Hobart’s 79th Armoured Division at War

Invention, Innovation and Inspiration

Richard Doherty

Date Published :
February 2012
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 pages b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781526731524
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
In stock


Hobart’s reputation as an armored warfare specialist began in the pre-war era. In 1923 he transferred from the Royal Engineers to the Royal Tank Corps and quickly established himself as one of the foremost thinkers on armored warfare. By 1938 he was GOC Mobile Division, later 7th Armored Division, in Egypt. Unable to suffer fools at all, he was relieved of his command (sacked!) in 1939, retired in 1940 and became a corporal in the Home Guard.

At Winston Churchill’s inspired behest, he was ordered to create and command 11th Armored Division. Although he trained the new division to a very high standard, he was seen as too old to lead it in action – he was 57. Instead he was told to form 79th Armored Division and design specialized armored vehicles necessary to breach the Atlantic Wall. The Division played a major part in the D-Day landings and the subsequent campaign in NW Europe. Hobart’s ‘Funnies’ included mine-clearing tanks, bridge-carrying tanks, flame throwers, swimming tanks and amphibious assault vehicles.

Brigades and units of the Division were deployed wherever they were needed by Second (British) and First (Canadian) Armies and no major operation between Normandy and the final victory took place without them present.

Percy Hobart’s skills played a significant part in the final Allied victory and the lasting tribute to that vision was the adoption by all armies of the specialized ‘funnies’ that his Division introduced to modern warfare.

This book is based on official records, published materials and personal recollections.

About The Author

Richard Doherty is recognised as Ireland’s leading military history author with 18 published works to his credit. Those in print with Pen and Sword include The Thin Green Line – The History of the RUC GC, In the Ranks of Death, Helmand Mission, British Armoured Divisions and Their Commanders, He has also worked on TV historical series including The Sons of Ulster and The Siege Chronicles and is in demand as a speaker and lecturer. He lives in County Londonderry.

More from this publisher