SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Jun 2021 14:41

At risk at getting maliciously targeted by those who are very sympathetic to the crusade of British-Canadian rehabilitation, I will nevertheless post this anti-German account of Authie:

https://www.canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/ ... t-2012.pdf
t is virtually an article of faith in the Normandy campaign literature that
the vanguard of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade (hereafter 9 Brigade)
was ambushed and defeated by 12 SS Hitler Youth Panzer Division on D+1.
These young Nazi fanatics, led by battle-hardened Eastern Front veterans,
took the naïve Canadians by surprise, denied them their ultimate objective
and sent them packing.1
For many historians, the defeat of 9 Brigade is also
evidence of the flawed nature of Allied leadership and combat capability, and
yet more proof of the superior fighting skill of German forces.2
These ideas
have proven powerfully enduring.
Ironically, the Canadian Army’s own official history is largely to blame
for the very negative interpretation of 9 Brigade’s battle on 7 June. Charles
Stacey’s The Victory Campaign devoted seven pages to the battle: four and a
half setting it up, and most of two analyzing why the brigade “had been caught
off balance and defeated in detail.”3
In Stacey’s view, the brigade fought with
“courage and spirit, but somewhat clumsily” against “an unusually efficient
German force of about its own strength, it had come off second best.” The
result was a “severe local reverse” that—in words that damned all Canadian
efforts in the days after D-Day—“helped to ensure that Caen remained in
German hands.”4
This essay is included in the Milner's Canadian revisionist book, which has the most negative and contemptuous portrayal of the 12 SS. The introduction of "Stopping the Panzers: The untold story of D-day" and later comments in the book is helpful as it reveals certain motives : 1. bitterness over the way Canada has been portrayed in British history 2. dislike for the 12SS and the popular admiration for the German forces 3. Family associations- father was a veteran of 3rd division.

IIRC he also questions the casualty report of the 12SS after the early village fights, claiming that it is understated. Major General Reynolds , who has an admiration of the SS, claims the opposite (Steel Inferno: I SS Panzer Corps in Normandy) nearly at the end of the campaign- that the casualty records around this time were vastly overreported by Eberbach by a factor of 3,000 in order to obtain reinforcements. Somehow if Milner's book continued into August I would expect no existence of such a comment :lol:

Having seen multiple accounts of Authie from German and Canadian sides this is one I have seen that portrays June 7th in this fashion. The recent two 12 SS books (Saunders and Mansolas) continues with the traditional narrative. I will re-read SS Panzer regiment 12 and the Milner book after some time but all the personal accounts, British-Canadian and 12 SS I have read point out to a bad day for allied armor.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Jun 2021 15:03

On the subject of 12 SS personal accounts, a major feature of "SS Panzer-Regiment 12 in Normandy"- I have noticed that a certain crop of the same veterans were used. There are some that appear elsewhere while others I have not seen before.

There is some repeat content in the many works of the Heimdal publisher (Bernage) and Hubert Meyer, however this book has the longest, most detailed and most complete account of what has appeared elsewhere. This particular book trumps them all.

I would also add that while these accounts do record the details of successful combat actions they are actually not the main focus. So accusations that the nefarious Nazi SS are trying to reproduce the memories of their heroes after their collective deaths in order to create a legacy/continuation body are inconsistent with the actual contents. I would not characterize the tone of these accounts as being different from those from the Allied or Wehrmacht camp.

The most powerful aspects of the accounts are the PTSD memories of getting knocked out, men on fire, serious and grievous wounds rather than combat actions that are coated in glory. The most words are given to the training, personal relationships, life & times of the veteran in Normandy. These accounts are also supplemented by the researchers' extensive work/help so they are not the "normal" account of faded memories. So the memories rest on a researched framework.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 Jun 2021 15:35

Cult Icon wrote:
02 Jun 2021 14:41
but all the personal accounts, British-Canadian and 12 SS I have read point out to a bad day for allied armor.
GIGO.
You need to do more 'reading'


12th SS had 12 Pz IV as total losses.
Canadians had 15 tanks as total losses.

