Dorset

Exhibition marks 75 years since Valentine tanks sank

One of the sunken Valentine Tanks in Studland Bay Image copyright Swanage Boat Charters
Image caption According to a diary that documented Exercise Smash the tanks sank during high winds

An exhibition has been organised to mark the 75th anniversary of "floating" tanks sinking during D-Day training.

It is believed seven Valentine tanks sank in Studland Bay off the Dorset coast during Exercise Smash in April 1944, killing six men.

Isle of Purbeck Sub-Aqua Club's (IPSAC) Valentine 75 project has been mapping and recording the history of the tanks.

The exhibition put on by the club and Bournemouth University aims to tell the story of the tragedy.

The last remaining floating tank has also been spotted on Studland beach as part of the commemorations, and posters of the tanks have been placed around the area.

The project began in 2017, with divers surveying the condition of the tanks.

The exhibition includes photographs and video of their findings.

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Media captionDivers are mapping the history of the Valentine tanks

Six weeks before D-Day, troops gathered in Studland to rehearse the Normandy landings operation of World War Two - including the testing of the amphibious Valentine tanks.

Although it is thought seven tanks lie in Studland Bay, only six are mentioned in a diary that documented the exercise.

Charles Robert Gould, Victor Hartley, Albert Victor Kirby, Arthur Jackson Park, Earnest Granville Petty and Victor Noel Townson, of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, lost their lives.

The Studland Submerged exhibition at the Discovery Centre continues until Friday.

Image copyright Tank Museum
Image caption Valentine tanks had canvas screens around them
Image copyright Valentine 75 Project / Paul Pettit
Image caption Posters of the tanks have been placed around the beach

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