Hamilcar Glider diorama added to the Heritage Centre collection

Normandy Arrival – 2115 hrs on 6th June 1944A General Aircraft GAL.49 Hamilcar offloads a Mk. VII Tetrarch light tank of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment, while Ox & Bucks Light Infantry and Parachute Regiment troops land on the Ranville drop and landing zones (DZ-N & LZ-N), on D-Day. The crew of a Brigade HQ Universal Carrier, landed by another Hamilcar, liaise with the commander and his radio operator, for orders.The Hamilcar was the largest British military glider produced during the Second World War (110 ft wingspan), designed to carry up to 7 tons of heavy cargo, such as the Tetrarch light tank or two Universal (Bren Gun) Carriers.They were first used in action in the Normandy invasion (supporting Operations Tonga and Mallard), when approximately thirty were used to carry 17-pounder anti-tank guns, transport vehicles and Tetrarch light tanks into Normandy, in support of British airborne forces; and again in September 1944, in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem). During the Rhine crossing in March 1945 (Operation Varsity), Hamilcars carried M22 Locust light tanks. A total of 344 Hamilcars had been built when production ended in 1946. This 1.72nd scale model was an old Sanger Hamilcar vac-form kit, with multiple scratch built additions, simulating the glider internal structures and cockpit, and a complete rebuild of the inaccurate undercarriage supplied. The Extra-Tech Tetrarch and IBG models Universal Carrier and Airfix Paratroopers completed the diorama.

 

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