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Jun 27 09 11:08 AM
Jun 27 09 11:50 AM
Mark, no StuG IVs with the Pz.Jag.Abt. I'm afraid.
All research suggest the abteilung had 12 Marders (those 3x76,2mm and 9x75mm). The 42 StuG IV were all intended for SS-Pz.Abt.17 I'll have to look up the
exact KStN though. Apparently these were supposed to be commanded by three Befehlspanzer, but it was not until 12 August that those arrived (Befehlswagen
The location of the MarderIIIH is something I'd really like to know myself, but this far there's little to go by. Wherever those collar patches came
from, at least some crew members of this vehicle did not get away:
As for the uniforms, it was quite common that members from the same tank unit wore different uniforms. Even within a crew differences were quite common.
Here's an example from an SS heavy tank battalion:
For those who are interested some background to the StuG IV: http://missinglinks2.tripod.com/stugiv.pdf
Jun 27 09 4:18 PM
Jun 28 09 2:01 AM
Jun 28 09 2:32 AM
Jun 28 09 5:13 AM
Jul 12 09 3:38 PM
Jul 12 09 4:48 PM
Jul 13 09 10:52 AM
Nov 17 09 9:25 AM
If assertions about this being from the Pz Jager Bn of the 17th SS are correct, does anyone know where
the vehicle was KO'd? The collar corners cut from the black wraparound tunic of Lt Siegrfried Held
(see 1st TT Souvenirs page) were quite possibly retrieved from his remains in this vehicle. I'd really
like to know where he met his Waterloo. No vehicles of this type appear in the photos of KO'd vehicles
taken at the la Fourchette road junction (D971 and Baupte Rd), so just where was this SP gun knocked-
out? I'd also like to know if the 17th SS Pz Jager Bn had any StuG IV's? The US 501st Lt from whom I got the
collar corners stated that the original owner was "blown out of his MK IV" on 13 June. With no 'real' MKIVs
around, he was likely referring to a StuG IV. But Held was the only 2d Lt listed killed that day, from either
the 17th SS Panzer Bn or the Pz Jager Bn.
"After a short time a single 7,5cm self-propelled gun reaches us, to help the surrounded platoon (Ustuf. Samek). On the gun platform I see only a
Standartenoberjunker in Panzer uniform, acting as both the gunner and loader. The [self-propelled] gun rolls forwards around the bend [in the road?]. After
some time it comes back without the Oberjunker, he probably fell in front of Carentan as well."
* Note: this was probably Oju. Held." [This note was added by the author of the book]
Nov 17 09 10:00 AM
Nov 17 09 1:39 PM
Nov 18 09 12:16 AM
Nov 18 09 4:25 AM
Mark, I'll come back later on this, but the main question is where the at-gun was located when it encountered the panzers. Based on the book (and a map
in it) it looks like the la Fourchette junction was in German hands at the start of the attack on Carentan. That would put the at-gun closer to Carentan,
meaning it was simply repositioned after the fighting and placed southwest of the two destroyed assault-guns. This was probably not their gun position at the
beginning of the 13th.
The fact the vehicles were facing away from Carentan is also not a problem I think. Based on the book it did not take very long before the Germans realised
they were in trouble (especially when the tanks showed up) and started to pull out. In the confusion it seems quite possible the assault guns drove onto the
Carentan-Periers road where they were simply surprised by the Americans. The three assault guns were probably destroyed in the afternoon of the 13th, so at the
time they must already have been retreating.
BTW, this is the timeline as given in the book:
0530: start of artillery preparations
0545: troops advance, assault-guns follow the Panzergrenadiere.
Some German radio messages where recorded by 12./Fj.Regt.6 and provide further details.
0731: I./37 (Gren.Regt): making good progress, despite very strong opposition. Americans 'fold elastically' to the north (very difficult to translate,
in German: "weicht elastisch nach Norden aus".) Enemy groups are still between our spearheads. Own losses 'mittelhoch'.
