► Destroyed and battle damaged AFVs

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 13 Oct 2007 23:58

Befehlspanzer I from 3.PzD destroyed in France in May-June 1940 (expired ebay auction).

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 08:19

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:Fresh from the scanner...

Image
The sign says 'keep right' - that's a roadsign you won't run over!

Look at the left of the tank, by the way - look like graves to me...

Christian
Although the picture is a bit small I think it is the same Panzer IV I have seen on other photos: it's a Panzer IV destroyed around June 5, 1940 near Amiens. Looking at the damages it might have been disabled by an AT mine.

Here are other view, mainly from expired ebay auctions.

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 09:55

More photos related to the German assault south of Amiens on June 5.

More photos from "La bataille au sud d'Amiens, 20 mai – 8 juin 1940" (Pierre Vasselle). The 1st edition (1948) has no photos but I have also a second edition dated 1975 IIRC with addition of photos taken on the battlefield.

All photos in this post are form this book except the halftrack one. The book displays the same vehicle but I have found a series of photos on ebay displaying it better with its 8.8cm FlaK.

1. German armored car (and older French Somua S35 wreck, probably not related to the June combats since no Somua S35 unit was involved) destroyed near Saint-Fuscien - south of Amiens (June 5, 1940).

2. Panzer II destroyed by French AT mine in front of the 29e RI between Vers and Dury - south of Amiens (June 5, 1940).

3. German halftrack and 8.8cm FlaK destroyed near Quignon farm in the background Pinel psy hospital - south of Amiens (June 5, 1940).

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 10:02

Another couple of Panzer IIs knocked out south of Amiens in June 1940 (source: expired ebay auctions).

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 10:43

Several photos of wrecks from 5.PzD against French forces in 1940:

1. Panzer III F destroyed during the battle of Flavion against the 1e DCr (Histoire de Guerre magazine n°1 - January 2000).

2. Panzer IV (5.PzD) destroyed in May-June 1940 ("L'escadron de Segonzac" by Olivier d'Ormesson - Potié collection).

The other photos are from expired ebay auctions, a photo album from Panzer Regiment 31.

3a. Panzer II from Lieutenant Weigel destroyed
3b. Panzer III destroyed on AT mine near Flavion
3c. Panzer III destroyed after mutliple hits [I think the same tank is displayed in Jentz's book about Fall Gelb. The caption indicates multiple 25mm and 47mm ATG hits]. The gun mantled is disabled.

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 10:57

Several photos taken in Epinal in June 1940:

1. A Panzer 35(t) (7.PzD) destroyed on June 19 by a 25mm AT gun from 46e GRDI. At least a dozen of views of this tank has been seen on ebay. This wreck can also be seen Roger Bruge's "Les combattants du 18 juin" - volume 2.

2. The StuG III (2nd in the column and close up view) is not knocked out but one can see numerous hits/gouges on the front armor, probably caused by a 25mm AT gun.

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 11:18

Two additional photos taken this time from "Blitzkrieg à l’Ouest, Mai-Juin 40" (Jean-Paul Pallud) and showing:

1. A Panzer IV from 5.PzD completely destroyed.

2. A Panzer 38(t) from 7.PzD, 5.Kp knocked out and fallen in a ditch. Another view of the tank in the same book shows the graves of the corresponding tankers.

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 11:39

1. 8.8cm FlaK (Sfl) auf Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz. 8) knocked out and Panzer III in Chémery on May 14, 1940. Luftwaffe friendly fire. [This vehicle can be seen on many ebay photos like these ones or in Pascal Danjou's trackstory n°7 about the FCM 36].

2. Panzer IV Ausf.B (PzRgt 1 - 1.PzD) destroyed at Bulson on May 14. Against the FCM 36 tanks from 7e BCC?

3. A PzBefwg I (1.PzD) knocked out by B1bis tank 'Pommard' (Sous-lieutenant Garnier, 49e BCC). Towed and captured by French troops on May 16 in the Mont-Dieu area (near Stonne). ["Les combats du Mont-Dieu – Mai 1940" (Gérard Giuliano)].

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 11:48

1. Panzer IV from Panzer Regiment 35 destroyed during the battle of Gembloux by French artillery fire ["Gembloux 1940... Echec à la 4e Panzer" (Marcel Pieret)].

2. Panzer IV from 1.PzD destroyed in France in 1940.

3. Panhard 178 [PSW-204(f)] impressed in Pz.Jg.Abt-5 and destroyed by French AT gun on June 12, 1940. ["Les combattants du 18 juin" (Roger Bruge), numerous other views also seen on ebay].

Regards,

David
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David W
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Post by David W » 14 Oct 2007 12:01

David.

