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Royal East Kent BuffsRoyal East Kent Regiment 7th Battalion - The Buffs

The Buffs, so-called because of the colour of the trim of their redcoats (when they were known as the Third Regiment of Foot), otherwise the Royal East Kent Regiment, was one of many infantry regiments which had one or more battalions converted to tanks in 1941 and in this case it was their 7th Battalion. In this new guise they would be known as 141 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps although everyone still referred to them as The Buffs.

Like many of the converted regiments 141 RAC was trained on infantry tanks, perhaps on the grounds that, as infantry they would have more sympathy with the foot soldiers. As a Churchill tank regiment in 31st Army Tank Brigade they were selected as the first to convert to operate Crocodile flamethrowers in February 1944.

Tank Museum photo No. 5485/E/6
Tank Museum photo No. 5485/E/6

Two tank troops from the regiment landed on D-Day and saw some action as gun tanks but they were not called upon to act as flamethrowers until the following day. Later in the year the Crocodile regiments were absorbed into 79th Armoured Division and 141 RAC distinguished itself supporting American troops in the attack on Brest.

The regiment was disbanded in November 1945. The Royal East Kent Regimental Museum is in Canterbury but the Tank Museum contains material relating to 141 RAC.

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