Just How Funny Were Hobart’s Funnies?

British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with Deep Wading Devices – 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment, Calgary Regiment, Dieppe, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

As part of the run-up to the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy, General Percy Hobart was tasked with creating an unusual array of engineering oddities that could breach the German obstacles that lay in the way of a successful landing. Through trial and error, he came up with a startling array of heavily modified tanks that were designed, among other things, to clear mines, breach obstacles, and wade ashore to provide fire support.

This spring, french manufacturer, Quarter Kit, will pay homage to many of the concoctions he came up with by offering several engineering vehicles derived from the Churchill tank. First off is a British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with a Deep Wading Device (MF48605) that was employed by the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment, Calgary Regiment, at Dieppe, in 1942, a dress rehearsal of sorts prior to the larger D-Day landings in 1944.

British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with AVRE Mat Layer (Carpet-layer) with Bobbin – 79th Armoured Division, Gold Beach, Normandy, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Also expected is a British Churchill Mk. III AVRE Tank with 290mm Howitzer used by the highly decorated 79th Armoured Division, at Juno Beach, Normandy, during 1944 (MF48608), which was used to ferry specially trained engineers to the beaches so they could help clear obstacles.

British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with AVRE Fascine Carrier – 79th Armoured Division, Gold Beach, Normandy, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

The 79th also used the British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with AVRE Mat Layer (Carpet-layer) with Bobbin (MF48606) as a means of traversing areas of the beach deemed to unstable for ordinary transport.

British Churchill Mk. III Assault Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) Tank with 290mm Howitzer – 79th Armoured Division, Juno Beach, Normandy, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Lastly, the 79th also brought along a British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank with AVRE Fascine Carrier (MF48607) which could drive up to a ravine then deposit a bundle of fascine in its yaw that would effectively fill in the open space. Look for all four 1:48 scale curiosities to become available in time for the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.  We will post actual vehicles for each replica once they become available.

 
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