April 25, 2015

M22 Locust in Operation Varsity

The M22 Locust was an airborne light tank. It weighted 7.4 tn and was armed with a 37mm gun. The M22 was used by the 6th Airborne Division during Operation Varsity. Operation Varsity was launched on March 24, 1945. Its purpose was to assist Montgomery’s crossing of the Rhine. The British 6th Airborne Division and the U.S. 17th Airborne Division were parachuted on the eastern bank of the Rhine near the village of Hamminkeln and the town of Wesel. The operation was successful and the Rhine was crossed two days later. Operation Varsity was the last large-scale airborne operation of World War II.

M22 Locust leaving a Hamilcar glider
1. An M22 Locust leaving a Hamilcar glider.


M22 Locust in action
2. M22 Locust in action during Operation Varsity.

Operation Varsity
3. Map of the planned drop zones for Operation Varsity.

British airborne troops with a 6-pdr anti-tank gun
4. British airborne troops with a 6-pdr anti-tank gun in Hamminkeln on March 25, 1945.

Airborne troops cross over the Rhine in a captured Kubelwagen
5. After the successful conclusion of the Operation airborne troops cross back
over the Rhine in a captured Kubelwagen car.


Operation Varsity


Photos attribution
1. www.wwiivehicles.com, via Wikimedia Commons
2. http://www.combatreform.com/airbornewarfare.htm, via Wikimedia Commons
3. Gwernol (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
4. Christie (Sgt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, via Wikimedia Commons
5. Hardy, Bert, No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, via Wikimedia Commons