The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
A Sherman tank is lifted at Slapton Sands and serves as a reminder of the Normandy landings exercise.
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Ken Small brings the true story of Exercise Tiger to public attention by salvaging a Sherman Tank. The operation was to prepare for the imminent invasion of Nazi occupied France in Normandy and Slapton Beach was selected for its similarity to Utah Beach where the Americans eventually landed. Allied Forces practice assaults with live ammunition at Slapton Sands in April 1944 culminated in friendly fire incidents with substantial loss of life.
The day after German E-boats attacked a Royal Navy convoy involved in the exercise. In all seven hundred and forty-nine servicemen were killed. The information about the operation remained classified. Changes made for D-Day in June 1944 included the standardisation of radio frequencies, better life vest training for landing troops (because many had drowned under the weight of their packs) and improved plans for picking up floating survivors. Memorials to the personnel who died in Operation Tiger and to the three thousand local residents who were evacuated can be found in the village. Ken Small wrote a book about his thirty years of research about the tank and Exercise Tiger entitled The Forgotten Dead.