Even Reynolds had to face the reality that 12th SS totally failed to carry out its task on June 7th and was stopped by the Canadians well short of the beaches:

According to British historian Michael Reynolds, German command and
control of the battle was poor.
“It would seem,” Reynolds wrote, “that just as
there was a failure to coordinate on the Canadian side, [the Germans] failed
to get their act together at this important time.” The 12 SS never got close
to the sea
on D+1: indeed, they never got much beyond their initial gains in
the first hour or so
.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 03 Jun 2021 17:27

Cult Icon wrote:
02 Jun 2021 15:03


The most powerful aspects of the accounts are the PTSD memories of getting knocked out, men on fire, serious and grievous wounds rather than combat actions that are coated in glory. The most words are given to the training, personal relationships, life & times of the veteran in Normandy. These accounts are also supplemented by the researchers' extensive work/help so they are not the "normal" account of faded memories. So the memories rest on a researched framework.
Those are the stories that haunt me. I once read an account of a Panther crew member (I think it was Panzer-Lehr) who described how burned crew members were put on the engine decks and started to scream because of the heat.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 03 Jun 2021 17:39

^
where did you read that? The tanker burn victim accounts remind me of the survivor accounts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Very gruesome.

Book also identifies what was going on with the series of often-published photos, such as this one:

Image

There is a tanker working in the background, with infantry staring at him. What he is doing is washing the inside of the tank, which was recently splattered with the blood and organs of a crewman, who got half his body torn in half.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 03 Jun 2021 17:42

Cult Icon wrote:
03 Jun 2021 17:39
^
where did you read that? The tanker burn victim accounts remind me of the survivor accounts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Very gruesome.

Book also identifies what was going on with the series of often-published photos, such as this one:

Image

There is a tanker working in the background, with infantry staring at him. What he is doing is washing the inside of the tank, which was recently splattered with the blood and organs of a crewman, who got half his body torn in half.
I think it was Kurowski 8O

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Jun 2021 19:59

Cult Icon wrote:
03 Jun 2021 17:39
^


Book also identifies what was going on with the series of often-published photos, such as this one:

Image

There is a tanker working in the background, with infantry staring at him. What he is doing is washing the inside of the tank, which was recently splattered with the blood and organs of a crewman, who got half his body torn in half.
This photo was 'identified' decades back. This from ML in 2004

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missing ... 87#p443987

and (as mentioned in the above) it was in Bernage's 'Panzers And The Battle Of Normandy' back in 2000

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panzers-Battle ... 2840481359

It is a very well-known incident and this was one of the Panthers that turned tail and managed to escape total destruction at Norry en Bessin on June 9th

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 04 Jun 2021 17:46

Does anyone have a copy of the formal operation order for 12th SS Panzer Division's operations on 7 June 1944?

Michael Reynolds (p.63, Steel Inferno) says that it stated that the division would
'attack the disembarked enemy together with 21st Panzer Division and throw him back into the sea'.
Reynolds goes on to say that the divisional objective was the Channel coast.

If this is correct, it is surely very hard to regard 12th SS Panzer Division's operation on 7th June as anything other than a complete failure, especially as it was only up against a Canadian battlegroup which it heavily outnumbered! :roll:

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Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Jun 2021 18:03

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
04 Jun 2021 17:46
Does anyone have a copy of the formal operation order for 12th SS Panzer Division's operations on 7 June 1944?

Michael Reynolds (p.63, Steel Inferno) says that it stated that the division would

'attack the disembarked enemy together with 21st Panzer Division and throw him back into the sea'.

Already looked. Reynolds is just referencing Meyer who uses the same wording. Instead of reaching the sea 12th SS (blue arrows)were stopped 2.5 miles from where they engaged the southern tip of the Canadian advance (red arrow)at Franqueville. June 12 is the date of the air view.


