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

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
j keenan
Financial supporter
Posts: 1418
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 11:22
Location: North

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

Post by j keenan » 10 Jan 2019 14:16

MarkN wrote:
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?
No reason at all Mark, the above gives a good understanding in my opinion of the over all position then say Agte or Schneider who have a tale to tell ?

j keenan
Financial supporter
Posts: 1418
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 11:22
Location: North

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

Post by j keenan » 10 Jan 2019 14:20

On Agte he supposedly has all the archives for the 101/501 Abt. to his self, so I wonder if he cherry picked what he used to fit his narrative ?

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 7341
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Jan 2019 14:42

j keenan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 14:20
On Agte he supposedly has all the archives for the 101/501 Abt. to his self, so I wonder if he cherry picked what he used to fit his narrative ?
Agte (it is claimed) got hold of a copy of Wendt's unpublished account of his time in Tigers and then published it as all his own work!

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 10 Jan 2019 17:07

Michael Kenny,

A little birdie mentionned that you've done a bit of research in this area. So, penny for your thoughts. :wink:

I've spent the last 30 mins skimming through Szamveber's book on google. As is always the case, pages not available just where you need them. But from what I can see, some of the times and places quoted don't make sense. I'm focussing on the Polish element of this thread.

Phase 1 of Totalize saw 51st Highland conduct a night assault east of the Caen-Falaise main road. 154 Brigade the tip of the spear with various other elements attached. By 0600, 1 BW have taken St. Aignan de Cramesnil and have taken up positions slightly to the south. 1 NY with them do likewise looking southwestwards. Alongside them, 7 ASH and 144 RAC have taken Cramesnil and the high ground upto Pt.122 and the main road. All done having met minimal opposition from the start line. However, the third battalion, 7 BW, who were to seize and hold Garcelles and Secqueville, ran into a spot of bother. C Tp/6th ATk Regt who were supporting 7 BW, claim a Pz.IV and note casualties.

Szamveber has a map on p.164 (pages missing either side on google) of 2./Pz.Jag.12 and their engagment at Garcelles.

Q1. Is the 2./Pz.Jag.12 engagment with 7 BW late morning/lunch time or with 152 Bde that came later in the day to mop up?

Phase 2 was for the Poles to enter the fray by pushing on from the 154th Bde positions. According to the Maczek report, they kicked of their assault at 1335: 24th Lancers right, 2nd ArmdRegt left. He then states at 1425, the 2nd ArmdRegt ran into trouble from Germans firing from 108556. Then, at 1520, 2nd ArmdRegt is saying it's being threatened from its flank too. The 2nd Corps Ops Log shows a report timed 1610 of 20 Tigers in that very location: gridsquare 110560.

Q2. What are your thoughts on who these two - assuming there are two elements: those in the wood to their front and those crossing open ground to their east - are? Candidates seem to be 1./Pz.Jag.12 in the woods and 2./Pz.Jag.12 moving southwards after Garcelles on their way to Soignolles. However, should I also be looking at either 6./ or 8./SS-Pz.Regt.12?

Szamveber, pp.168-170, clearly plants his flag that 1./Pz.Jag.12 did the damage to 2nd ArmdRegt. However, since p.167 is not available to me, I'm having a bit of a problem orientating myself as to where Szamveber thinks they were. He even claims a pair of Pz.Jag passed through the village (which?) and settled north of St. Aignan de Cramesnil until 2200. I would have thought 1 BW and 1 NY would have something to say about that - despite their earlier tangle with KG Waldemuller.

Q3. What are your thoughts on Szamveber's positionning of 1./Pz.Jag.12?

Q4. You thoughts on where 6./ and 8./SS-Pz.Regt.12 started the day and what they got up to on 8th August. If anything.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2821
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Jan 2019 20:09

Looking at the regimental history of the 7th Argylls, I noted a report of one source of tank casualties that is seldom mentioned:
7 Argylls - 8 Aug 44.JPG
I wonder how those losses were recorded in the respective war diaries and the evening Tank State for 8 August 1944!

Regards

Tom
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2821
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Jan 2019 20:58

I've just had a chance to begin to skim read the Gullachsen article that Juha kindly posted a link to in post 43 and found on initial inspection that it is deserving of close study!

It contains much detail of tank replacement in Normandy and also later 'B' vehicle replacement.

It also exposes the shallowness of the research conducted by those who consider that the Allies didn't conduct similar maintenance and repair procedures to their tanks as the Germans attempted on their precious Tigers. Just this footnote alone would have been valuable reading for some of our AHF colleagues!
Gullachsen article.JPG
Regards

Tom
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

histan
Member
Posts: 1661
Joined: 14 Jan 2008 17:22
Location: England

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

Post by histan » 10 Jan 2019 21:10

Szamber allocates them to 1.Kompanie because the Anlagen to the KTB states that three named members of the unit claimed 11, 8, and 6 tanks out of a total of 29 claims. Although some of these seem to be for actions around St. Agnan de Cramesmil itself.

He says that around 11:10 2.Kompanie were gathering in Vieux-Pont - where is that on the map that Michael kindly provided for us?

