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

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 17:12

Bedtime reading and analysis for some. :wink:

Maczek's order for the attack...

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 19:17

Juha wrote:
08 Jan 2019 11:26
... if the 24 L came out from the very small wood at 088550, they could easily have taken under fire by Tigers at Cintheaux but the earlier position (appr. 096567) was out of reach from around Cintheaux.
Which Tigers around Cintheaux?
The sitrep indicating 24L at 088550 was over an hour after Reid (according to the other internet poster you linked to) says the Canadians had taken Cintheaux. If true, how many Tigers were still working and were they in headling retreat along with the rest of KG Waldmuller? Mind you, other sources have Cintheaux falling at different times to Reid.
Is this where Dr. Rabe comes in?
Where?

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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 » 09 Jan 2019 20:40

Juha,
Hello Tom, my understanding is (this is not a subject I know well) that in the British system tank battle casualties and breakdowns within last 24 hours which were not repairable within 24 hours by squadron fitters with the help of the Light Aid Detachment of its parent armoured regiment and with the possible extra help by the Brigade Workshop, if the resources of the latter allowed that, were stricken from the unit’s books at last light and handed over to workshops

But this is probably much more reliable source https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent ... ontext=cmh
Arthur Gullachsen, No Shortage of Tanks!: The Canadian Army’s System for the Recovery, Repair and Replacement of A and B Vehicles and Major Weapons Systems I'll myself read it when I have time for it.
Thanks for the reply and the link. I'll do some more digging and see if there was a definitive policy that is laid out somewhere.

I also recalled that Reynolds talked about 1 Polish Armd Div receiving a score or so replacement tanks on 9 August 1944, so had a look at the war diary of E Sqn, 25 Cdn Armd Delivery Regt to see what that contained and found these sparse details for Polish deliveries (Reid says that E Sqn always supported the Poles but before this is taken as evidence of how many replacement tanks they received it is worth noting that there was also a Polish Tank Delivery Sqn which may have been an intermediate step between E Sqn and the units of the Polish Division).
T-12749 – E Squadron, 25 Armoured Delivery Regiment

7 August 1944
Out to 1 Polish Div 1 Staghound.

8 August 1944
Polish crew from tk that fell through bridge arrived and were supplied with clothing and eqpt.

9 August 1944
Polish crew from drowned tk left with another tk for 1 Polish Armd Div. Capt. Jaworski arrived with 3 other Offrs and 66 ORs and are TOS, these men are conforming to Sqn Trg plan under their own instructors…Out to Cdn Bde Wksp 1 Sherman Vc, 1 Stuart V, 1 Sherman III and 1 Sherman V, a M10 to 6 A/Tk Regt and a Sherman V to 1 Polish Armd Div.

11 August 1944
9 Sher III to 1 Polish Armd Div 16 Sher V to Pol Fwd Del Sqn
The last entry might suggest that the Pol Fwd Del Sqn had already handed over a number of tanks to the Polish units and that these "16" were to re-fill the FDS.

To see if any more were delivered to the Poles I'll have a look into the 25 Armd Delivery Sqn HQ file.

Regards

Tom

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 20:45

Could this be a/the source of the 'Typhoons got Wittman' story?

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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 » 09 Jan 2019 20:57

Hi Mark,

That's exactly what I thought when I read that entry the other night.

This seems to be a day for which we have many scraps of information (British, German, Polish and Canadian) many of which are contradictory. It seems that much that has been accepted as gospel over continuous retelling in a long sequence of secondary sources is based on very shaky sources.

Regards

Tom

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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 » 09 Jan 2019 21:40

MarkN wrote:
09 Jan 2019 19:17
Juha wrote:
08 Jan 2019 11:26
... if the 24 L came out from the very small wood at 088550, they could easily have taken under fire by Tigers at Cintheaux but the earlier position (appr. 096567) was out of reach from around Cintheaux.
Which Tigers around Cintheaux?
The sitrep indicating 24L at 088550 was over an hour after Reid (according to the other internet poster you linked to) says the Canadians had taken Cintheaux. If true, how many Tigers were still working and were they in headling retreat along with the rest of KG Waldmuller? Mind you, other sources have Cintheaux falling at different times to Reid.
Is this where Dr. Rabe comes in?
Where?
In my opinion this is where the remaining tanks from Wittmann's group would have retreated that afternoon then to south of Hautmesnil before falling back to positions eastwards of Soignolles on the night of the 8/8/44

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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 » 09 Jan 2019 21:52

