My name is Stuart Burgess and I am employed by Norfolk Museums Service. Up until recently I was employed on the Somerleyton Estate as Country Park Manager at Fritton Lake. It was during this time that I learnt about the Lake's secret war time role, and I began researching it for my own interest, and as part of interpretative displays. I invested a significant amount of my own time on this research, and my background in Landscape Archaeology and Documentary Research helped considerably.
The more I found out, the more I wanted to learn. In particular I noted that there was a strong perception that the Duplex Drive tanks all sunk on D Day and were not of any value on the beaches. Following many months of intense research and investigation I learn that these facts were not entirely accurate. I learnt that these special tanks made significant contributions during the first wave of assault on June 6th 1944.
The unfortunate tragedy of the DDs on Omaha seem to taint the whole story of the DDs involvement on DDay. Yet, whilst many tanks sunk, a larger percentage of their crews survived, partly due to thier Amphibious Tank Escape Apparatus.
I have spent a considerable amount of time gathering information, interviewing veterans, and investigating the sites that these unique tanks were assocaited with. I have learnt about their development, the trials, and above all the bravery of the men who were involved in both the training and the assaults.
As a result of my research, I have tried to summarise this in these short pages, and I intend to add to these during the course of 2014.
However my work does not stop there: I am in the middle of preparing the research into book form, covering the whole story of the Duplex Drive Tanks, from craddle to grave, with the intention to give the recognition both the Tanks and the Men deserve.
Should you wish to contact me, please do so via this email link: Send Mail I am very open to any comments, ideas or views any readers have, and I will do my best to respond accordingly to them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have assisted me over the last few years, and special thanks to my wife and family for their support and patience during the last year or more whilst I have been writing everything up. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Sam Ablott from the BSHG who greatly asssited me with my HTML and CSS.
If you would be intersted in my forth-coming book about the history and development of the Duplex Drive Tanks please contact me, and I will advise when this is likely ready for publication.