Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

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Michael Kenny
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jan 2019 14:51

Juha wrote:
08 Jan 2019 14:48

The ravine begins from the left lower corner of the first aerial and the dark area running ENE of its marks the SE "bank" of it.
Trees and bushes grow and are left unmolested in 'hollows.'

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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by j keenan » 08 Jan 2019 14:54

Juha wrote:
08 Jan 2019 14:48
Hello Michael
thanks a lot for the aerials!

Hello J
The ravine begins from the left lower corner of the first aerial and the dark area running ENE of its marks the SE "bank" of it. No.2.Troop of which sqn?

Juha
Hello Juha
C company 1st Northants
Thanks Michael

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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Juha » 08 Jan 2019 15:20

C Sqn was, to my understanding, in position in the orchard just S oft the village, in the aerial, which isn't lined exactly N-S, "SW" of the village. A Sqn was SW and W of it, at the lower left corner of the first aerial photo and a bit west of its lower left edge.

Juha

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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by MarkN » 08 Jan 2019 17:00

Poster Cyprek wrote 12 years ago on AHF...
Cyprek wrote:
19 Jul 2006 16:30
As I wrote before I believe that Tiger number 223 is the one claimed by the 24th Lancers Regiment on 8th August.

Two tank regiments of 1st Armored Division were involved in that day's fighting. 24th Lancers was advancing south just in the vicinity os St Aignan. 2nd Armored Regiment was on 24th Lancers' left flank. A little forest created a borderline between the two attacking regiments. 26 Shermans (plus 2 Stuarts of the recon platoon) of 2nd Armored fell prey to a very intense anti-tank fire from the woods east of Robertmesnil (it is possible that there was also some fire from the left flan - Conteville village). Jagdpanzers and Mark IVs of 12th SS together with 3 Tigers (according to Schneider) were situated in that woods. 24th did little better as for the loss of 6 Shermans they knocked out 5 enemy vehicles (the divisional report speaks of 5 Mk Vs and 1 Mk IV knocked out which is impossible as there were no Panthers in the area; personally I believe that 2nd Armored knocked out 1 Jagdpanzer and the 24th Lancers 1 Tiger and 4 Mk IVs).

When the few remainig tanks of the two squadrons of 2nd Armored were retreating the Germans started a little counterattack. Some tanks drove out of the woods east of Robertmesnil in order to pursue the Polish tanks. According to the official history of 24th Lancers a Firefly commanded by staff sergeant Wojtynowski managed to knock out two of the (a Tiger and a Mark IV). Wojtynowski's tank waited hidden on a northern slope of a hill so that the German tank crews couldn't have seen him. He moved his tank cautiosly so that he could see what is happening on the opposite slope. The German crews attracted by the retreat of Shermans on the right flank didn't notice him. He knocked out the two tanks and retreated along with the other tanks of 24th Lancers. all that took place at about 15 o'clock (Allied time).
This analysis is based upon secondary sources at best. In otherwords, it's his/her analysis of other writers' analysis - which may or may not be derived from primary sources.

For example, Cyprek allocates 26 Sherman "fell prey" to 2nd Armd Regt (where did he/she) get this from? When the primary evidence suggests 26 Shermans were "casualties" for the entire division. Whilst the number 26 remains constant, the attribution has now been manipulated be be something wholly different. A common occurence when people are analysing data already manipulated by at least one, often several, other people.

Then we have the Tiger claim. Cyprek seems to have taken this straight out of the 24th Lancers post-war narrative. However, to make it work, the analysis then has to completely discredit the post-action report by the Divisional Commander, Maczek, on 13 August 1944 (see below). It seems reasonable that Maczek's report is based upon observation of the wrecks left behind on the battlefield by the Germans after their withdrawal. Nevertheless, to make the Tiger claim work, the existence of Panthers has to be denied! If he/she wanted to say Maczek had got it wrong, why not just say it was a mistype of Mk.VI written as a Mk.IV? Why change the entire narrative?

Here is General Maczek post-battle write-up of the 8 August 1944 action...
On 7 Aug 44, at 1800 hours the columns were formed; at 0230 hours the fwd [forward] elements of the bde reached the start line. The bde, marching on the Red axis was followed by the Adv Div HQ and 3 Rifle Bde, less 8 Rifle Bn [Battalion], reinf by: 2 Mech [Mechanized] Arty [Artillery] Regt [Regiment]; two A Tk Btys; one AA [Anti-Aircraft] Bty 11 Coy Engrs [Engineers] (less one platoon); 11 Medical Coy.

