by Charles More
Marcus Cunliffe and the 144th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps 1944–1945
Marcus Cunliffe was an officer of the 144th Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps when it landed in Normandy back in June 1944. His notes and diaries are kept in the George Washington University in Washington DC and it is much based on his notes that Charles More wrote this book. Mr. More’s father-in-law also was an officer in the same regiment at that time, and he too was a source for the regiment’s history. Another source for the book is Blue Flash, which is the regiment’s history written by Alan Jolly, its commanding officer
The 144th was equipped with Sherman tanks when it landed on Gold Beach at D+8 (June 14th) and the book is about their progress through Europe and various operations, until the Germans surrendered in 1945, at which time the 144th was all the way up in northern Germany.
The absolute most interesting aspect of this book is the eye witness reports, and OPINIONS, written about not only the fighting activity, but about the day to day life in the regiment. It tells us about the places they went, the (many) times they found themselves outside of any action, somewhere back, regrouping or training. Even though Charles More had to rely on notes from many decades ago, it still provides the feeling of actually following the tanks from close by.
It also provides a very good look into the problems the tankers faced, from kicked up dust and nightly operations without a clue where they were, to enemy fire, to finding fuel, or finding a place to stay the night.
Of particular interest to me, a Dutchman, is the account of their exploits in The Netherlands, and the situation of the civilians that Cunliffe describes. Very interesting reading indeed.
The book comes with plenty of photos, a fair number of maps, and a great list of resources at the back ! Recommended for all tank enthusiasts and WW2 researchers.
You can purchase the book directly from the publisher, just click here.
By Charles More
Published: 13th May 2019