Do you know with which Abteilung the 8.8cm FlaK (Sfl) auf Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz. 8) was serving?

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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 12:09

Around Mormal forest...

Map scanned by myself from an original 1940 Michelin map.

Photo taken from Antoine Misner's website: Panzer 38(t) destroyed by a Panhard 178 (6e RC, Lieutenant Astoul) and Somua S35 (4e RC, Lieutenant de Conigliano) knocked out by AT/AA guns in Landrecies (May, 17 1940).
Explanations in the tex below.

---------------------

On May 16/17, the 1e DLM is re-deployed south of Valenciennes and Cambrai, attached to the 9th army. The Somua S35 tanks are deployed at Quesnoy and will soon meet German mechanized elements reinforced by AT guns during short but violent engagements. Rear guard elements of the French 9th army are engaged in the forest of Mormal, east of Quesnoy. The 7.PzD (General Rommel) has trapped them in the woods and goes on with its advance, letting the 5.PzD (General von Hartlieb) reduce them.

On May 17, the 1e DLM is ordered to block the German tanks. There is also a fierce battle in and around the Mormal forest. The 1e DLM meets the 5.PzD and elements of the 7.PzD. The 1e DLM is far from having all its units but the counter-attack starts at 18h30 from Quesnoy towards Landrecies. The tanks from 4e RC (Colonel Poupel) and 18e RD (Colonel Pinon) are numerically inferior, the units are far from complete, and forced to disperse to control the assigned area. Nevertheless the morale and the determination are high.
During the counter-attack many tanks are destroyed by 10.5cm field guns used in AT role. The French counter-attack will nonetheless significantly delay the 5.PzD.

At the 6e RC (Panhard 178 armored cars), the Dudognon squadron launches several reconnaissance patrols across the Sambre River: Maréchal-des-Logis Chef towards Berlaimont and Lieutenant Astoul towards Landrecies. Astoul arrives in Landrecies around 9h00 and discovers French infantry troops physically and morally broken, unable to face German tanks. Astoul's patrol crosses the bridge and moves to the city hall. They meet a column of French POWs, telling them that the city is occupied by the Germans. Despite the arrival of the French armored cars the French POWs don't seem to change their behaviour. Suddenly 2 German soldiers armed with SMGs arrive to hurry up the French POWs. They are immediately killed by the MG of Astoul's Panhard 178. Around 10h00, the French patrol moves back to a level/grade crossing, where the armored cars can hide and control the accesses to the bridge.
Suddenly a Panzer 38(t) [7.PzD] crosses the bridge and advances rapidly. At 100 meters, the French Panhard 178 from Astoul fires the first with its 25mm gun. At the first shot the German tank is immobilized without having been able to react: the driver has been killed and the other crew members are bailing immediately out. Lieutenant Astoul goes on with firing on the German abandoned tank to definitely disable it. At the 15th shot the German tank is burning.
Changing their tactics, the Germans send many patrols through the gardens left and right of the road. Around 12h00, a group of German soldiers advance on the road, hidden behind French POWs who are forced to march in front of them. The Panhard 178 armored cars fire on their flank and a dozen of Germans are killed.
Around 14h00, elements from a battalion from 95e RI (9e DIM) and a 75mm Mle1897 field gun arrive. After a forced march, the men are exhausted and unable to launch an attack. They reinforce the position hold by Astoul's patrol and by motorcycle troops from 6e RC (Maréchal-des-Logis Gasquet and Maréchal-des-Logis Munier). They block the Landrecies to Englefontaine road.