The II/SS-Pz-Regt. 12 war diary in Szamveber (p.126 English language paperback edition) says that the tree surviving Tigers from Wittmann's group retreated from Cintheaux to join up with the Bn HQ (and other elements) around Hautmesnil (i.e. straight back down the main road from Cintheaux). It continues on p.127
On th night of 08.08.44 the II/SS-Panzer Regiment 12 with the assigned Panzer VI (Tiger) tanks were withdrawn from their positions south of Hautmesnil in order to establish new positions eastwards at Soignolles.
Regards

Tom

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 22:20

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
09 Jan 2019 20:57
That's exactly what I thought when I read that entry the other night.
The Typhoons got me thinking of Wittmann. So I looked up the Sherbrooke Fusiliers who also claim a piece of him. The war diary itself has nothing of interest. However, the daily tank stats are very interetsing. For a unit that was supposedly tangling with the brunt of the German counter-attack, they have an amazing tank loss record. :wink:

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Jan 2019 22:41

MarkN wrote:
09 Jan 2019 20:45
Could this be a/the source of the 'Typhoons got Wittman' story?
BTW, a side note on the problems with Allied identifications of German tanks. We all know of course of the easy confusion between a "Mark IV" and a "Mark VI" or "Tiger" (Tiger I). Less well understood is the confusion caused by the introduction of the Panther, whose technical characteristics were only published for distribution to Allied tankers on 5 June 1944. :o Part of the problem that engendered was that for some time it was believed the Germans treated the Panther interchangeably in terms of its tactical and organizational use. (A problematic analysis based upon its employment at Kursk, which they knew of second-hand from the Soviets and from encountering it at Anzio in March.) So for quite a while, the Panther observed as a heavy tank and even the pro forma used treated it that way. :lol: TUSA's Ordnance Material Reports do not distinguish them in the initial period 11 August-22 October...they do not even appear on the pro forma. Later, it becomes evident they were included with the "Tank, Mk VI", to distinguish them from the "Tank, Mk III and IV" and that the compilation of the monthly reports as given in the TUSA AAR were later revised to account for them...which is why I keep looking for the Ordnance Material Reports compiled by the individual units (evidence is US forces completed them by division and by corps for corps troops, and I suspect the British did something similar). Also note that FUSA did only "claim" vehicles actually in American hands as "destroyed", apparently through 1 August and the activation of 12th Army Group, when, even though it was basically the same staff geeks, they decided to change the criteria to include "claims" of damaged and destroyed, go figure. :lol: Of course, mind you this is the same bunch that could not seemingly agree that a week was seven days. :lol:

Meanwhile, even the counting of "assault guns" was problematic. While referred to in reports, they were also subject to the interpretation of individual unit S-2/G-2 idiosyncrasies. TUSA appears to have folded them in with "Artillery, 75mm and greater" or "Vehicles, all types" in its counts. Others described them as "75mm SP", "75mm SP artillery", "SP artillery", and the like, leaving a lot open to interpretation. For example, did the Allies count the 69 Pak Sfl 7.5 the Germans reported lost June-August as "assault guns"? Or something else? And again, how was Becker's zoo counted?

The whole business of vehicle identification, "claims", and "counts" is problematic without even venturing into the "Typhoon's blowed him up" nonsense or doodle's paranoid fantasies. :lol:
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
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Re: Losses of the Polish 24th Lancers on 8 August 1944 SE of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil?

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 22:43

j keenan wrote:
09 Jan 2019 21:40
MarkN wrote:
09 Jan 2019 19:17
Which Tigers around Cintheaux?
The sitrep indicating 24L at 088550 was over an hour after Reid (according to the other internet poster you linked to) says the Canadians had taken Cintheaux. If true, how many Tigers were still working and were they in headling retreat along with the rest of KG Waldmuller? Mind you, other sources have Cintheaux falling at different times to Reid.
Is this where Dr. Rabe comes in?
Where?
In my opinion this is where the remaining tanks from Wittmann's group would have retreated that afternoon then to south of Hautmesnil before falling back to positions eastwards of Soignolles on the night of the 8/8/44
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
09 Jan 2019 21:52
The II/SS-Pz-Regt. 12 war diary in Szamveber (p.126 English language paperback edition) says that the tree surviving Tigers from Wittmann's group retreated from Cintheaux to join up with the Bn HQ (and other elements) around Hautmesnil (i.e. straight back down the main road from Cintheaux). It continues on p.127
On th night of 08.08.44 the II/SS-Panzer Regiment 12 with the assigned Panzer VI (Tiger) tanks were withdrawn from their positions south of Hautmesnil in order to establish new positions eastwards at Soignolles.
Allegedly, 3 Tigers had trundled off early in the morning. Where did they go? What did they do all day? Where did they end up?
Then, Wittmann and his fellow boy scouts (7 or 8 in total), set off after KG Waldmuller with 5 - supposedly - being destroyed leaving 2 or 3 to leg it back to Cintheaux, Hautmesnil etc.
And finally, there were the ones that had broken down or fallen out due to the odd fender-bender.

