Jagdpanther in Normandy

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Sheldrake
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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 27 Mar 2020 11:18

Michael Kenny wrote:
27 Mar 2020 01:14
The German account has JagdPanther 314 a victim of a phosphorus shell 500 mtrs SW of St Pierre du Fresne

Someone appears to has painted a dragon of some sort on the front.......................

The vehicle where it was stopped

It looks like a PIAT hole in the side below the tow-rope
These fit the account by 7 SLI for the morning action - SP Guns immobilised by PIAT and Phosphorous grenade within 500m of St Pierre du Fresne, and explain the Wyven graffiti.


There is a logic to confusion between "Jagdpanther" and "Ferdinand/elefant." If lots of different SP anti tank guns with open crew compartments can be called a "Marder" then why can't different looking enclosed SP Anti tank guns be called Ferdinand?

The 43 Wessex Division actions are not given much prominence in the British Official history. I can only find a single line in the CAB papers. The main British narrative is the contrast between the the success of 8th Corps with the lack of progress by 30th Corps, which leads to the dismissal of Bucknell and Erskine. These accounts show a series of tough engagements against some of the heaviest German armour with the Wessex division coming out on top.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 11:32

Sheldrake wrote:
27 Mar 2020 11:18


These fit the account by 7 SLI for the morning action - SP Guns immobilised by PIAT and Phosphorous grenade within 500m of St Pierre du Fresne,
It appears to me the author of the book has read the 7 SLI accounts .

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 27 Mar 2020 12:03

Michael Kenny wrote:
27 Mar 2020 11:32
Sheldrake wrote:
27 Mar 2020 11:18


These fit the account by 7 SLI for the morning action - SP Guns immobilised by PIAT and Phosphorous grenade within 500m of St Pierre du Fresne,
It appears to me the author of the book has read the 7 SLI accounts .
The extracts I posted were quotes attributed to named individuals. Patrick Delaforce was a 13 RHA veteran who wrote a series of readable formation histories. They are not well referenced, but seem to be based on veterans accounts.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by keith A » 27 Mar 2020 15:58

As Shekdrake writes Delaforce and his series of histories are very readable . I think I have the set, He does quote a number of memoirs and interviews, as well as his personal experience as FOO in NWE. I have just finished his excellent "The Fighting Wyverns" (they were the source for my question) which I chose to read having come across the novel "From the city, from the plough" by Alexander Baron. Baron was attached to 5 Wilts in 1944. In a milieu where US and German accounts predominate his are a refreshing change.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 16:26

I think the author of the Jagdpanther history had read the British accounts because I do not think the Jagdpanther crew would make so much of hitting a carrier. Overall the accounts do not contradict too much. I just think that specific incident is 'too much detail'.
The only Jagdpanther losses recorded are:

'311' NW of St Pierre du Fresne on July 31.
'001' Panther at Mingy Aug 1
'233' SE of Le Paquet Aug 1
'314' SW of St Pierre du Fresne Aug 1

On Aug 2nd '213' was left 'West of St Georges' because of damage suffered on July 31.

So they can not have counted more than 3 'Ferdinand' wrecks unless 'ferdinand' meant a class of vehicle rather than a specific vehicle and the count done after Aug 2nd. .

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Andy H » 27 Mar 2020 17:52

Hi

On July 30th the 15th Scottish Division, supported by 6th Gds Tank Bde broke through south of Caumont l'Evente…..and made a 10km drive to secure Pt309 controlling the N175 road. A Sqn of Churchills was detailed to cover the left flank from the slope of Pt206...….a while later 2 JagdPanthers broke cover, whilst covered by a third and destroyed 11 Churchills, though hits were recorded by the British armour before the retreated. 2 of the JagdPanthers were later found abandoned on the reverse of the slope with track damage, but the 3rd escaped unscathed.
Source: Panzers in Normandy Then and Now by Eric Lefevre.

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Andy H

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 27 Mar 2020 17:56

sPzJ654?