Div HQ marched as fourth echelon and Quartermaster Group as fifth echelon.

By 0630 hours the leading elements of 10 Armd Cav Bde reached the designated area – the bridges S of Caen. 3 Rifle Bde reached the bridges between 1300 and 1400 hours, the Div HQ between 1400 and 1500 hours.

The route was traced and controlled by Polish and British Traffic Control. During the march tps [troops] encountered several difficulties, namely: poor roads for vehs [vehicles], clouds of dust which rendered forward cars invisible to the drivers, in a drive without lights, rds so narrow that only jeeps and motorcycles could overtake.

Generally speaking the march was efficiently executed – in spite of an exceptional concentration of troops in this area.

The distance covered in the march was nearly 30 kilometres. The 10 Armd Cav Bde reaches Bras by 0800 hours. After breakfast, the echelons A 1 and A 2 were left in Bras and the Bde regrouped for the march to the forming up place.

Here the 22 Brit Dragoons joined the bde. The attack was to be preceded by the bombardment by 21 A Gp Air Force, after which an arty barrage was to be laid on enemy positions. At 1330 hours, the Air Force started the bombardment but, probably by mistake, instead of bombing the area of Cauvicourt–St. Sylvain, bombed the area S of Caen, just as the Div HQ, as fourth echelon arrived at its appointed place.

As a result of this bombardment, the Cdn AGRA suffered most, losing a great number of men and much eqpt, but our AA Arty also lost 44 men (killed and wounded). The situation was extremely difficult as the area was packed with various munition dumps which exploded for 40 minutes after the bombing as a result of fires caused. At 1335 hours 24 Lancers and 2 Tk Regt, each reinforced by one sqn [squadron] of Dragoons, one sqn of Crabs, and one platoon of Engineers, started the attack as leading regts. At 1425 hours, 2 Tk Regt was stopped in attack by twenty German tks, probably of German Tiger type and Mk IV, operating from area 108556.

24 Lancers were under enemy arty fire. The CO 10 Armd Cavalry Bde required arty on the discovered targets.

At 1450 hours, two Arty Regts opened fire with good results. At 1520 hours contact with 4 Cdn Armd Div was established at the co-ordinate 082558. In that time, 2 Tk Regt fell into a very difficult situation, its flank being menaced by German tks. The CO Bde, arrived with help, covering the flank with 2 Sqn, 10 Mounted Rifle Regt and with one A Tk Bty

Our arty, very efficiently and quickly supported 2 Tk Regt. After all day fighting, the armd regts set out for the night bivouac. 3 Rifle Bde took over the sector and protected it for the night (the Bde was to execute a night attack, which was not realized).

The losses inflicted on the enemy by 10 Armd Cavalry Bde in this day were:
Prisoners – 1 offr, 105 ORs
Tanks – 1 MK IV, 5 Mk V destroyed or damaged.
2 – 88 mm A Tk guns destroyed.
1 – 75 mm gun damaged
4 – 20 mm guns destroyed, 3 damaged.
1 – 105 mm gun destroyed
6 – mortars (15 cm) destroyed
7 – Hy MG destroyed.
2 – Hy MG damaged.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jan 2019 19:18

I have a transcript of the Radley-Walters tapes (he was blind by this time) used by Reid for his 'No Holding Back' book as well as copies of letters between Radley-Walters and Boardman in the 1990s. He is very insistent that he engaged a Panther on 8/8/44 and captured an Officer from Lehr.
I also have a 57 page German-language account by Werner Wendt of his time in Normandy June-late August.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Jan 2019 19:58

Michael,
I have a transcript of the Radley-Walters tapes (he was blind by this time) used by Reid for his 'No Holding Back' book as well as copies of letters between Radley-Walters and Boardman in the 1990s. He is very insistent that he engaged a Panther on 8/8/44 and captured an Officer from Lehr.
I also have a 57 page German-language account by Werner Wendt of his time in Normandy June-late August.
It is also interesting to read in the Canadian Grenadier Guards war diary entry for 8 August 1944 quite a few reports of Panthers including a report by Major Amy of "four Panther tks burning in the fd to the east of the main rd"!

