in ground combat in Normandy, the Ardennes, and Germany, often forming the spearhead for the advance of 6th Airborne Division. The unit has a fair claim to be the 'forgotten regiment' of British airborne forces, a fate that this book aims to put right.

About the Author

Born in 1957, Keith Flint is a self-professed military history enthusiast and wargamer. He works as an air traffic controller and is married with three children.