Valentine Tank Display at Knoll Beach

Event for the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

Marking Studland’s part in the preparation for the D-Day Landings

 

Exercise Smash

Eighty years ago, in WWII, large parts of Studland were taken over by the Ministry of Defence. Studland, identified as a possible invasion site and chosen because of its similarity to the beaches of Normandy, was used for Exercise Smash. On April 4th, 1944, around 10,000 men were involved in this live fire exercise. This included testing the amphibious Valentine Duplex Drive tank where tragically six men would lose their lives and seven of the tanks were lost to the sea. The lessons learned at Studland would directly impact the events on D-Day. The National Trust Studland  will be  commemorating this most important moment in history. Join them between 3rd-5th April and learn about Studland’s involvement in WWII and the tanks as they were then and now.

Tank Displays at Knoll Beach – 4th and 5th April 

As part of the 80th Anniversary of Exercise Smash, the huge dress rehearsal for D-Day which took place at Studland Bay in 1944, there will be a display of the last remaining duplex-drive Valentine tank.

The tank displays will be on Knoll Beach in the afternoon of Thursday 4th and throughout the day on Friday 5th. Due to the age of the tank and potential maintenance required, we are unable to specify the timings of the displays. You will be able to find out more from the Knoll Beach office on the day. The exhibition at Studland village hall is led by the Isle of Purbeck Sub Aqua Club who have frequently dived and surveyed the sights of the tanks in Studland Bay. There will be displays from National Trust and the owner of the visiting tank including original artefacts and ordnance and a series of talks on the morning of Friday 5th April.

Schedule of all events taking place during the commemoration include:

 

Wednesday 3rd April

Exhibition at Studland village hall: 10.30am – 3pm. The exhibition will consist of photographs, pathe reels, physical ordnance found and apparatus from the tanks. There will be someone from the Sub Aqua club and a NT member present to answer questions. 

Guided WW2 walks 2pm – 4pm  WW2 at Studland – guided walk. £5 a ticket, booking through NT website. – Walks by Pam White a local historian who will take attendees around Studland on a two hour guided walk, pointing out the remnants of war and discussing what we know about Studland during WW2

Thursday 4th April

Tank Display 12.30pm – 4pm. Valentine tank at Knoll Beach car park and beach patrols.

Exhibition at Studland village hall: 10.30am – 3pm. The exhibition will consist of photographs, pathe reels, physical ordnance found and apparatus from the tanks. There will be someone from the Sub Aqua club and a NT member present to answer questions. 

Guided WW2 walks 2pm – 4pm  WW2 at Studland – guided walk. £5 a ticket, booking through NT website. – Walks by Pam White a local historian who will take attendees around Studland on a two hour guided walk, pointing out the remnants of war and discussing what we know about Studland during WW2

Friday 5th April

Tank Display 12.30pm – 3pm. Valentine tank at Knoll Beach car park and beach patrols.

Talk at Studland village hall 10am – 11.30 am. Talk by Major Graeme Green about the regiment and Exercise Smash. John – owner of the Valentines Tank talking about the restoration of the tank. Nick Reed – from local Sub Aqua club talking about diving the sites and the wreckage

Exhibition at Studland village hall: 12.30pm – 3pm. The exhibition will consist of photographs, pathe reels, physical ordnance found and apparatus from the tanks. There will be someone from the Sub Aqua club and a NT member present to answer questions. 

For more up-to-date details check out the event on Facebook. 

Read more about Studland Bay and Beach 

Note: This event listing is a guide only. For up to date information and or changes to the event please check with the organiser or venue.

Start

10:00 AM
April 5, 2024

End

3:00 PM

Organiser

Location

Studland
Studland Beach, near Purbeck, Dorset
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