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  • Writer's pictureRomain Bréget

Then and Now Normandy: Lingèvres and Sergeant Harris

The Then and Now picture below was taken in Lingèvres, a small village south of Bayeux. On June 14th, 1944, it was scene of one of the most impressive feat of arms from the crew of a British Sherman Firefly tank.


Then and Now of Lingèvres, after the destruction of German tanks by Sergeant Harris
Then and Now of Lingèvres, after the destruction of German tanks by Sergeant Harris

On June 14th, the British were launching an attack to capture the village of Lingèvres. The men of the Durham Light Infantry were pushing toward their objective supported by the tanks of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards. Amongst the tanks joining the attack was the one of Sergeant Wilfred Harris. His tank moved in position inside the village after it was clear by the Durham Light Infantry, after many casualties. Harris tank took position on the east, covering the road toward Tilly-sur-Seulles. Immediately, several German Panther tanks showed up. Harris ordered his gunner, Ian MacKillop, to fire. The first Panther burst into flames, while a second shell damaged the second Panther, later destroyed by the infantry.


Later that day, after Harris retreated toward the west side of the village, three more Panther tanks charged the western entrance of the village. Harris was in a perfect position to hit them on their flank. The first Panther was hit by a shell in the engine and started to burned. The second one was hit by another shell in the steering while the third one was hit on the rear. In a matter of a couple of minutes, three Panther tanks laid destroyed on the western entrance of Lingèvres, bringing the total of German tank destroyed or disabled by Harris and its crew to five.....for five shells fired ! Discover the story of Lingèvres and the monuments to this amazing story by booking a British Battle of Normandy Tour: https://www.french-battlefields.com/battle-of-normandy-tours

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