New pictures show clearest view yet of military tank submerged in d-day training tragedy in front of king
These stunning new pictures show the clearest view yet of military tanks sunk in a D-Day training tragedy in front of the king.
The original DD Valentine Tanks sunk in waters at Studland Bay, Dorset, in 1944 as part of pre-D-Day training exercise Operation Smash, held in front of Winston Churchill, King George V, Acting Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forcers General Dwight Eisenhower.
But the seven tanks were sunk during the rehearsal after encountering rough seas, with an estimated six soldiers’ lives also tragically lost.
Since then, no one has been able to take clear images of the 74-year-old tanks, now lying at the bottom of the seabed 213 foot underwater at Dorset Bay, until underwater photographer Paul Pettitt rediscovered the wreckage this summer.
It is hoped his new images could now be used to piece together the mystery of exactly why the tanks sunk.
Businessman Paul, 52, Hertfordshire, said: “Researchers from the Valentine Tank 75 group are now piecing together the story of how the tanks were sunk, and why they’re here.
“It is believed the waves were too high and the solaces were unable to steer them in the right direction.
“Eventually, tanks were overcome and became filled with water – resulting in the sinking of these almighty beasts.”
Paul’s images show the weaponry used on the tank, such as the long gun used to fire live ammunition at long range.
He added: “When I first saw the majestic machinery, I thought of the young men who were killed in these things.
“I also thought about how that tragedy has had some positive outcome as they have turned into very healthy reefs.
“This is still an ongoing project that will hopefully produce more information and hopefully fill in the missing pieces that is required.
“A lot of locals in Dorset do not know that these exist, let alone the rest of the country!”