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Percy Hobart (1885 – 1957)

Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart, often referred to as “Hobo,” was a British military officer known for his innovative tactics and contributions to armored warfare during World War II. He was born on June 14, 1885, and passed away on February 19, 1957.

Hobart’s influence was most prominent during World War II, where he played a significant role in the development and implementation of specialized armored vehicles and tactics that greatly impacted Allied successes. He was a pioneer in the use of armored formations and unconventional equipment, which earned him recognition for his creativity and strategic vision.

Hobart’s most notable achievement was the formation and leadership of the 79th Armoured Division, also known as the “Hobart’s Funnies.” This division was specifically equipped with a variety of specialized vehicles designed for specific tasks, such as the Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers), the Crocodile flamethrower tank, and the “funnies” for breaching obstacles like the “Bobbin” for creating temporary roadways over soft terrain.

His division played a crucial role in the success of various Allied operations, including the Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944, where Hobart’s specialized vehicles were instrumental in overcoming the challenging terrain and fortifications.

Hobart’s innovative tactics and specialized equipment significantly contributed to the success of Allied operations in Europe. He was a visionary in understanding the importance of adapting technology and tactics to meet the challenges of modern warfare, leaving a lasting impact on armored warfare strategies.