Abandoned Panthers.

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
Tony M Ormandy
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Tony M Ormandy » 19 Aug 2017 22:22

Hi all
In the book "Dying For Saint-Lo" by Didier Lodieu the Panthers in the top 2 photos are from 4/Pz.Rgt.6 part of Pz Lehr. The photos are taken near La Sellerie.The Panthers and StuG lll G from Funklenk-Kampanie 316 were waiting for the panzergrenadiers of l./Pz.Gren.Rgt 901, but they had been stop about 700 yards from La Sellerie. They were knocked out by Shermans, M10 and bazooka fire on the 11 July 1944 when Pz Lehr counter-attacked.
Hope this helps.

Tony

Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 20 Aug 2017 04:25

Tony M Ormandy wrote:Hi all
In the book "Dying For Saint-Lo" by Didier Lodieu the Panthers in the top 2 photos are from 4/Pz.Rgt.6 part of Pz Lehr. The photos are taken near La Sellerie.The Panthers and StuG lll G from Funklenk-Kampanie 316 were waiting for the panzergrenadiers of l./Pz.Gren.Rgt 901, but they had been stop about 700 yards from La Sellerie. They were knocked out by Shermans, M10 and bazooka fire on the 11 July 1944 when Pz Lehr counter-attacked.


Page 74 to be precise for a close-cropped and very dark version of the photo. It is in fact a photo from Life Magazine. However experience has shown me Didier is not always correct with his photo captions. As (bad) luck would have it there was an airstrip built just after capture so a bit of the road was obliterated and there was a turning in that section. I have been all over the surrounding fields/roads but could not find a match in the 1947 air view. If it was there then the airfield covered it.

https://remonterletemps.ign.fr/comparer ... =doubleMap

spannermann
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby spannermann » 20 Aug 2017 20:43

Hi,
Same opinion of D Lodieu's photo captions, best ignored. Re fthe photos , It seems that very few of the type and track markings seen all over these photos are related to the panzers, most are around them, alonside them or just elsewhere in the photo.

It all seems that the war has moved onwards from the abandonned/knocked out panzers, and many successive waves of allied vehicles have passed through these fields also, which accounts for the large majority of the track markings. The front line, that this once was, has long gone.

May be the start of a collection point for enemy material, just to clear the local roads, with the StuG appearing to be the only panzer actually knocked out in this field.

Just an opinion. cheers leonard paul

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jpz4
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby jpz4 » 20 Aug 2017 21:26

FWIW,
a discussion on the location of those two photos at the beginning of this thread:
http://normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/foru ... #post-3116

GregSingh
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby GregSingh » 21 Aug 2017 01:42

Michael, jpz4, thanks for those links. Very helpful.

Unfortunately I don't have a good quality copy of that aerial photo (NCAP_ACIU_US30_4236_1068) before airstrip works wrecked the place...
It's far from ideal, but I recreated hedge lines (in black) and roads (in white). Approximate cover of the photo with tanks is in yellow.
La Sallerie farmhouse is in top left.
It seems those tanks ventured so deep into US controlled territory they might be ambushed from behind. Only one Panther is facing the direction of the initial German attack (NE). Three others face German positions before the attack (S, SE).

la Sellerie.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 21 Aug 2017 02:10

It is far more likely these are wrecks dragged from roads and dumped in the field. The Stug roof is nowhere to be seen.
It appears that the junction (the right-angle bend) is the one that can be seen on the 1944 maps.
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GregSingh
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby GregSingh » 21 Aug 2017 02:31

That's the one.
One more map showing Pz Lehr attack (from St-Lo American Forces in Action Series) and area where photo was taken in red.

Lehr attack.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 21 Aug 2017 05:13

A 1965 air view is a bit more detailed. Red are original roads and green original hedgelines. Panthers/Stug locations in pink.

Panthers Le Dezert 1965 5.jpg
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Mobius
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Mobius » 21 Aug 2017 13:54

Have you tried finding the location using Google Earth or even street view? I found several battlefields were viewable that way.

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jpz4
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby jpz4 » 21 Aug 2017 14:03

I know there are a number of photos of the wrecks in this field from ground level, but I seem to have misplaced some of them. Because of that I cannot confirm the two Panthers that are closest to each other are in fact these two, but I strongly suspect that they are.
Image

(inserted Michael's photo to save readers from returning to the first post of this thread)
Air%20jjj_____.jpg

If they are, at least one of them is 2.Kp. Note how one of them still has tracks and one is missing them and has sunk into the ground a bit, just like on the other photo.

These particular examples were photographed by a member of the 70th Tank Battalion, presumably as the battalion was preparing for Operation Cobra in the second half of July 1944.
The Panther closest to the exit might be the relocated 'Ursula'. Also note the Panther in the background (right) and part of a Schürzen rail, emerging from behind the jeep (left). This would likely be part of the StuG (otherwise obscured behind the jeep).
Image

This photo seems to confirm the StuG theory. Note the bent Schürzen rail behind the soldier on the right.
Panther_Ursula_Lehr_&_StuG3.jpg

(photo found online in 2003, source no longer remembered)

(inserted Michael's photo to save readers from returning to the first post of this thread)
Air%20jjj%20%20___.jpg


Although I am quite confident all these photos show the same wrecks and field, I still would like additional photos to link these photos beyond any doubt. I do have a feeling others might be able to help there. For now everything seems to point to this being a dump/collection point. This also opens the question if any vehicle was ever knocked out in the field itself.
(BTW the original location of Ursula has been explained here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/571595/t ... 455529819/ )
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 21 Aug 2017 16:18

I would say a good number of wrecked tanks are not shown in the location they were hit. It is 100% certain that every wreck shown without tracks has been moved. The track-marks around these 5 hulks are pretty good confirmation they were towed there.
The Panther in Lingevres has its track around the corner from the tank itself and it is safe to assume it was knocked out on the main road through the town then had the track removed and dragged to the monument to clear the road.
screenshot.2017-08-21 (9)g.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 22 Aug 2017 07:45

This photo of Panthers Ingrid (left) & Elna (right)at a dump

1980-l562.jpg


the Stug is between them.

1980-l562jk.jpg

screenshot.2017-08-22re.jpg


It also looks like the bit of track over the Stug idler is there as well.
I guess that is pretty conclusive evidence that this is a collection point and that Ursula is in the same field.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 22 Aug 2017 08:06

This looks like Elna with the side mounted spare track links sticking up at an angle. Side skirts have gone though.

Air jjj2wqe.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby Michael Kenny » 22 Aug 2017 09:11

The bits of paper on the ground in front of Ursula confirm all the same location.

screenshot.2017-08-22 (4).jpg

1980-l563.jpg

screenshot.2017-08-22 (3).jpg


And this is another view of the the trackless Panther at the rear. The angle of the wheels to the hull is the same in both pics.


Panthers w , ..,., (1).jpg

screenshot.2017-08-22 (2).jpg
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jpz4
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Re: Abandoned Panthers.

Postby jpz4 » 22 Aug 2017 11:44

On those last two photos, don't forget the muzzle-brake, dropped sponson and the holes in the side of the turret either. Although you may need a better quality copy of the bottom photo to clearly see it (I have one). Damage to the left fender and rain-guard on the vehicle in front suggests it could be Ingrid.

That only leaves the identity of the fourth Panther and the StuG to be determined.


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