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M19 Tank Transporter carrying a Churchill tank to the Rhine
M19 Tank Transporter carrying a Churchill tank to the Rhine

British logistics supported the Anglo-Canadian forces in the Western Allied invasion of Germany, the final campaign of the Second World War in Europe. By this time, the 21st Army Group was highly experienced, professional and proficient. Mechanisation and materiel were used to maximum effect to conserve manpower. The First Canadian Army was reunited by the return of divisions from Italy. The army roadheads were mainly supplied by rail; fuel was brought by tankers and the Operation Pluto pipeline. Thousands of guns and millions of rounds of ammunition were used in Operation Veritable, the advance to the Rhine; and Operation Plunder, the Rhine crossing, which also featured an airborne operation. Engineers soon had bridges in operation. During April 1945, the 21st Army Group advanced across northern Germany to reach the Elbe and then the Baltic Sea. On 4 May, Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery took the surrender of the German forces in front of the 21st Army Group. (Full article...)

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Memorial bust of Quách Thị Trang
Memorial bust of Quách Thị Trang

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Atlantic puffin

The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) is a species of seabird in the auk family and is the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean. It has a black crown and back, pale grey cheek patches and white underparts and its broad, boldly marked red and black beak and orange legs contrast with its otherwise sombre plumage. The Atlantic puffin spends the autumn and winter at sea, mainly in the North Atlantic, and returns to land at the start of the breeding season in late spring. Its breeding range includes the coasts of north west Europe, the Arctic fringes and eastern North America. It nests in clifftop colonies, each pair of birds choosing or digging a burrow in which a single white egg is laid. Incubation takes about six weeks and the chicks are fully fledged a similar time later. They then make their way at night to the sea, not returning to land for several years. Colonies are mostly on islands where there are no terrestrial predators, but both adult birds and newly fledged young are at risk of attacks from the air by gulls and skuas. The Atlantic puffin's striking appearance, large colourful bill, waddling gait and appealing behaviour have given rise to nicknames such as "clown of the sea" and "sea parrot". This Atlantic puffin was photographed on the northern coast of Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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