, 14 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
#DDay75: the role of the Royal Engineers (RE) on D-Day & in the #Normandy campaign is another aspect of the #WW2 British & Commonwealth story that deserves more focus. On most beaches the RE were among the first to land, clearing the beaches making the assault possible. 1/14
#DDay75: Assault Engineers hit the beaches in LCAs & cleared smaller obstacles, also supported by Assault Squadrons RE equipped with Churchill Tank Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) designed to destroy obstacles & bunkers with their Petard Mortar. 2/14
#DDay75: the Churchill AVRE were equipped with fascines to fill in bomb craters or anti-tank ditches. Others had drop-bridges which could then be used to get over the sea wall. This initial aspect of bridging on D-Day would become of the key roles of RE in 1944-45. 3/14
#DDay75: A lesser-known piece of RE equipment is the use of Armoured Bulldozers. Many of these went into action at H-Hour on D-Day to assist in obstacle clearance. The driver was protected by only rudimentary armour around the cab. 4/14
#DDay75: post-D-Day the most immediate Engineering task was to construct the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches. RE were the key element in this but it involved many from many units & across the services. 5/14
#DDay75: as the British & Commonwealth forces moved inland equipment like the Churchill AVRE designed just for D-Day proved useful in destroying enemy strongpoints & demolishing the thick walls of Normandy buildings being used as defence structures. They became a key asset. 6/14
#DDay75: One of the main tasks of the Royal Engineers post-D-Day was mine clearance. Mines were used extensively by the Germans. Here Sappers are using mine detectors near a knocked-out Panther tank. Often these were booby-trapped. 7/14
#DDay75: mine clearance by Royal Engineer units was a slow, careful & laborious task but essential as the variety of mines the Germans used were capable of causing heavy losses among men & equipment. 8/14
#DDay75: the Royal Engineers employed dogs to search for certain mines which contained few metal parts meaning they were very difficult to find using conventional methods & equipment. This was particularly true of Schu Mines or Glass Mines. 9/14
#DDay75: in this image one of the Royal Engineers dog teams shows the type of mines they were finding: from the large Teller Mines, to S-Mines ('bouncing betty') to the small wooden Schu Mines. 10/14
#DDay75: as the campaign moved on, the Royal Engineers were involved in the repair of & reconstruction of infrastructure to allow the Allied forces to move forward. From the creation of the Bayeux ring-road to the repair of railways. 11/14
#DDay75: However, from start to finish the role of the Royal Engineers in bridging work was one of the most important aspects of the campaign. In this the Bailey Bridge was supreme. Designed by Rotherham born Donald Coleman Bailey they could be assembled quickly. 12/14
#DDay75: the Bailey Bridge was used extensively in Normandy & later in the NW Europe campaign. They were capable of carrying heavy loads & no river was too wide for them to cross. A war-winning piece of equipment. 13/14
#DDay75: this has been only a brief overview of the Royal Engineers on D-Day & in Normandy but hopefully sheds some light on their work. A visit to the @REMuseum is recommended. The graves of RE men in the @CWGC cemeteries shows how dangerous their work was. Ubique. 14/14
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Paul Reed
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!