Skirmishes around Mormal forest - May 1940

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Skirmishes around Mormal forest - May 1940

Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2006 18:59

Skirmishes around the Mormal Forest (combats in Landrecies, Jolimetz etc.)

In 1932-1935, the first fully motorized/mechanized French unit, the 1e DLM (Division Légère Mécanique = Light Mechanized Division), was born and developed. The 2e DLM was born in 1937 and the 3e DLM in February 1940. There will be 3 DLMs on May 10, 1940 (1e DLM, 2e DLM and 3e DLM) forming the French cavalry corps under command of General René Jacques Adolphe Prioux (1879-1953). The DLM is more powerful than the DCr, faster and more mobile. It is a unit fully adapted to modern mobile warfare. The term "light" referred to its speed and mobility.

The 1e DLM and 2e DLM became very well trained divisions (even at the divisional and corps level) with efficient crews and specialists. Manoeuvres and trainings were organized at large scale in 1935, 1936, 1937 1938, 1939 and the last divisional training in 1940. They included deep penetration behind fortifications, cooperation with close air support and close inter-arms cooperation. The crew knew their tanks and how to operate them. The gunners were skilled and trained. The 3e DLM formed in 1940 had only reservists who did their military service on horse and some of them discovered their tank a short time before being engaged, except some officers and specialists originating from the other DLMs. The 3e DLM will nonetheless behave well during the battle of Gembloux against the 4.PzD and the 3.PzD.

Each DLM included about 10,400 men and 3,400 vehicles:
• 1 divisional HQ
• 1 light motorized brigade (BLM = Brigade Légère Motorisée) with 2 armored cavalry regiments (RC = Régiment de Cuirassiers or RD = Régiment de Dragons).

1e DLM : 174 tanks (+ 16 reserve tanks) in the 1e BLM
• 4e RC (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)
• 18e RD (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)


1 light motorized brigade (BLM = Brigade Légère Motorisée) with 1 armored reconnaissance regiment (regiment de découverte) and 1 RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés = mechanized cavalry regiment)

1e DLM : 107 armored cars in the 2e BLM
• 6e RC : 40 Panhard 178 (+1 radio car + 2 reserve armored car)
• 4e RDP : 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1 (+2 reserve armored cars)


• 1 divisional AT squadron (EDAC = Escadron Divisionnaire Anti-Char)
• 1 divisional repair and recovery squadron
• 1 motorized artillery regiment (with all-terrain tractors)
• 1 motorized AT battery (BDAC = Batterie Divisionnaire Anti-Char)
• 1 motorized AA battery (BDAA = Batterie Divisionnaire Anti-Aérienne)
• 1 engineer battalion (3 motorized companies plus a bridging company)
• 1 telegraph company
• 1 radio company
• 1 carrier-pigeon detachment
• 1 HQ motor transport company
• 1 divisional quartermaster group
• 1 divisional medical group

The cavalry tanks are organized in "escadrons" (1 escadron = 1 squadron) and in "pelotons" (1 peloton = 1 platoon). For example in a cavalry unit like the 4e Régiment de Cuirassiers there are : 44 Somua S35 and 43 Hotchkiss H35 (+4 reserve tanks of each model):

• 1 regiment command tank (1 Somua S35)
• 1 Somua S35 squadrons group = 43 Somua S35:
--o 1 Somua S35 squadrons group command tank (1 Somua S35)
--o 1st squadron (21 Somua S35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
---- 1 squadron commander tank
---- 4 platoons of 5 tanks
--o 3rd squadron (21 Somua S35s) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
---- 1 squadron commander tank
---- 4 platoons of 5 tanks

• 1 Hotchkiss squadrons group = 43 Hotchkiss H35:
--o 1 squadrons group command tank (1 Hotchkiss H35)
--o 2nd squadron (21 Hotchkiss H35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
---- 1 squadron commander tank
---- 4 platoons of 5 tanks
--o 4th squadron (21 Hotchkiss H35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
---- 1 squadron commander tank
---- 4 platoons of 5 tanks