The map, not clear who drew it, (the previous map for 2.Kompanie seems to have been taken from the KTB) shows 1.Kompanie on the right flank of the attack, passing east of Robert Mesnil and the leading element not passing through but ending up just to the east of St. Agnan de Cramesnil. So they are on the extreme right flank and engaging targets to the east of them.

Nice to see so much cooperation, sharing of information and sharing of ideas.

New to land warfare analysis but as with the stuff I have done before, the basics seem to be - get one or more good maps, create your own timeline, use primary sources wherever possible, believe everything and believe nothing (there are mistakes everywhere).

Regards

John

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 10 Jan 2019 21:39

histan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 21:10
Szamber allocates them to 1.Kompanie because the Anlagen to the KTB states that three named members of the unit claimed 11, 8, and 6 tanks out of a total of 29 claims. Although some of these seem to be for actions around St. Agnan de Cramesmil itself.

The map, not clear who drew it, (the previous map for 2.Kompanie seems to have been taken from the KTB) shows 1.Kompanie on the right flank of the attack, passing east of Robert Mesnil and the leading element not passing through but ending up just to the east of St. Agnan de Cramesnil. So they are on the extreme right flank and engaging targets to the east of them.
Szamveber states a pair of Jagdpanzer "...held the northern perimetres of St Aignan de Cramesnil until 2200". To do that they must have passed through either 1BW/1NY or 1st ArmdRegt without anybody seeing them and sat there all afternoon and evening without being spotted. Some feat.
histan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 21:10
He says that around 11:10 2.Kompanie were gathering in Vieux-Pont - where is that on the map that Michael kindly provided for us?
Was that before proceeding to Garcelles or after the engagement?

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 7341
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Jan 2019 22:15

D Squadron 25 Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment T 12748/920 July 1944.
T 12748/973 August 1944.


4 M4 with mechanical problems:
.
D Squadron 25 CADR Aug 12.jpg

The Infantry will pinch anything not nailed down:
.

Screenshot_1.jpggghhghggg.jpg.jpg
They also note that 125 tanks were 'delivered' in August.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 7341
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Jan 2019 22:29

histan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 21:10
He says that around 11:10 2.Kompanie were gathering in Vieux-Pont - where is that on the map
It is 50km (30 miles) south just below Ecouche on the road from Flers to Argentan.

The ATB Magazine article on Wittmann has a photo of a knocked-out JgPz IV in the area.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 10 Jan 2019 23:09

Michael Kenny wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:29
histan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 21:10
He says that around 11:10 2.Kompanie were gathering in Vieux-Pont - where is that on the map
It is 50km (30 miles) south just below Ecouche on the road from Flers to Argentan.
If the time and place are correct, then that sort of excludes them from doing battle with 7 BW and accompanying troops. The map in Szamveber indicates they were sitting in the village waiting for the troops to arrive. How can that be?

j keenan
Financial supporter
Posts: 1418
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 11:22
Location: North

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

Post by j keenan » 11 Jan 2019 02:20

MarkN wrote:
10 Jan 2019 23:09
Michael Kenny wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:29
histan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 21:10
He says that around 11:10 2.Kompanie were gathering in Vieux-Pont - where is that on the map
It is 50km (30 miles) south just below Ecouche on the road from Flers to Argentan.
If the time and place are correct, then that sort of excludes them from doing battle with 7 BW and accompanying troops. The map in Szamveber indicates they were sitting in the village waiting for the troops to arrive. How can that be?
My interpretation
6.8.44 took up positions north-eastern and north-western perimeters of Garcelles-Secqueville and started fighting 01.30 hours on the 8.8.44 the battle continued on till around noon before they manage to break out sending a report of losses at 11.10 then retreating to Vieux-Pont.

j keenan
Financial supporter
Posts: 1418
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 11:22
Location: North

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

Post by j keenan » 11 Jan 2019 02:27

As for the 1/SS-Pz.Jg.Abt.12 he says they were fighting all day in the village losing vehicles and men before retreating to Soignolles

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 11 Jan 2019 20:53

j keenan wrote:
11 Jan 2019 02:20
My interpretation
6.8.44 took up positions north-eastern and north-western perimeters of Garcelles-Secqueville and started fighting 01.30 hours on the 8.8.44 the battle continued on till around noon before they manage to break out sending a report of losses at 11.10 then retreating to Vieux-Pont.
Setting up in Garcelles 2 days earlier makes sense.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 12 Jan 2019 00:30

I generally try to form my historical understanding by reading primary documents as books tend to be stories of other peoples thoughts, ideas and opinion. However, being new to the 1944 Normandy topic, I'm short of primary evidence if it is not Canadian. So, I've turned to books, and those that I can find on the internet, to give me a rather heads-up. I feel dirty now. Uuuurghhhhh!!

I knew the authorship, from a historical point of view was poor, but really????

Already I've decided Reid's book seems of such low historical value that I think I might shudder at using it as toilet paper. Maybe it's better in other chapters that I've not been to.

