A Very British Problem

On 12th June 1944, the British 22nd Armoured Brigade were racing to take the town of Caen in Normandy.  At 8.30am they paused before the final push, and got out of their tanks to brew up a lovely cup of tea.  It proved to be a terrible mistake.  A German tank commander, unseen by the British, seized his chance and launched an attack.  Within 15 minutes the British had lost 14 tanks and 15 armoured vehicles and anti-tank guns.


It highlighted a very British problem – how to make a cup of tea without leaving the safety of the tank.  The solution came with the invention of the ‘boiler vessel’, essentially a square kettle plugged into the tank’s electrical system.  Now tank crews could live and fight for days at a time without having to come out from behind their armour.


The subject of armour features prominently in a famous passage of the Bible that speaks about the ‘armour of God’, armour that will enable us to withstand the temptations and struggles of this life.  Christians down the centuries have testified to its effectiveness and the generosity of God in making it freely available; and what they’ve learned is that like the British tank the ‘armour of God’ is only of any use if you stay inside it!

Share this story