While the 2e DLM and 3e DLM are engaged in Belgium with the 1st army, the 1e DLM (General Picard) is sent in the Netherlands with the 7th army. The French 7th army has to deploy between Breda and Turnhout but this line was rather far away from the starting line in France. The 1e DLM was to move first, to provide intelligence and reconnaissance for the 7th army and to establish contacts with the Belgian and Dutch armies. Its mission was then to delay the German troops long enough to allow the 25e DIM (General Molinié) and the 9e DIM (General Didelet) to occupy the position on the Marck River.

The 1e DLM will fight hard delaying combats in the Netherlands between May 10 and May 16. In one week the division moved on more than 600 km, managing to defeat all the German encirclement attempts. On May 16, the 3 DLMs move back to France. After the combats in Belgium and in the Netherlands, General Prioux wants to concentrate the 1e, 2e and 3e DLM in the cavalry corps. Nevertheless it seems not possible, all the time the tank brigades are being ordered by the army corps to support different infantry units.

The units of the 1e DLM will delay and counter-attack German elements in many places, like around the Mormal forest, where they engage the advancing 5.PzD and 7.PzD supported by other units.

The 1e DLM is deployed south of Valenciennes and Cambrai, attached to the 9th army. The Somua S35 tanks are deployed at Quesnoy and will soon meet German mechanized elements reinforced by AT guns during short but violent engagements. Rear guard elements of the French 9th army are engaged in the forest of Mormal, east of Quesnoy. The 7.PzD (General Rommel) has trapped them in the woods and goes on with its advance, letting the 5.PzD (General von Hartlieb) reduce them.

On May 17, the 1e DLM is ordered to block the German tanks. There is also a fierce battle in and around the Mormal forest. The 1e DLM meets the 5.PzD and elements of the 7.PzD. The 1e DLM is far from having all its units but the counter-attack starts at 18h30 from Quesnoy towards Landrecies. The tanks of the 4e RC (Colonel Poupel) and the 18e RD (Colonel Pinon) are incomplete, inferior in number and forced to disperse to control the assigned area. Nevertheless the morale and the determination are high. During the counter-attack many Hotchkiss tanks are destroyed by 10.5cm field guns used in AT role. The French counter-attack will significantly delay the 5.PzD.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2006 19:01

At the 6e RC, the Dudognon squadron launches several reconnaissance patrols across the Sambre River: Maréchal-des-Logis Chef towards Berlaimont and Lieutenant Astoul towards Landrecies. Astoul arrives in Landrecies around 9h00 and discovers French infantry troops physically and morally broken, unable to face German tanks. Astoul's patrol crosses the bridge and moves to the city hall. They meet a column of French POWs, telling them that the city is occupied by the Germans. Despite the arrival of the French armored cars the French POWs don't seem to change their behaviour. Suddenly 2 German soldiers armed with SMGs arrive to hurry up the French POWs. They are immediately killed by the MG of Astoul's Panhard 178. Around 10h00, the French patrol moves back to a level/grade crossing, where the armored cars can hide and control the accesses to the bridge.
Suddenly a Panzer 38(t) [7.PzD] crosses the bridge and advances rapidly. At 100 meters, the French Panhard 178 from Astoul fires the first with its 25mm gun. At the first shot the German tank is immobilized without having been able to react: the driver has been killed and the other crew members are bailing immediately out. Lieutenant Astoul goes on with firing on the German abandoned tank to definitely disable it. At the 15th shot the German tank is burning.
Changing their tactics, the Germans send many patrols through the gardens left and right of the road. Around 12h00, a group of German soldiers advance on the road, hidden behind French POWs who are forced to march in front of them. The Panhard 178 armored cars fire on their flank and a dozen of Germans are killed.
Around 14h00, elements from a battalion from 95e RI (9e DIM) and a 75mm Mle1897 field gun arrive. After a forced march, the men are exhausted and unable to launch an attack. They reinforce the position hold by Astoul's patrol and by motorcycle troops from 6e RC (Maréchal-des-Logis Gasquet and Maréchal-des-Logis Munier). They block the Landrecies to Englefontaine road.

