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ID numberF04598
Collection typeFilm
TitleTanks and gun for Australian War Memorial DPR/TV/1583
Measurement3 min 57 sec
DownloadDownload video 13.88 MB
Object type
  • Actuality footage
  • Television news footage
Place madeAustralia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
Date made8 November 1973
DescriptionA British tank and an American tank, of types crewed by Australians during WW2 - and an Australian manufactured anti-aircraft gun, will be officially handed to the Australian War Memorial on Saturday (November 10 1973). The American tank, a General Stuart, was found rusting at Buna in Papua New Guinea. The British tank, a Matilda, was retrieved from a firing range at Singleton. The anti-aircraft gun, a 40 millimetre Bofors, was obtained from ordnance stocks. The Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sir Mervyn Brogan, will officially hand over the presentations to Lieutenant General Sir Edmund Herring, who is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the War Memorial. The Director of Armour, Colonel W. J. Gordon, and Colonel R. J. Gardner, representing the Director of Artillery, from Army Headquarters, will be present, with representatives of armoured and artillery associations. One man present for whom the General Stuart tank will have vivid memories will be Mr Jack Lattimore, who lost a leg when a Japanese gun scored on his tank at Buna. The tank Mr Latimore commanded then has since gone to the United States as an exhibit at the Admiral Nimmitz Centre. Another ex "tankie" who will be present on Saturday is Mr Norman Bent. The presentation Matilda tank has been named "Bull Terrier", after the Matilda commanded by Mr Bent when with the 1st Armoured Regiment (AIF). Mr Don McFarlane, who was Mr Bent's gunner-operator in the original "Bull Terrier", will also be present. The Matilda was British designed, and 2,987 were built between 1939 and 1943. Australia acquired 450, which were fought by the 1st Australian Army Tank Battalion, at Sattelberg, in New Guinea; the 2nd/4th Australian Armoured Regiment, at Bougainville and Wewak; the 2nd/9th Australian Armoured Regiment at Tarakan, Brunei Bay and Labuan; and the 1st Armoured Regiment (AIF) at Balikpapan. The General Stuart was designed at the United States Rock Island Arsenal and 13,859 were built between 1941 and 1943. Australia acquired 400, and they saw service in Syria with the 6th and 7th Divisional Cavalry Regiments AIF. In December 1942 Stuarts of the 2nd/6th Armoured Regiment were moved to Buna to support Australian infantry. Although the environment was the complete antithesis to that for which the Stuart had been specifically designed, the Australian crews fought the tanks with skill and courage and prevented many Australian casualties. They established techniques still employed during infantry/armour operations in close country. The Bofors anti-aircraft gun was Swedish designed and almost all combatants in the European theatre used it during WW2. Australian anti-aircraft gunners used British made Bofors in the Western Desert. Manufacture of the guns was commenced in Australia in 1941 at the Government Ordnance Factory at Maribyrnong, Vic, and 290 were produced. The presentation gun was manufactured in 1943, and issued to the 2nd/1st Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment, which used it in action in Borneo in 1945.

Please note: The film and sound collections of the Australian War Memorial includes items which may contain: historically or culturally sensitive images and terms, confronting depictions of the consequences of warfare, and/or, human suffering or death. This material does not reflect the viewpoint of the Memorial, but rather is representative of the social attitudes and circumstances of the period or place in which it was created and also the reality and human cost of warfare.

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