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Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineer) tank on display in Land Warfare at IWM Duxford

Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums

The Churchill AVRE was one of the so-called 'funnies' designed by Major General Sir Percy Hobart specifically for use on the D-Day beaches to break through the German fortified defences. The AVRE was the most successful 'funny' type. Others included the the amphibious Duplex Drive (DD) tank, the ‘Crocodile’ flamethrowing tank and the ‘Crab’ minesweeping tank.

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  • Title: Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineer) tank on display in Land Warfare at IWM Duxford
  • Historical description: Service history unknown. The Churchill AVRE was one of the so-called 'funnies' designed by Percy Hobart specifically for use on the D-Day beaches to break through the German fortified defences. The AVRE was the most successful 'funny' type and AVRE vehicles remain in service with the British Army today. Even though the Imperial War Museum acquired title to this vehicle in 1986, it did not arrive on museum premises until 2000. Initially recovered from Salisbury Plain, where it had been used as a range target, it was loaned to 26 Armoured Engineer Regiment, 3rd Armoured Division as a memorial. The formation's No. 6 Armoured Workshops based at Iserlohn, Germany repainted the vehicle as T68024/B 'Bulldog'. In 1987 the vehicle was dispatched to Hermanville, Normandy where it was positioned as a memorial to 3rd Division, commemorating their landing on Sword Beach on D-Day. It was painted to represent a tank of 77 Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers who landed with 3rd Division. It was repainted in situ by 6 (HQ) Squadron, 22 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers in 1998. The loan was cancelled in 2000 ( a Centaur tank taking its place ) and the AVRE returned to Duxford for display in the Imperial War Museum Normandy exhibition.
  • External link: View on Imperial War Museums' website

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