Still on May 17, 2 infantry tanks will spread havoc in Landrecies. Unlike the Panhard 178 arriving from north-west, these tanks arrive in Landrecies from south-west. The B1bis "Mistral" and "Tunisie" from 3/15e BCC (3rd company of the 15th tank battalion - 2e DCr) will attack the German troops, advancing between two columns of armored cars, light tanks (Panzer I and Panzer II) and probably armored personnal carriers (Sd.Kfz.251). They will slaughter about 50 German vehicles in 20 minutes.
The testimony of Sous-lieutenant Gaudet, commander of the B1bis "Tunisie" enables to tell the story from the French side. Initially 3 B1bis tanks were to attack but shortly before one of them experienced a mechanical breakdown. During there movement towards Landrecies they stayed camouflaged and immobile during about 45 minutes since the Luftwaffe was strongly bombing the towns around.
The "Tunisie" (Sous-lieutenant Gaudet) and the "Mistral" (Lieutenant Pompier) stop at the entry of Landrecies, at the crossing of the roads to Ors and Avesnes-Le Cateau. A French convoy is completely abandoned beside the road. It is 12h00 and Landrecies seems unoccupied.
The "Mistral" moves on among the French abandoned vehicles and is followed by the "Tunisie". Several streets and squares are crossed without noticing something interesting. Suddenly the "Mistral" stops and opens fire with its 47mm turret gun and its 75mm hull gun. The "Tunisie" moves to the left but the intense smoke prevents him to see what is happening in front of the French tanks. The "Mistral" goes on, fires several times and moves towards the center of Landrecies. The "Tunisie" is following 100m behind. Suddenly, sous-lieutenant Gaudet discovers what was targeted: many German armored cars and light tanks parked on both sides of the street and very close to each others. The "Mistral" turns in an adjacent road 150m in front of the "Tunisie". At the end of the road, on the church square, several German armored cars are burning after the action of the "Mistral". The "Tunisie" starts to fire meticulously and systematically on each German AFV in the street. The "Tunisie" moves two times all along the eastern part of Landrecies, firing on each spotted target.
The "Tunisie" has lost visual contact with the "Mistral" of the company commander and avoids to cross the bridge on the canal in Landrecies, assuming that the core and heavy elements of the German Panzerdivision are deployed in the western part of Landrecies. Nonetheless, two 3.7cm PaKs are defending the bridge. They fire on the French B1bis without effect and are quickly destroyed.
In Landrecies itself, Sous-lieutenant Gaudet says that there were probably about 200 various vehicles. He destroyed two 3.7cm PaKs (for a total of 4) and many (armoured) vehicles. He saw very few German soldiers in the street except AT gunners. All the crews fled and were hidden in the houses. The various hits on the turret of the B1bis tanks showed that the Germans fired also with AT rifles but they did not damage the tank. On the other hand, the machineguns of the B1bis tank penetrated easily many German armored cars and put them on fire with AP rounds.
Fearing a counter-attack and without having achieved a complete destruction of the enemy vehicles, the "Tunisie" moves back. The streets are full of burning vehicles whose ammunition is exploding. Sous-lieutenant Gaudet estimated that perhaps about 100 German vehicles were burning or out of use. The "Tunisie" alone had fired 8 shells of 75mm, 27 shells of 47mm and 3 MG magazines (450 cartridges).
At 12h25, 20 minutes after being entered in Landrecies, the "Tunisie" moves to Ors on an empty road. Sous-lieutenant Gaudet meets 3 French soldiers who were POWs in Landrecies and managed to escape during the attack. In Ors the "Tunisie" meets the "Mistral" (Lieutenant Pompier) but also the "Tornade" (Sous-lieutenant Rival), the "Vosges" (Lieutenant Willig) and the "Nantes" (Sous-lieutenant Phelep), which arrived in reinforcement. The "Mistral" is covered by many hits but remains undamaged. Lieutenant Pompier has been back from Landrecies 10 minutes before Sous-lieutenant Gaudet. He tells that he has destroyed two AT guns and many armored vehicles.
In about 20 minutes these 2 B1bis tanks have destroyed 6 AT guns and about 50-100 vehicles. Different sources mention the terrific number of 100 destroyed AFVs but sous-lieutenant Raiffaud, commander of the B1bis "Indochine", also from the 3/15e BCC, speaks about 50 destroyed AFVs (armored cars, light tanks, APCs etc.), which remains nevertheless a significant number. The real number of destroyed German vehicles is of course probably closer to 50 than to 100 vehicles. This number includes armored cars, armored personal carriers and a few light tanks. Nonetheless, the core of these destroyed vehicles consists probably in various softskins.