Szamveber and Meyer appear to be based around primary documentation, so trying to filter out the author commentary may provide something of historical use. Unfortunately, Meyer seems to rely on post-war personal narratives which leads to 'problems'.

I've just found Agte.....

Back to 1./Pz.Jag.12 and what they got up to and my concerns where Szamveber, or their own war diary, places them. He writes, page 168 of Waffen-SS Armour in Normandy: The Combat History of SS Panzer Regiment 12, Normandy 1944 (regrettably, google doesn't allow me to read who/what references 23 and 24 are):
Image

Also, from Agte, Michael Wittmann and the Waffen SS Tiger Commanders.... Vol.2:
Image

Agte implies ths infantry (1 Black Watch) only took up positions north and east of St. Aignan but the pantsers of A/1 NY (note only A Sqn is mentionned) positionned themselves to the south of St. AIgnan.

Szamveber states that 2 of the Jagdpanzers passed through the villiage (which, from the text, imples St.Aignan), killed some more pantsers etc on the far side and then "held the northern perimeters ... until 2200".

Here is what the Commanding Officer of 1 BW had to say (my underlining)...
At first it was considered necessary to clear the strip of woods on the right on approaching the objective [MarkNote: St. Aignan]. On arrival at the debussing area at 0315 hours however, a change of plan was made owing to the “going” being better than anticipated. It was decided to motor right up to the objective under cover of a pre-arranged artillery concentration (Brimstone) from 0325 – 0345 hours, and fire from the two leading squadrons of tanks - the Battalion was then to debus with “A” Company on the right, “B” Company on the left, and “D” in reserve and move straight into the village. “A” and “B” Company’s task was then to exploit right through to the far side of St Aignan while “D” Company in reserve and Battalion Headquarters remained on the near side clearing up any pockets of resistance which might be left.
...
... “A” and “B” Company’s maintained direction and advanced to their respective objectives. During the advance by the two leading companies’ little serious opposition was encountered, though there were the odd spandau posts which held out and which had to be mopped up. This however was fairly quickly accomplished, and by 0530 hours, the forward companies were on their objectives. The reserve Company “D”, with the Battalion. Headquarters took over the orchards on the forward edge of St Aignan and by 0600 hours company positions nearly all been sited, and the Battalion had started to dig in, while the tanks and supporting arms were moving up into company areas as additional support against any counter-attack.
...
At approximately 1200 hours, the shelling and motaring increased in intensity, and considerable fire was heard coming from “A” Company’s direction. It appeared that “A” Company were being counter-attacked by 200 infantry supported by tanks. This counter-attack continued for one and a half hours, the enemy infantry advancing to within 300 yards of “A” Company’s F.D.Ls. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry however, moved forward of our F.D.Ls. and did magnificent work against the Boche tanks, knocking out 4 Tigers and 7 Mk IV.
These words imply that 1 Black Watch was dug in south of St.Aignan - with perhaps BHQ and D Coy to the north. It's not clear whether "forward edge" is the north or the south side of the village; it depends on the perspective of the writer/reader which may not be aligned. Nevertheless, A and B Coys are clearly identified as digging in south of St.Aignan along with elements of 1 NY. When the German counter attack commenced, elements of 1 NY moved further forward to engage. That tallies with the 1 NY war diary.

Agte seems to have ignored the locations of A and B Coy and downgraded the number of 1 NY pantsers positionned south of St.Aignan. Why? Deliberate attempt to mislead or poor reasearch and understanding?

Then we have Szamveber who states that a pair of Jagdpanzers pushed through the village and parked up 8 or 9 hours within 1 Black Watch's laager. Perhaps they all had tea and crumpets together and played a spot cricket to pass the time!!!!! This part of the book seems to be Szamveber's narrative rather than a transcription of a war diary. Has he got it wrong too? Misidentified which village it was that they passed through and parked up on the far side?

Then there is Meyer's The 12th SS: The History of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division Volume II, page 22:
Image

If 1./Pz.Jag.12 started from where they were supposed to, and headed in the direction they were supposed to, they wouldn't be going into St.Aignan at all. If they did that, they'd be motoring at right angles across the front line of their own advancing troops!!!

What's going on here?

Are authors that incompetent? Are they making it all up? Are they just cherry picking what they need to tell their story?

As far as I can see, the German counter-attack by KG Waldemuller failed to accomplish its geographical objective which, according to Meyer quoting Meyer was: "I determined the forest southeast of Garcelles as the target of the attack...". Where are the "hills south of St.Aignan" mentionned in the quote above? The high ground south of St.Aignan is the start line of the counter-attack in and around Cintheaux!

It seems the 1.SS-Panzerkorps order was a bit geographically challenged or written post-engagment to make it appear as more successful than it actually was. KG Waldemuller did not get through British-Polish lines and reach the forest southeast of Garcelles. However, it certainly stalled the advance and thus, arguable achieved the objective of the mission.

Methinks far too much attention being placed on the demise of an individual to the deteriment of the wider historical event.

Return to “Heer, Waffen-SS & Fallschirmjäger”