Still on May 17, 2 infantry tanks will spread havoc in Landrecies. Unlike the Panhard 178 arriving from north-west, these tanks arrive in Landrecies from south-west. The B1bis "Mistral" and "Tunisie" from 3/15e BCC (3rd company of the 15th tank battalion - 2e DCr) will attack the German troops, advancing between two columns of armored cars, light tanks (Panzer I and Panzer II) and probably armored personnal carriers (Sd.Kfz.251). They will slaughter about 50 German vehicles in 20 minutes.
The testimony of Sous-lieutenant Gaudet, commander of the B1bis "Tunisie" enables to tell the story from the French side. Initially 3 B1bis tanks were to attack but shortly before one of them experienced a mechanical breakdown. During there movement towards Landrecies they stayed camouflaged and immobile during about 45 minutes since the Luftwaffe was strongly bombing the towns around.
The "Tunisie" (Sous-lieutenant Gaudet) and the "Mistral" (Lieutenant Pompier) stop at the entry of Landrecies, at the crossing of the roads to Ors and Avesnes-Le Cateau. A French convoy is completely abandoned beside the road. It is 12h00 and Landrecies seems unoccupied.
The "Mistral" moves on among the French abandoned vehicles and is followed by the "Tunisie". Several streets and squares are crossed without noticing something interesting. Suddenly the "Mistral" stops and opens fire with its 47mm turret gun and its 75mm hull gun. The "Tunisie" moves to the left but the intense smoke prevents him to see what is happening in front of the French tanks. The "Mistral" goes on, fires several times and moves towards the center of Landrecies. The "Tunisie" is following 100m behind. Suddenly, sous-lieutenant Gaudet discovers what was targeted: many German armored cars and light tanks parked on both sides of the street and very close to each others. The "Mistral" turns in an adjacent road 150m in front of the "Tunisie". At the end of the road, on the church square, several German armored cars are burning after the action of the "Mistral". The "Tunisie" starts to fire meticulously and systematically on each German AFV in the street. The "Tunisie" moves two times all along the eastern part of Landrecies, firing on each spotted target.
The "Tunisie" has lost visual contact with the "Mistral" of the company commander and avoids to cross the bridge on the canal in Landrecies, assuming that the core and heavy elements of the German Panzerdivision are deployed in the western part of Landrecies. Nonetheless, two 3.7cm PaKs are defending the bridge. They fire on the French B1bis without effect and are quickly destroyed.
In Landrecies itself, Sous-lieutenant Gaudet says that there were probably about 200 various vehicles. He destroyed two 3.7cm PaKs (for a total of 4) and many (armoured) vehicles. He saw very few German soldiers in the street except AT gunners. All the crews fled and were hidden in the houses. The various hits on the turret of the B1bis tanks showed that the Germans fired also with AT rifles but they did not damage the tank. On the other hand, the machineguns of the B1bis tank penetrated easily many German armored cars and put them on fire with AP rounds.
Fearing a counter-attack and without having achieved a complete destruction of the enemy vehicles, the "Tunisie" moves back. The streets are full of burning vehicles whose ammunition is exploding. Sous-lieutenant Gaudet estimated that perhaps about 100 German vehicles were burning or out of use. The "Tunisie" alone had fired 8 shells of 75mm, 27 shells of 47mm and 3 MG magazines (450 cartridges).
At 12h25, 20 minutes after being entered in Landrecies, the "Tunisie" moves to Ors on an empty road. Sous-lieutenant Gaudet meets 3 French soldiers who were POWs in Landrecies and managed to escape during the attack. In Ors the "Tunisie" meets the "Mistral" (Lieutenant Pompier) but also the "Tornade" (Sous-lieutenant Rival), the "Vosges" (Lieutenant Willig) and the "Nantes" (Sous-lieutenant Phelep), which arrived in reinforcement. The "Mistral" is covered by many hits but remains undamaged. Lieutenant Pompier has been back from Landrecies 10 minutes before Sous-lieutenant Gaudet. He tells that he has destroyed two AT guns and many armored vehicles.
In about 20 minutes these 2 B1bis tanks have destroyed 6 AT guns and about 50-100 vehicles. Different sources mention the terrific number of 100 destroyed AFVs but sous-lieutenant Raiffaud, commander of the B1bis "Indochine", also from the 3/15e BCC, speaks about 50 destroyed AFVs (armored cars, light tanks, APCs etc.), which remains nevertheless a significant number. The real number of destroyed German vehicles is of course probably closer to 50 than to 100 vehicles. This number includes armored cars, armored personal carriers and a few light tanks. Nonetheless, the core of these destroyed vehicles consists probably in various softskins.

Later in the afternoon, the Somua S35 platoon of Lieutenant André de Conigliano from the 3rd Squadron of the 4e RC (1e DLM) supported by elements of the 4e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés) [one AMR light tanks platoon and 1 motorcycle platoon] is grouped in Englefontaine. At 18h00 these troops are ordered to establish a bridgehead at Landrecies. Arriving around Landrecies, they meet the reconnaissance patrol of Lieutenant Astoul, who informs them about the presence of German troops in the city, having himself destroyed a German tank during the morning.