Later in the afternoon, the Somua S35 platoon of Lieutenant André de Conigliano from the 3rd Squadron of the 4e RC (1e DLM) supported by elements of the 4e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés) [one AMR light tanks platoon and 1 motorcycle platoon] is grouped in Englefontaine. At 18h00 these troops are ordered to establish a bridgehead at Landrecies. Arriving around Landrecies, they meet the reconnaissance patrol of Lieutenant Astoul, who informs them about the presence of German troops in the city, having himself destroyed a German tank during the morning.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by David Lehmann on 14 Oct 2006 22:44, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2006 19:09

Confident, Lieutenant André de Conigliano crosses the level/grade crossing 100 meters away at the head of his platoon, followed by the Somua S35 tanks of Maréchal-des-Logis Chef Thomas, Brigadier Chef Lechappe, Maréchal-des-Logis Léger and Maréchal-des-Logis François. They enter in Landrecies from the north-west.
Fearing for his flank [perhaps after the attack of the 2 B1bis tanks], the Germans have deployed several guns and AT mines in Landrecies: eye witnesses speak about 3 possible 8.8cm FlaK. Landrecies is well defended.
The Somua S35 tank platoon is then ambushed by various AT and AA guns firing from different emplacements. The Somua S35 from Maréchal-des-Logis Chef Thomas is immobilized. The crew bails out and joins the troops from 4e RDP on the rear. Lieutenant André de Conigliano advances next to the Panzer 38(t) destroyed earlier this day [perhaps to find some cover] and fires several shells.
Suddenly a projectile damages the driving post of the tank, killing the driver Brigadier-Chef Fresnais. The lateral hath is torn away by a violent explosion, another projectile explodes then inside the combat room of the Somua S35. Lieutenant André de Conigliano is deadly wounded. Brigadier-Chef Bonnieul, the radio operator, is also wounded. He leaves the tank and manages to join the Somua S35 tank from Brigadier Chef Lechappe.
A side-car from 4e RDP explodes on an AT mine and puts fire on the Panhard 178 armored car from Maréchal-des-Logis Munier (6e RC). Thinking the Somua S35 from Lechappe knocked out, the two last Somua S35 tanks break the combat and retreat. Nonetheless the Somua S35 from Lechappe is only damaged. Despite various hits and a damaged track he manages to withdraw in rear gear.

