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7th Armored Tour in Holland

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Just returned from an eight day tour of the Peel Marshes area near Overloon in Holland . I joined the "Second Armored in Europe's" trip recreating the 7th Armoreds route.

We drove all the vehicles on to the ferry at Harwich for the overnight trip to the Hook of Holland. The column consisted of 2 Sherman's, Halftracks, GMCs, Dodges Jeeps and Harley outriders. We would meet up with more vehicles and crews from the continent in Overloon.









I drove my Sherman a total of 103miles on the roads and forest tracks with only two minor faults,a fuel pump leak and a stud coming loose on the exhaust manifold.


The second armored group has a strict code for clothing, equipment ,vehicles and their markings. As we were retracing the 7th Armored 31st tank battalions route I had to remark my tank also change the name to "America First" which was the name of one of the tanks which was knocked out near Overloon. The other Sherman owned by Gavin Copeman was marked up as "Able Abe" another Sherman knocked out in the battles in the Peel Marshes area.










In total there were about 120 of us on the trip and we were all fed from the field kitchen which travelled with us, we lived under canvas in the woods and marsh areas where the battles took place.


I have loads of photos if there is enough interest.



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i am a bit pissed off about not hearing about this trip. i would have loved to have seen this in real life.

looked like i missed all the fun and hope to see it next time.


This trip was well documented on the reenactment forums and on 2nd Armoreds own forum. Each year they normally do a trip somewhere in europe. last year they drove from Cherbourge to StMalo in france I did not do that one but I did take the Sherman over to the Czech Republic for 10 days in 2010 for the liberation of Pilsen and Pisek celebrations.



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Friday 28th September,


All the British contingent and vehicles assembled at the Copemans farm and then drove to Harwich ferry port. My Sherman ,a Jeep and a Harley went straight to the port from our workshop to save time. We had permission to drive the vehicles including the 2 tanks onto the car ferry, it did cause a bit of interest from other travellers driving through the check points.






Saturday 29th september,


After the night crossing we docked in the Hook of Holland port where we were met by 4 lowloaders provided by the Dutch army. They moved us to Venlo where we met up with other members on the trip from Belgium,Holland and the Czech republic. We set up camp at a Military Vehicle rally organised by the Dutch MVT.







here is a link to a video of us leaving the ferry, plus other footage.





If you go onto Youtube and type in "7th on the move" there is loads of footage on there.

Edited by Jim Clark
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Sunday 30th September.


Up at 7.00 for roll call then breakfast, all the meals were provided by the 2nd Armoreds own WW2 field kitchen for the whole trip and very good it was. Feeding 120 plus men is no undertaking with 2 hot meals each day.


At 9.30 there was a talk by a local historian who told us about the fighting in that area.


11.00 there was an organised trip to the Liberty museum in Overloon, I can recommend any who has not been before to visit the museum as it is very good.

I took loads of photos of a couple of exhibits as I am restoring the same vehicles here and needed some info on missing parts.




















14.45 we had our hot meal and the broke camp at about 17.00 for a short run through the villages and woods to our camping area, on the way we were attacked by German re-enactors which was very realistic.


As we made our way to where we were camping we passed a camper van parked in the woods I think that was the first time the earth had moved for the amorous female inside as the 2 Sherman's rumbled passed, mind you the bloke was a bit hacked off having to stop his antics and move his van to another part of the woods.Makes a whole different meaning to the command "we have been ordered to pull out"




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While we were at the Liberty museum I took a couple of pictures of two Shermans, the Sherman in the first picture I am told is the one which was named "America First" which was knocked out near overloon killing all of its crew. This was the name i painted on the side of mine before going to Holland, standing by the original tank was a very sobering experience.





This M4A4 Sherman on the Dragon Wagon trailer is , I am pretty sure the same M4A4 Sherman that Will Davies bought along with the Sherman I now own. Will bought them both to make one good one and I then bought the left over scrap from him to build mine.





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Is it just me, but would the British Army lend a couple of low loaders if a group of Dutch enthusiasts popped across here with a couple of tanks & assorted soft skins?

Must've really surprised the other passengers on the ferry!

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That M4A4 is not the same one Jim, unless they have removed the applique armour.


Hi Adrian, you are probably right , having looked again at the photos of Wills Sherman I see it did have the extra armour on it. So I stand corrected. I wonder where that Sherman is now?

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Monday 1st October.



Up 7.00 breakfast at 7.30 and broke camp by 8.30


Here are few shots of the mess area with the two GMCs backed up to each other with the cookers inside.Hot coffee and tea were on tap and water for washing your mess tins.














We moved off deeper into the woods where we again met up with German re-enactors they were everywhere and the sounds of MG42s could be heard for miles, also the returning fire from Garrands,M1 Carbines.30cals etc.










We were ordered to take the Sherman up a small over grown lane and stay there until further orders. Later on in the day a field telephone was brought to us as we were then told we would be there all night.










During the afternoon two Germans attacked us but Jamie (one of my crew) shot them with his garrand. They stayed with us the rest of the afternoon. One of the Germans actually was in the army as a tank driver he asked loads about the Sherman and was interested in its controls etc.






When it went dark a jeep came around with hot food and K rations for the next day, they had a map of all the positions of the men dug in foxholes etc and fed them all.


The evening meal consisted of stew and dumplings with rice pudding and jam for afters.








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Is the dozer you pictured in the museum an Allis Chalmers? The reason I ask is at a Thrashing day I attended today there was a small military contingent including an Allis Chalmers dozer and it looks very similar, unfortunately I didn't manage to speak to the owner but I did overhear him say that it is still used occasionally.

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