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Jan 2019 20:04

MarkN,
Tank casualty report sent on the morning of 09 August 1944. Presumably referring to previous day(s)'s effort.
T7091 - image stamped 0964 but 971st in the series. :wink:
Top man! I was looking for that infm last night as well.

Juha, Michael, MarkN, Richard, j Keenan, Histan,

Thank you all for contributing to this thread which seems to offer a collegiate example of research which shows why I keep coming back to AHF despite the occasional frustrations.

:thumbsup: :welcome:

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Jan 2019 20:06

My next research target was going to be the British Liaison Unit which I had assumed would have been attached to 1 Polish Armoured Division but I couldn't find that on the UK National Archives website. Does anyone know whether it was one of the numbered series - there are quite a few on their from Italy and the Middle East, just nothing from NW Europe.

Regards

Tom

Juha
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Juha » 08 Jan 2019 20:24

Hello Mark
I was skeptical on Cyprek's info and theories on Polish claims but I was looking on info on Polish AFV losses on August 8th and 9th other than Hubert Meyer's 40 tanks which Reynolds more or less accepted as reliable. And because I needed only the number, I needed the info to compare Allied losses to the claims of the JgPz IVs of the 1./SS-Pz.Jg.Abt 12 for a blog article, it was fortunately that I believed Cyprek when I published the article on 2 January. I knew I lacked the info on M10/M10c losses but knew that only five were lost up to 1200 hrs 12 Aug 1944 from Maczek's report. And also the possible Cromwell losses on 8th but for 9th Michael had given info or at least an approximation. As it is according to Murphy, three days after publication new very interesting information on Oper Totalize began to appear here. I'll update my article later and add this thread to my sources.

Has anyone info on what the 10th Mounted Rifles did on 8th? According to Maczek's report it protected the flank of the 2nd Armoured Rgt, but which one? The left flank of Poles was open but because the attack of the 24th L stopped almost immediately after crossing the start line the right flank of the 2nd Arm's was also partially open.
Any info when the M10/M10c losses happened?
Reynols writes that the 2nd Arm.Rgt got 24 replacement tanks on 9th, any confirmation for this?

Juha

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Jan 2019 20:30

Michael,

Is there a time stamp on the air recce photos?

Regards

Tom

Michael Kenny
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jan 2019 20:33


Juha
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Juha » 08 Jan 2019 20:35

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
08 Jan 2019 19:58
Michael,
I have a transcript of the Radley-Walters tapes (he was blind by this time) used by Reid for his 'No Holding Back' book as well as copies of letters between Radley-Walters and Boardman in the 1990s. He is very insistent that he engaged a Panther on 8/8/44 and captured an Officer from Lehr.
I also have a 57 page German-language account by Werner Wendt of his time in Normandy June-late August.
It is also interesting to read in the Canadian Grenadier Guards war diary entry for 8 August 1944 quite a few reports of Panthers including a report by Major Amy of "four Panther tks burning in the fd to the east of the main rd"!

Regards

Tom
Hello Tom
as you probably know according to Számvéber’s book five Panthers arrived at the command post of the II./SS-Pz.Rgt 12 on 8 August, to my understanding in the afternoon. Those were tanks repaired by the Workshop Company of the SS-Panzer Regiment 12 and I got an impression that these were only used to secure positions south of Hautmesnil.

Juha

Juha
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Juha » 08 Jan 2019 20:36

Hello Michael
thanks a lot for the link!

Juha

Michael Kenny
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jan 2019 20:41

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
08 Jan 2019 20:30
Michael,

Is there a time stamp on the air recce photos?

No but the bombing is in progress and a flight of B17s ( frame 3045 and others) are captured below the PRO aircraft in a couple of frames.


https://ncap.org.uk/search?archive=1-1-70-15

My plot of the area.
totalize bombing Aug 8th.jpg
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histan
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by histan » 08 Jan 2019 20:45

There are some details, including losses sustained, contained in The Black Devil's March by Evan McGilvray.

Happy to post extracts but others may have details closer to hand - I have to copy from Kindle.

Quick quote "Encountering German Panther tanks, 2nd Squadron, 10 PSK lost two tanks and suffered their first casualties."

He says based either on unit history or war diary - not sure which.

Regards

John

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