Villers Bocage

This action, in which 7th Armoured Division and 8th Armoured Brigade Group, with 49th and 50th Divisions, were involved, included the operations to secure Villers Bocage, beginning with the thrust to Audrieu and St Pierre by 8th Armoured Brigade Group; and the subsequent operations around Tilly sur Seulles with the final withdrawal of 7th Armoured Division.

The Honour has been emblazoned the 8th Hussars.

Mont Pincon

VIII, XII and XXX Corps took part in this Battle. It covered the operations leading up to the capture of Mont Pincon, following the American break-out in the west.

The Honour has been awarded to the 8th Hussars.

Dives Crossing

This Engagement involved the river crossing, in face of opposition, by the 6th Airborne Division west of Dozule, and by the 49th division about Mezidon, and included 51st Division’s operations at Ecajeul and St Maclou.

The Honour has been awarded to the 8th Hussars.


No contrast could have been greater than between the open deserts they had so recently left and the close ‘bocage’ country in which the Regiment now found itself. From the air, it looked like continuous woodland but it was, in reality, small fields surrounded by high-backed hedges of pollard-ed trees, orchards and a network of narrow tracks so overhung with hedgerow growth that they were almost tunnels.

To these natural defences, the Germans had added two weapons of their own, the ‘Tiger’ and ‘Panther’ tanks, both heavier armed and more heavily armoured than our ‘Shermans’ and ‘Cromwells’ and which, though less manoeuvrable, were well-suited for the defensive fighting ahead.

7th Armoured Division’s push to Villers Bocage in mid-June had left a large bulge in the line due to the slow progress of their flanks and thus they were subjected to repeated, through unsuccessful, heavy enemy counter-attacks.

The flanking divisions couldn’t stabilise the line so the Division had to withdraw, with the Regiment as the rearguard and ‘B’ Squadron literally the last out of the pocket.

For a desperate fortnight at the beginning of August, the Regiment was involved in ‘Operation Bluecoat’ an attempt to remove or bypass the Germans dug in on Mont Pincon and link up with the American breakout of the Cherbourg Peninsula.

Between 17-20 August, the Regiment spearheaded their Division’s crossings of the River Dives and River Vie, reinforcing the bridgehead.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. North West Europe 1944-45 timeline
  3. M3 Stuart ‘Honey’ tank
  4. M24 Chaffee tank
  5. Sherman Firefly tank
  6. Cromwell tank
  7. A30 Challenger tank