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 18:40

Andy H wrote:
27 Mar 2020 17:52
.a while later 2 JagdPanthers broke cover, whilst covered by a third and destroyed 11 Churchills, though hits were recorded by the British armour before the retreated. 2 of the JagdPanthers were later found abandoned on the reverse of the slope with track damage, but the 3rd escaped unscathed.
Source: Panzers in Normandy Then and Now by Eric Lefevre.
3rd Scots Guards

Appendix F - Battlefield recce of action 30 July 1944

Account of 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS action at CAUMONT, 30 July 1944.

On 28 August 1944 a party of Officers, at a time when the Battalion was resting near TINCHEBRAY, went to LES LOGES further to examine the battlefield and to try and determine more accurately the strength of the enemy and reconstruct their action which had knocked out eleven SCOTS GUARDS CHURCHILLS.

By following the tracks which the enemy vehicles had made, and by noting where the empty 88 mm shell cases lay, it was confirmed that three enemy vehicles had been responsible for causing the damage - one from the house in the orchard to the left rear of ‘S’ Squadron, one which had come up under the crest of the hill right through ‘S’ Squadron, and one which must have fired from a more South-Easterly direction and had knocked out two tanks. The one which came up through the position had withdrawn to an orchard about 1/2 a mile to the East. In this orchard were a number of tank tracks, which led to the supposition that it might have been a harbour area for the Germans. Tracks led from this orchard onto the main road running East from LES LOGES.

About a mile down this road a JAGDPANTHER was found. It had apparently pulled off the road into a field on the right. Here it had a track, and apparently set on fire by its own crew. There was no sign of a hit on it, but the whole inside was burnt out and one side ripped open by exploding ammunition. None of those Officers, who saw this JAGDPANTHER now, had seen one, either in the flesh or on a recognition chart, before. It was a stupendous equipment. A very long 88mm gun stuck out from a very heavily armoured sloping front plate. Long sloping sides extended for three-quarters of the length of the vehicle. The gun appeared to have about 20 degrees of traverse. On the top were two exit hatches for the crew. All round was a length of wire on which camouflage could be hung - camouflage which would not interfere with the rotation of the turret, as on a tank.

Later, another JAGDPANTHER was found in ST MARTIN DES BESACES railway station. This one was fairly intact. It had been recovered by 6th GUARDS TANK Heavy Recovery Section. Inquiries there revealed that it had been found about 1/2 a mile beyond the burn-out one, and recovered to ST. MARTIN. When found, the only apparent damage, apart from two small holes in the side and the roof, which did not in any way affect the working of the tank, was two missing teeth in the left front sprocket. These must have broken the left track. Two new links were found in it, showing where it had first been repaired, and it was again broken when found. The crew had obviously then given up hope of repairing it and therefore abandoned it. The Gunner and Commander of Lieutenant BANKES’ tank had originally claimed a hit with a 75mm H.E. on this part of an enemy vehicle. The credit for having stopped it is therefore accorded to them. The two holes in the hull, which were very small, may also have been caused during the action - or, possibly, by infantry PIATS after the equipment had been abandoned. Two 88mm rounds, one an H.E. and one and A.P., were taken from this JAGDPANTHER and will be preserved. They are 3 feet 10 inches long.

The discovery of two abandoned specimens of this German S.P. gun - their latest and certainly most formidable anti-tank weapon - lead to the feeling in the Battalion that a certain revenge had been taken for the loss of eleven CHURCHILLS and many of their crews



If we check Jagdpanther '314' we see................................
Jagdpanther 314 . . . . (2)cv.jpg


.


The Aug 28th battlefield visit incorrectly assumed '314' was damaged on July 31st.
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Last edited by Michael Kenny on 27 Mar 2020 19:18, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 18:45

Cult Icon wrote:
27 Mar 2020 17:56
sPzJ654?
One of the drawbacks of the 'ignore' function?

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Gorque » 27 Mar 2020 18:46

Hull MG missing and all the hatches are open. Might not mean anything though.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 18:59

keith A wrote:
27 Mar 2020 09:29
No mention is made of the crews which is unusual. Did they all escape?
sPz Jgd Abt 654 list 20 KIA, 128 WIA and 17 MIA June-Sept 1944. No dead July 31 or Aug 1st.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by keith A » 28 Mar 2020 08:07

This is turning into a very good discussion :) The action seemed clear from Delaforce's book but it's not proved to be. By rights there should be five Jagdpanthers abandoned by their crews. However I wonder what was the period of time over which the actions happened. The account seems as if they were within a short time.