7064 Bfr.jpg
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Jun 2021 15:21

Michael Kenny wrote:
04 Jun 2021 18:03
Already looked. Reynolds is just referencing Meyer who uses the same wording.
Thanks Michael. Had the Germans not worked out different deployment options for all these counter-attack units. The type of staff work that would have recce'd routes to different assembly areas for counter-attacks against say the CAEN beaches, the CHERBOURG peninsula, the BRITTANY peninsula or any of those in the PAS DE CALAIS. Wasn't that standard practice? Then the order would simply be for [xx] division to conduct operations in accordance with Operations A, B or C using already recce'd routes to assembly areas and jumping-off lines.

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by histan » 08 Jun 2021 00:56

Hi Tom
In 1942, when the German panzer divisions were spread out covering the whole of the coast, they did just that. The threat was assumed to be an attempt to capture a port and each division provided a quick response task group to respond to any such attempt. Each division covered a number of ports and developed detailed plans, including routes, etc for responding to an attempt to capture any of them. The division KTBs are full of such detailed information and I think the plans were tested regularly. I am reasonably confident that these plans did not involve the commitment of the whole division - because the units were at various levels of equipment, manpower and training.
Typing from memory but I am pretty confident - I have copies of all of relevant KTBs that exist.
I think that as the divisions moved around they took over the plans produced by the previous division and amended them to fit there own circumstances.

Not sure what happened in 1943 and 1944 as the threat assessment changed from a direct attempt to capture a port and the response changed from the commitment of a quick response task group to the whole division.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 18 Jun 2021 21:09

Further, the British-Canadian-Monty biased revisionist agenda/historians do really need to make a pro-British-Canadian history of the combat between their forces and the 12 SS where 5 Panthers are knocked out for one Sherman and all the offensives are 95% successful. :lol: I see how the 12 SS is of such concern to the criticism and counter-criticism of the British-Canadian operational technique. So it is not simply the fate of one unit alone but also the memory of armies. Along these lines I think Milner is the man to the do the job if he continues working on the British-Canadian vs 12 SS history after week 1.

The two new 12 SS books are both favorable to the 12 SS military "epic" of Kurt Meyer being Leonidas and his 17-19 year olds as being his Spartans. Or how Meyer's interrogators called his self-image as being that of a "Siegfried". Which lead to the "Grenadiers" memoir. This should be disappointing and maybe even infuriating to the Redcoats that were hoping to see a more negative and less competent portrayal. I do not think either Hubert Meyer or Kurt Meyer's ghost would find either new 12 SS book objectionable.

However, at the same time I have no idea how these combat actions can be presented into a way that "revises" the combat history of this unit into a summer of good luck with the God of War on the side of the HJ until the battle of Falaise..

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Jun 2021 23:56

Cult Icon wrote:
18 Jun 2021 21:09
.

Kurt Meyer being Leonidas and his 17-19 year olds as being his Spartans.
Fitting analogy. Low-information Google experts still think it was 300 Spartans v The Persians when the Greek Army was c.7000 men. Whilst Meyer may have thought he was a Spartan his mother surely would be shamed by the fact he came home safely and without his shield. The circumstances of his capture are not those of a true warrior and he meekly gave up after two farmers caught him cowering among the chickens.

At one time we swore that we would never be captured alive. The grim experiences in Russia made us do that. The time has come! There is a bullet in the chamber and a last one in the magazine. Should I fulfil my oath? Was it only valid on the Eastern Front? Aren't these completely different circumstances? Minutes pass. I look at my pistol again and again. I think of my family and the unborn child. It is difficult, very difficult to take the decision."

.and so no 'fight to the death for this 'Spartan'.

viewtopic.php?p=1230286#p1230286

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by David Thompson » 19 Jun 2021 02:16

Let's avoid the agit-prop element ("the British-Canadian-Monty biased revisionist agenda/historians;" "Kurt Meyer being Leonidas and his 17-19 year olds as being his Spartans"; "disappointing and maybe even infuriating to the Redcoats"; "a summer of good luck with the God of War on the side of the HJ") in our discussions of history.

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