Tankies: Tank Heroes of WWII

Series 1 - Episode 2

Radio Times
Review by:
David Crawford

After the wide-open spaces of the north African desert, Mark Urban’s story of the Fifth Royal Tank Regiment’s Second World War finds the “Filthy Fifth” struggling to cope with the close-quarter fighting among Normandy hedgerows. Archive footage of tanks being ripped open by shells and set alight like paper lanterns mixes with harrowing testimony from veterans. Urban also picks out the telling detail: RAF bombs apparently killed a third more French people by accident than Britons died during the Blitz.

About this programme

2/2. Historian and former tank commander Mark Urban concludes the story of six men from the Fifth Royal Tank Regiment during the Second World War. He relates how they fought across France after the D-Day landings in June 1944, liberated the Belgian city of Ghent and pushed on into Germany just days before the end of the conflict.

Cast and crew


Mark Urban


Graham Cooper
Series Producer
Francis Whately