The Germans tries then to launch a counter-attack but they are quickly stopped by the French fire and 2 German tanks are destroyed by the 75mm Mle1897 gun guarding the exit of Landrecies. The 6e RC sustains 2 KIAs and 3 WIAs. A bit later the French troops move back to Englefontaine to establish a new defensive position.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by David Lehmann on 14 Oct 2006 22:49, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Post by David Lehmann » 14 Oct 2006 19:17

After an action led in Berlaimont on May 17, the Somua S35 squadron of Capitaine Pierre Dunoyer de Segonzac from the 4e RC is deployed in the town of Jolimetz. This officer can be seen as an elite tank officer, who has prepared his unit for months before WW2. He is specialized in armored units and especially in the Somua S35 tank. After having been in the Saumur cavalry school, he chooses to serve in the tanks and not in horse mounted units. He follows engineering/mechanics courses at the 'Ecole d'Application de l'Artillerie' in 1931 and in the 'Ecole Supérieure de Fabrication d'Armement' at Puteaux in 1932. He joins the best officers during a 1-year training period in the 'Ecole Supérieure d'Armement' as tank specialist. Assigned to the 4e RC at Reims, he takes also part to the development and trials of the Somua S35 tank until the beginning of the war. He knows therefore this tank very well. On May 18, his 12 Somua S35 tanks are deployed in Jolimetz (the tank from the Capitaine as well as tanks n°3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22). This town is also defended by:
• Several men from 15e GRCA (chef d'escadrons de la Sayette)
• The 13th squadron from III/4e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés from the 1e DLM) from Lieutenant Albaut
• A platoon of Renault AMR35 light tanks from the 1e DLM (5 tanks?)
• The II/27e RTA (one company)

The Dragons portés and several tirailleurs are first deployed along the Chaussée Brunehaut and on the edges of the Mormal forest. The Algerians are also deployed in the houses of the town, especially in the 'Café de la Touraille', whose building has been fortified with improvised means.
The tanks are deployed in the streets except Somua n°6 and n°16, which are in the field between the 2 roads leading to the center of the town. The tank from the Capitaine is deployed on the central square, next to the church and the 'Café de la Touraille'. All the tank are close to being completely out of fuel and can only fight roughly on the spot.

At the beginning of the day 2 reconnaissance missions are ordered: Somua n°7 and N°17 towards Locquignol and Somua n°20 towards Maison-Rouge, at about 7 km from Jolimetz. The 2 first tanks are back and report nothing. At the same moment the 47mm SA35 gun from Somua n°20 can be heard (Maréchal des Logis Enfroy). The tank n°20 appears at full speed at the Opera crossroads and moves to the center of the town. This tank has engaged and hit several German tanks from 5.PzD before retreating. The Somua S35 has been perforated by a projectile, which damaged the clutch. Enfroy is ordered to move back to Le Quesnoy. Only 11 Somua S35 tanks remain in Jolimetz.

At 8h00, the Germans arrive next to Jolimetz. During all the day the French troops will face roughly half of the 5.PzD (Generalleutnant Max von Hartlieb-Walsporn). This detachment is commanded by General Major Haarde and consists in:
• The whole Panzer Regiment 15 (about 150 tanks)
• The 2nd battalion from Schützen Regiment 14 (infantry battalion)
• Many supports including anti-tank units, field artillery (half of the regiment) and air support.

The German attack is launched at 10h00, at first by hiding tanks and troops among columns of refugees, and later with a generalized and frontal assault. The enemy tanks monopolize the fire of the French tanks, while German AT guns are being deployed at the edges of the forest.
Somua n°6 (Brigadier-Chef d'Ormesson) advances from the field towards the forest, covered by the other Somua S35s. He crushes various fences and attacks the Germans infantry. The dragons portés launch a small counter-attack towards the forest. Several AT guns are destroyed and the Germans are forced to retreat.
At 12h00, fire is ceased. Several German tanks are burning. No French tanks haven been lost. The frontal attack is fruitless. The dragons portés leave the woods and regroup in the center of the town.

Capitaine de Segonzac orders the tank, which are mostly out of fuel, to direct the engine part towards the enemy. This adds iron and steel between and enemy projectile and the combat room in the tanks. It makes also things easier to move back towards Le Quesnoy.