0900: report from left flank: have reached outskirts of Carentan. Behind us still strong enemy forces. Request artillery fire on Carentan, there we can hear
0915: report from right wing: Cannot advance without Panzers because of strong opposition. Have advanced about 500m by 0900.
0950: I./37 reports the attack has been stopped in front of Carentan. Enemy attacks from Carentan with tanks.
1045: I./37 must pull back under strong enemy pressure.
Another interesting detail is this statement in the book:
"The enemy did not respond, the attack at first made progress without opposition, when crossing the Carentan-Douville road the companies received fire
from the flank and rear, this caused the first losses by many headshots." Gives at least an approximate location of this particular event.
Nov 22 09 8:42 PM
Nov 24 09 6:00 AM
Interesting information. Does Trenge
also mention when this happened? I presume it happened sometime during the afternoon. What kind of position were they in? Some kind of outpost or roadblock? It
seems dangerously far to the front, especially if German troops were already much closer to Carentan on the east of the highway (l'Eau Partie). Of course
this may also depend on the positions of the 501. When looking at the maps in the US army books, they seem to have been about a km closer to Carentan. Are
these maps completely wrong? At least they suggest the junction was in American hands by the end of the 13th.
Are there any reports with the
coordinates of the positions of the 501 and 506 during the 12th and 13th?
To come back to the junction, were
there other guns to cover the road to Baupte as well? Some 300m of that road could be covered from the junction and they may actually have seen the assault
guns of GvB moving in at the crossroad there.
I still have doubts the junction was
the initial position of the gun. They must have been quite lucky not to be spotted when the assault-guns came in from behind. It would seem safer to take up a
position further up the D971, at least it would be more difficult to get behind them. But if this is supported by other
data I guess it was the case anyway.
PS did you get the scans I send
Dec 2 09 9:00 PM
This was taken by Mike Musura, using his Speed Graphic camera
and shows the 6 pounder crew from 'A' Battery 81st AA/AT Bn,
101st Airborne Div.with the KO'd StuG behind them, as discussed above.
Joe Trenge explained that he hit the vehicle with a bazooka after it came-up
from behind, along the Baupte road. The house in the background across the
road is still there. This place has been featured on my Then & Now page in the past.
Dec 2 09 9:05 PM
A member of HQ/2 506th took this photo later in June, which shows the same road junction, same
house recognizable in the rear, but now a machine-gunner from 506th in place of the AT gun.
The gouges in the dirt shoulder of the road show where the StuG was dragged out of place by
a retriever. It went into Carentan first, then to the German AFV graveyard below Isigny. I have
yet another photo, showing the StuG after it was moved into pre-towing position at this intersection.
Dec 2 09 9:14 PM
This image was taken by Lt Joe Crilley of C/326th AEB and it apears in my
4th book. Again, the landmark house in the rear is visible.
BTW, any of you bums who frequent this site and haven't even bought/read my
books, book #4 and book #7 are both still available from Amazon.com.
Since the information posted on this site is given for free on a daily/yearly basis,
the least you could do is buy my books!
Dec 2 09 9:26 PM
I wish I knew where this was taken-probably in the vicinity of Donville (Douville in 1944).
It was taken using Kodak color slide film, by Captain George Lage, the 2nd Bn surgeon of the
502nd PIR. I got the image from Lage's family (he died in 1974) and it appeared in my 3rd book,
'Breakout at Normandy-The 2nd Armored Division in the Land of the Dead', in 1999. The connection to 2nd AD
was that their CCA came to Carentan on 13 June 1944, to help the 101st. This image has since turned-up in
a Heimdal French book about the 17th SS Division. Although my name appears under the image in that book, my
2nd Armored book is NOT listed in the bibliography of that 17th SS book and also the authors did not even ask
my permission to use the photo. Also, it is now circulating in collecting circles, with no acknowledgement or knowledge of whare it came from. Authors who
'borrow' from my work and don't even list my books in their bibliographies are one of my pet hates.
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