There is multiple evidence pointing to forces from Polish 1st Armoured Division and Canadian 4th Armoured Division 'joining up' at or about 088550 where the 24th Lancers are reported to be. I don't see why it shouldn't be 24th Lancers doing the linking up. That puts them, or at least part of them quite a distance away from where Reid puts them. Also, if the map produced by Juha's linked internet poster is a true reflection of Reid's, then KG Waldemuller is in the wrong position too. I haven't a clue whether Reid is a historian or a storyteller, but his hit rate so far is falling well short.

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Jan 2019 22:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Jan 2019 22:41
The whole business of vehicle identification, "claims", and "counts" is problematic without even venturing into the "Typhoon's blowed him up" nonsense or doodle's paranoid fantasies.
Armor misidentification is the norm in British war diaries. I think they just threw a dice to decide which tank to note in the paperwork.

Just been reading the Ed Duda engagement 29 November 1941. Small group of Pz.Jag.I and CV.3 identified as 1 Mk.III and 10 M.13s!!!! I wonder how many Shermans were identified as 'Panthers' and brewed up?

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

Post by Juha » 09 Jan 2019 23:36

Hello Tom
thanks for the info on the E Sqn, 25 Cdn Armd Delivery Regt
And
To be more exact Szamvebern writes
"On the basis of the observation of the battlefield the enemy has slipped through from the northeast, between Cintheaux and Hautmesnil, thus there is imminent danger of the encirclement the armoured Kompanien. Three Panzer VIs were able to retreat from Cintheaux in time"
So we needed a timeline of Canadian advance. Based on a very brief look on the thesis to which Michael gave a link in his message #35 to this thread it seems to be useful for that job. But just now I have not time to do more on this, one urgent project needs my attention.

Hello Mark
thanks a lot for the docus, Maczek's attack order is very useful, the other is probably very interesting, I'll look it later but just now I have not time to do it, one urgent project needs my attention.

On Tigers, where they were at 17.20 hrs depends on Canadian movements. I quessed that they were the survivors of Wittmann's attack which stayed along the Caen - Falaise highway. To my understanding all command tanks were lost during the attack and so there was no more radio contact to higher HQ and Rabe, being highest ranking officer at site, took command of the survivors on his own initiative (the company CO, Heurich, who was amongst survivors was very inexperienced according to Agte)

OK, the time is up.

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 » 10 Jan 2019 00:15

Juha wrote:
09 Jan 2019 23:36
So we needed a timeline of Canadian advance. Based on a very brief look on the thesis to which Michael gave a link in his message #35 to this thread it seems to be useful for that job. But just now I have not time to do more on this, one urgent project needs my attention.
Why read somebody else's thesis on what happened when the Canadian war diaries are all online?

The storytelling authors get it wrong so often because they take the lazy route of just quoting somebody else rather than putting in their own research.
Juha wrote:
09 Jan 2019 23:36
On Tigers, where they were at 17.20 hrs depends on Canadian movements. I quessed that they were the survivors of Wittmann's attack which stayed along the Caen - Falaise highway.
Did you guess right?

15 pantsers were observed departing CINTHEAUX southbound at 1507. The remains of KG Waldmuller and co?

When 24Lancers are reported at 088550, the Grenadier Guards are already between them and CINTHEAUX in the process of bypassing the place - and failing. See my earlier post.

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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 » 10 Jan 2019 11:46

A link for
The Victory Campaign : The Operations in North-west Europe 1944-1945 : Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War Volume III
in pdf pages 203 onwards make interesting reading
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp ... tory_e.pdf

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

Post by MarkN » 10 Jan 2019 14:00

j keenan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 11:46
A link for
The Victory Campaign : The Operations in North-west Europe 1944-1945 : Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War Volume III
in pdf pages 203 onwards make interesting reading
An decent start point for someone interested in the background.

For in depth understanding, why not go straight to the war diaries themselves?

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