After their first losses the Germans renew their assault at 13h00. They send preferentially the heavier Panzer IVs in the town itself in a frontal attack, while the Panzer I, II and III are encircling the town by the north.
Somua n°17 (Maréchal des Logis Gateau) is destroyed but the crew manages to move back to Le Quesnoy by truck.
Somua n°3 (Maréchal des Logis Loinard) moves back to the central square, when it is penetrated by a projectile. The driver has his legs broken. Before bailing out, the commander manages to immobilize 2 out of the 3 tanks that were firing at his tank.
Somua n°7 (Maréchal des Logis Litzler) is knocked out; the lateral hatch is blown away. Litzler takes the MAC31 MG and 3 150-round magazines with him to continue the battle from a building. He will be found dead on his MG. Only one of the three crewmembers will join the Somua n°10 from Sous-Lieutenant Guillien.
Somua n°8 (Maréchal des Logis Flamant) is also destroyed but the driver will be rescued by Somua n°6.
Somua n°19 is destroyed at the Opera crossroads.
Somua n°16 and Somua n°18 replace the tanks n°17 and 19. The n°18 is hit and begins to burn. This tank retreats next to the church to have the fire extinguished. After asking for orders, it returns to combat.
The German infantry enters in the first houses and close combats begin with the Algerian tirailleurs.
The Somua S35 from Capitaine de Segonzac is hit several times and immobilized. The turret is blocked. The commanding tank is evacuated. It is 16h00.
German tanks are now cutting the retreat towards Le Quesnoy. The men from 4e RDP manage to retreat but 3 AMR35s are destroyed at the exit of Jolimetz. The Somua tanks n°16, 18 and 22 fight at the exit of the town to maintain the road open. All 3 tanks are knocked out.
Somua 10 tries to avoid this area and quits the road but is immobilized due to lack of fuel.
The last operational Somua S35 is n°6 (Brigadier-Chef d'Ormesson). It arrives at the exit of Jolimetz near the wrecks of the French tanks and is hit. A fire begins and the 4 men evacuate (3 crewmembers + the rescued driver from Somua n°8). After a few minutes the fire stops and the crew manage to move back with the tank to Le Quesnoy.
At the end of the afternoon, the the town is completely surrounded. In more than 10 vs 1 odd, the French have lost 10 Somua S35 tanks. On the German side there are 26 wrecks, including many Panzer IVs. That is a perfect example of what well-trained French crews were able to do, even with tanks lacking fuel. Capitaine de Segonzac manages to escape Jolimetz and join Le Quesnoy. The last tirailleurs from 27e RTA leaves Jolimetz at 17h00 after heavy losses. The end of the day will nonetheless be again bloody for the French troops. A Hotchkiss squadron attacks from Le Quesnoy towards Jolimetz… but facing the numerous enemy tanks from a whole tank regiment and its supports 2 tank platoons will be lost.

On May 20, the 5e DINA (General Agliany) supported by the 1e DLM and the 39e BCC (45 Renault R35 tanks) attack the German 8.ID, 20.ID (mot), 4.PzD and 5.PzD. The combats last all the day long and on the evening several French troops are trapped in the Mormal forest after having sustained heavy losses.

On May 21, the French move back to Englefontaine. At 8h00 one battalion of the 24e RTT (Régiment de Tirailleurs Tunisiens) of the 5e DINA, trapped in the forest, launches a bayonet charge under German MG and artillery fire to break the encirclement. At 12h00, 300 men of the battalion are KIA and only around 100 men manage to pierce the German lines. The 39e BCC has lost all its 45 tanks and the 18e RD of the 1e DLM has only a few operational tanks.

Many skirmishes took place in and around the Mormal forest. Artillery units used their 75mm Mle1897 field guns to engage the tanks before being overwhelmed and many men died bravely and their story will probably never been known exactly.

