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Shermans in Normandy

David Holbrook and D-Day

This official British photograph shows a Sherman tank similar to the one operated by Holbrook on D-Day, and was taken in the early weeks of the Normandy campaign. Although in general a successful design, like other Allied tanks it was out-gunned by the largest of its German opponents; Holbrook records in Flesh wounds that the Shermans’ propensity to burn when hit by enemy shells led German troops to refer to them as ‘Tommy-cookers’.

A colourised version of this image appeared on the front cover of the issue of The war illustrated for 7 July 1944. The new series of The war illustrated began publication on 16 September 1939, less than two weeks after Britain entered the Second World War, and provided a weekly, and later – as paper stocks ran short – fortnightly bulletin of the progress of the conflict and its aftermath until April 1947.