75 Harry Edward Action

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ktm, May 24, 2008.

  1. ktm Senior Member

    The action mentioned below took place during Alamein battle in Africa in 1942. No Harry Edward was mentioned before.
    I hope that anyone can guess what "75 Harry Edward Action"means in the context as follows:
    The party was going well when a familiar whistle over my head caused me to scan the ridge to our right, where I could see one of the Boche tank chassis sporting one of their now long-barrelled 75s. As I watched, I saw the gun flash and recoil, and almost immediately came the whistle of the shell, this time much closer. I shot orders into the mike, and the gunner, pushing the tin of jam between his knees, swung the turret on to the enemy.
    '75 Harry Edward Action', and the first shell went on its way to burst in front of the Hun.
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    Sherman Tanks had 75mm shells. Harry Edward is army alphabet slang for High Explosive, I suspect. The tank commander is telling his gunner to fire the gun. Here's something on the Sherman tank; Montgomery was the British general in the battle, of course:

    In fact, Montgomery was waiting for the arrival of something that soldiers in the desert were only allowed to refer to as ‘swallows’. In fact, they were Sherman tanks - 300 of them to assist the Allies. Their 75 mm gun shot a 6lb shell that could penetrate a Panzer at 2000 metres. The 300 ‘Monty’ had were invaluable.

    This is just my best guess, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't right.

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