Confident, Lieutenant André de Conigliano crosses the level/grade crossing 100 meters away at the head of his platoon, followed by the Somua S35 tanks of Maréchal-des-Logis Chef Thomas, Brigadier Chef Lechappe, Maréchal-des-Logis Léger and Maréchal-des-Logis François. They enter in Landrecies from the north-west.
Fearing for his flank [perhaps after the attack of the 2 B1bis tanks], the Germans have deployed several guns and AT mines in Landrecies: eye witnesses speak about 3 possible 8.8cm FlaK. Landrecies is well defended.
The Somua S35 tank platoon is then ambushed by various AT and AA guns firing from different emplacements. The Somua S35 from Maréchal-des-Logis Chef Thomas is immobilized. The crew bails out and joins the troops from 4e RDP on the rear. Lieutenant André de Conigliano advances next to the Panzer 38(t) destroyed earlier this day [perhaps to find some cover] and fires several shells.
Suddenly a projectile damages the driving post of the tank, killing the driver Brigadier-Chef Fresnais. The lateral hath is torn away by a violent explosion, another projectile explodes then inside the combat room of the Somua S35. Lieutenant André de Conigliano is deadly wounded. Brigadier-Chef Bonnieul, the radio operator, is also wounded. He leaves the tank and manages to join the Somua S35 tank from Brigadier Chef Lechappe.
A side-car from 4e RDP explodes on an AT mine and puts fire on the Panhard 178 armored car from Maréchal-des-Logis Munier (6e RC). Thinking the Somua S35 from Lechappe knocked out, the two last Somua S35 tanks break the combat and retreat. Nonetheless the Somua S35 from Lechappe is only damaged. Despite various hits and a damaged track he manages to withdraw in rear gear.

The Germans tries then to launch a counter-attack but they are quickly stopped by the French fire and 2 German tanks are destroyed by the 75mm Mle1897 gun guarding the exit of Landrecies. The 6e RC sustains 2 KIAs and 3 WIAs. A bit later the French troops move back to Englefontaine to establish a new defensive position.

On May 18, 12 Somua S35 tanks of the squadron of Capitaine Dunoyer de Segonzac from the 4e RC are holding the town of Jolimetz along with one company of Moroccan tirailleurs and the 13th squadron of the III/4e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés from the 1e DLM) in support. During all the day they faced half of the 5.PzD (about 120 tanks and massive infantry, field artillery, AT guns and aviation support) on the move in this area. 1 Somua S35 tank (Maréchal-des-Logis Enfroy) is at first damaged during a reconnaissance and sent back to Quesnoy. Only 11 French tanks are then controlling the town. The German attack is launched at first by hiding tanks and troops among columns of refugees. The Somua tanks and the dragons portés launch even a small counter-attack towards the woods. After a few losses the Germans sent preferentially the heavier Panzer IVs in the town itself. At the end of the day the town was completely surrounded. In 10 vs 1 odd, the French have lost 10 tanks (destroyed or abandoned) and the Germans 26 tanks, mostly Panzer IVs.

Regards,

David
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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 12:15

David W wrote:David.

Do you know with which Abteilung the 8.8cm FlaK (Sfl) auf Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz. 8) was serving?
Hello David,

There were only 6 operational 'Bufla' vehicles issued to 1. schwere Kompanie/Panzer-Jäger-Abteilung in France in 1940 (anti-fortification role initially and also anti-tank role). They were used along 1.PzD and 2.PzD. At least 2-3 vehicles were lost in France, including 1 destroyed on May 14, in Chémery (just a bit south of Sedan), apparenlty by the Luftwaffe.

Regards,

David

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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 13:27

1. A Panzer-Befehlswagen III from 5.PzD knocked out (and recovery team?) + a French Hotchkiss tank knocked out [ebay]

2. A set of various ebay photos from the same tank: a Panzer IV (probably Ausf.C) from 6.PzD destroyed in a French unidentified town in 1940. HEavy damages and at least 4 obvious penetration of what could be 25mm projectiles.

3. Several armored cars: SdKfz-232 destroyed in Nancy [ebay], SdKfz-260 destroyed near Anvers by French troops and SdKfz-221 destroyed by French troops [ECPAD movies screen capture].

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 14:35

A series of 3 posts displaying German wrecks in and around Stonne (Panzer III, Panzer IV and Panzerjäger I).

Photos are from collectors like Akira Takiguchi and Mario Lippert, from ebay and from various books including "Les combats du Mont-Dieu – Mai 1940" (Gérard Giuliano), "Blitzkrieg à l’Ouest, Mai-Juin 40" (Jean-Paul Pallud), "1940 Preux Demeurons – l'épopée du 6e GRDI" (Erik Barbanson) - "Batailles & Blindés" magazine special issue etc.

The first photos are from Panzer IV n°711 from Panzer Regiment 8. It has been destroyed on May 15 by the 25mm AT gun from Sergent Durand (67e RI). The graves of the crew are next to the tank.

Many of these wrecks remained on the battlefield at least as late as 1941. Like previous wreck/memorial erected in 1941 south of Amiens. Apparently the Germans were not in a hurry to recover the different wrecks to eventually use potential spare parts.

Regards,

David
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Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2007 14:37

The road to Stonne and numerous wrecks.
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