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The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon GuardsD-DAY REGIMENTS

The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards

Formed in 1922 by the amalgamation of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards the 4th/7th operated Sherman DD amphibious tanks on D-Day.

The regiment was in France in 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force and escaped through Dunkirk, without its tanks. By the end of the year the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards was the senior regiment in 27th Armoured Brigade, part of 9th Armoured Division. It was equipped with Covenanter cruiser tanks.

9th Armoured Division
27th Armoured Brigade
9th Armoured Division
27th Armoured Brigade

 

Churchill inspects 4th/7th Dragoon Guards at LakenheathTank Museum photo No. 0939/A/3
Churchill inspects 4th/7th Dragoon Guards at Lakenheath.

In September 1942 27th Armoured Brigade, with its three armoured regiments was transferred to the new 79th Armoured Division and on 6 April 1943, in the cinema at Keighley in Yorkshire, the Divisional Commander, Major-General P. C. S. Hobart informed them that they would soon be training for a new kind of warfare with Duplex Drive swimming tanks.

Launching a Valentine DD tank Tank Museum photo No. 2193/D/3

Launching a Valentine DD tank.

Training began on Valentine DD tanks and was conducted at various locations around the country. This included Studland Bay, just outside Poole Harbour where six tanks sank in rough weather, with the loss of six men. On D-Day B and C Squadrons of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards would use Sherman DD tanks; A Squadron and Headquarters would have ordinary Sherman tanks and land direct onto the beach from landing craft.

Tank Museum photo No. 0176/D/5. Sherman DD in rough seas off Studland Bay, Dorset.

DD Shermans of 4th/7th Dragoon Guards (now part of 8th Armoured Brigade) landed on King Sector, Gold Beach on D-Day in support of 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

The 4th/7th Dragoon Guards are now part of the Royal Dragoon Guards; their Regimental Museum is in Tower Street, York.


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