Sources:
• "Blitzkrieg à l’Ouest, Mai-Juin 40" (Jean-Paul Pallud)
• "L'Arme Blindée Française (Tome 1) : Mai-juin 1940 ! Les blindés français dans la tourmente" (Gérard Saint-Martin). The author is a French cavalry Colonel with an History Ph.D.
• "L'escadron de Segonzac" (Olivier d'Ormesson) [about the 4e RC]
ry history 56 (April 1992), 207-244)
• "The French army 1939-1940 – organisation, order of battle, operational history" (4 volumes, Lee Sharp)
• Personnal communication with Erik Barbanson. He is the author of a fantastic work about the 6e GRDI: "1940 Preux Demeurons – l'épopée du 6e GRDI" - "Batailles & Blindés" magazine special issue.
• "Chars B au combat - Hommes et matériels du 15e BCC" (Stéphane Bonnaud)
• Antoine Misner's website (http://www.chars-francais.net/), which contains parts of the war diary of the 4e RC.
etc.
• Michelin map from 1939-1940 covering the area
• "1e DLM - 2e BLM - Guerre 1939-1940 - Journal des Marches et Opérations du 4e Régiment de Dragons Portés"
• "Histoire de Guerre Blindés & Matériel" magazine n°83

Regards,

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

Gaijinaho
Member
Posts: 47
Joined: 21 May 2006 02:39
Location: USA

Thanks for posting this

Post by Gaijinaho » 15 Oct 2006 00:34

David, thanks for posting this. I always enjoy reading your posts. Its difficult to find detailed accounts in english regarding the fighting in France and how hard the France Army fought.
later, Gaijinaho

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6572
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Oct 2006 16:01

David...hate to ask for more, but is there anyway the scale for the two topographic maps could be pasted to them, or otherwise indicated?

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Post by David Lehmann » 17 Oct 2006 19:55

Hello Carl,

The Michelin map is a simple road map at 1:200,000 scale. Of course once scanned and zoomed the scale is not the same. You can look for the numbers giving the distance between cities ... e.g. IIRC between Englefontaine and Landrecies there are 9 kilometers.

Regards,

David

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Re: Skirmishes around Mormal forest - May 1940

Post by David Lehmann » 29 May 2008 20:19

Hello,

I have updated data about Jolimetz.

Regards,

David

User avatar
Bronsky
Member
Posts: 825
Joined: 11 Apr 2003 09:28
Location: Paris

Re:

Post by Bronsky » 03 Jun 2008 17:02

David,

David Lehmann wrote:Around 14h00, elements from a battalion from 95e RI (9e DIM) and a 75mm Mle1897 field gun arrive. After a forced march, the men are exhausted and unable to launch an attack. They reinforce the position hold by Astoul's patrol and by motorcycle troops from 6e RC (Maréchal-des-Logis Gasquet and Maréchal-des-Logis Munier). They block the Landrecies to Englefontaine road.


In this thread on the ATF40 forum someone is trying to trace the history of his father, who was from the 11th Company of III/95e RI and ended up commanding a roadblock in Fontaine au Bois where they fought until overwhelmed sometime in the late afternoon of 19 May (Bousies was reported captured at 19:00 by 5th Panzer after heavy fighting, which would include the aforementioned roadblock).

I have managed to help him a bit (using mostly the Lavauzelle "De la Meuse à la Mer"), but these guys that you mention in the quoted extract are probably from the same outfit. Do you, by any chance, have more information about them?

User avatar
David Lehmann
Member
Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Re: Skirmishes around Mormal forest - May 1940

Post by David Lehmann » 08 Jun 2008 10:53

Hello,

This piece of information was given to me by Erik Barbanson among data about the 6e GRDI at this date. So far I did not manage to find extra details in the books I have about these elements of the 95e RI.

Best regards,

David

User avatar
Bronsky
Member
Posts: 825
Joined: 11 Apr 2003 09:28
Location: Paris

Re: Skirmishes around Mormal forest - May 1940

Post by Bronsky » 08 Jun 2008 11:15

Thanks for looking this up (j'ai déjà le HS sur le 6e GRDI au cas où).

Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”