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Mar 2020 10:21

There are also a couple of posts here that include data from the Jagdpanther unit's war diary:

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/?s=j ... mit=Search

Regards

Tom

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Mar 2020 10:25

keith A wrote:
28 Mar 2020 08:07
This is turning into a very good discussion :) The action seemed clear from Delaforce's book but it's not proved to be. By rights there should be five Jagdpanthers abandoned by their crews. However I wonder what was the period of time over which the actions happened. The account seems as if they were within a short time.
The 43 Div action is not one but two actions and may involve different types of vehicle all referred to as "Ferdinand" but might have been Tiger II
or Jagdpanther. One hypothesis is that the two Jagdpanther found and photographed were KO in the attack on 7 SLI in the AM and the Tiger II lost in the evening against 5 Wilts & 234 Battery?

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Re: Jagdpanther in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 28 Mar 2020 16:50

Tank ID is always suspect and this shows how even the 'experts' get it wrong and make 2+2=5.


War Diary 3rd TANK BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS


July 30


Here they encountered an enemy force of unknown strength and equiped with A/tk weapons. This force opened fire on 'S' Sqn from close range and from close country in the left rear which was an open flank owing to the failure of the formation on the left to get fwd. 9 tanks were penetrated and set on fire by 88mm and possibly 150mm shells, one SP gun (believed to be Rhinoceres or Elephant ) and at least one Mk V (Tiger) were observed for a brief moment. Shots were fired and a hit with an HE round was claimed on the Mk V. Simultaneously with this attack the position was mortared. The enemy withdrew apparently in haste after this single encounter.

Appendix 3: Account of 3rd (Tank) Battalion Scots Guards action at Caumont 30 July 1944
'About 1800 hours however, the enemy began to shell and mortar the position very heavily with 15 cm guns and 12 cm and 8.2 mortars and the tanks were forced to close down, at least one (Capt Beeson‘s) being hit by shell fire and knocked out. About 10 mins later an armoured counter attack was launched by the Germans from thick cover about 400-600 yard's to the left rear of ―S Sqn. This was concealed from LF, who were in support, by a house in a small orchard which had a thick hedge leading from it towards ―S Squadron. The strength of the force is unknown, but it certainly included one or more Tigers and probably an SP gun mounting an 8.8 cm A/tk gun.

The first few shots knocked out all three tanks of Lieut Cunningham‘s troop who were watching that flank. Covered by the fire of the others behind the house, one Tiger advanced under the lee of the hedge through ―S Squadron from the SE knocking out several other tanks on its way. It was almost completely covered by the hedge from LF during this operation though one hit by a 75 mm was claimed on it. Apparently, however, finding the opposition more heavy than it expected it sheered off and disappeared in a northerly direction. At about the same time another SP Gun thought to be a Hornet, in from the north but was engaged and driven off. The remaining armour behind the farm then drew off and the counter attack ended.


The above is the initial reaction. Later versions have had the benefit of hindsight and errors are corrected:

The Scots Guards 1919-1955, David Erskine



The first three shots knocked out the whole of Lieutenant CUNNINGHAM’s troop, the guardians of that flank, thus clearing a path for the enemy attack. The force consisted of three enormous SP guns - Germany’s latest and most formidable, the JAGD PANTHER, until then never seen by the British in action. Two of these monsters, covered by a third, charged through the gap into the center of ‘S’ Squadron and then slipped out of sight over the ridge to the left front, leaving eight more flaming hulks in their wake. Their approach had been masterly, covered from the supporting squadron (Left Flank) by a cottage and some thick hedge; but they were engaged going over the hill and not without effect: for some time later, two of them were found, a few hundred yards away, their tracks leading back to the scene of the action. The hit on one, which was burnt out, approximated closely to a claim by Lieutenant BANKES’ tank.

Initial errors are corrected but others are introduced because it is assumed the two Jagdpanther wrecks seen on August 28 were knocked out by the Churchills.

I also make errors. Previous posts give the date for the Churchill ambush as July 31 instead of the correct July 30.

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