Overlord’s Blog has posted a new article about the 4th Coldstreams Guards armored battalion during the campaign in Western Europe in WW2. In particular, the article looks at “Cuckoo”, a captured German Panther tank used by the unit for a time.
She was named Cuckoo. All the vehicles of the command group in the Coldstreams were named after birds, for example the battalion commander’s tank was called “Eagle”, a armoured command vehicle was “Vulture”, and they had scout cars named “Pigeon”, “Wren” and “Owlet”, to name but a few. Keeping with this ornithological theme “Cuckoo” seemed to fit a German tank in a British unit.
Cuckoo’s wartime exploits are difficult to find, she first gets a mention in the reduction of the Geijsteren, a castle in Holland which was surrounded by a moat, flood water and mud, with its bridge blown and the causeway leading to it covered by German guns. The British after seeing the results of a similar attack decided it would be easier to just reduce it with fire-power, and set about this on the 27th of November. Here Cuckoo’s long gun is singled out for praise as it was able to smash shells with unerring accuracy through windows and loopholes. Despite the Coldstreams shooting at it nothing much was achieved, so on the 28th the Allies prepared for a shooting party.