Barkmann's Corner

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jan 2018 14:51

Reading this reminds me of trying to write after action reports on simple training exercises, or sorting out other peoples AAR. Even a nights worth of short sleep trashes short term memory. Wish I'd saved some of the log books & other front tier documentation. The errors and general incoherence were a challenge when trying to interpret what we had done just a few days after. In the Combined Arms Exercises we used to run the Exercise Controllers/Umpires recorded all the radio transmissions on the key tactical networks. Comparing those with the operators log books and written transcripts of the messages showed a significant difference in what was actually transmitted and when.

Trying to write up the second tier AAR & other more permanent records out of the raw material was a challenge. That I was working with material from very well trained & disciplined personnel leaves me wondering what we'd find from soldiers who were: 1. Under the stress of combat. 2. Were not as tightly disciplined, trained, or concerned with keeping detained notes on where & when.

Felix C
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Felix C » 08 Aug 2018 21:20

I think this is one of the greatest threads here at AHF.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Sep 2018 21:48

The myth lives on. This one claims 9 Shermans and 'a host' of jeeps, half-tracks and trucks.
The author has a PhD in history!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9afctKORmh8

Jim_R
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Jim_R » 12 Sep 2018 03:32

Michael Kenny wrote:
03 Sep 2018 21:48
The myth lives on. This one claims 9 Shermans and 'a host' of jeeps, half-tracks and trucks.
The author has a PhD in history!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9afctKORmh8
I just saw that video and of course came here to fact check things. Very interesting read but I'm not sure it cleared up the truth of the matter. Thanks to all who have contributed.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Sep 2018 04:21

Jim_R wrote:
12 Sep 2018 03:32
. Very interesting read but I'm not sure it cleared up the truth of the matter.
You have a single version of the '9 knocked out Shermans' story and no confirming evidence at all from the US side.
No US Armoured Unit (M4 Equipped) was near 'Barkmann's Corner' on the specified date.
No account by Barkmann at all.
I presume your internet search turned up nothing but the single source endlessly repeated.
Why is there any confusion?

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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Jim_R » 19 Sep 2018 04:36

Well I've run across you posting on several forums for many years on this topic. And I thank you for your passion and contributions. Many people seem to have worked diligently to find confirmation. But as I said I don't think all this has cleared up the truth of the matter. The common story of 9 Shermans destroyed is likely propaganda however a lack of Allied confirmation doesn't prove there wasn't some event in Normandy that was exaggerated for propaganda value.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Sep 2018 17:44

Jim_R wrote:
19 Sep 2018 04:36
. Many people seem to have worked diligently to find confirmation. But as I said I don't think all this has cleared up the truth of the matter. The common story of 9 Shermans destroyed is likely propaganda however a lack of Allied confirmation doesn't prove there wasn't some event in Normandy that was exaggerated for propaganda value.
I am curious as to why a story with absolutely no confirmation of any of its facts would need to be disproved.
Note there are no sourced first hand accounts.
There is not a single word by Barkmann on the matter.
There is no evidence in US Documents of any Sherman equipped Unit being in that area.
The whole 'Barkmann's Corner' story comes from 1 single unreferenced source.
We know the only US unit that was in the area and we know its losses so again the 'source' of the myth is known.
So you could say Barkmann heroically saw off a couple of light tanks and some trucks but did not engage and destroy several Shermans.

Felix C
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Felix C » 10 Oct 2018 16:02

I recall someone opined maybe it was Polish armor. Feasible? or just plain not in that area at all.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Oct 2018 16:32

Felix C wrote:
10 Oct 2018 16:02
I recall someone opined maybe it was Polish armor. Feasible? or just plain not in that area at all.
No Polish soldiers anywhere in the US Sector. We are talking about a very small area and thus it is not that difficult to find the Units that were in that area on specific days.
The claims for multiple Sherman kills founder on the lack of any Shermans to kill.

Felix C
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Felix C » 10 Oct 2018 22:11

So Fog of War at best and at worse, medal hunting?

joe cleere
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by joe cleere » 22 Oct 2018 01:57

Maybe this short excerpt from Breakout and Pursuit by Martin Blumenson will help put the action in context.
"During the early afternoon of 27 July Choltitz learned that American troops--CCB of the 3d Armored Division, attached to the 1st Division--seemed to have clear sailing toward Coutances. American scouting parties on minor roads had made contact with artillery units of the 353d Division and the LXXXIV Corps, and German artillerymen were fighting as infantry. Discovering also that American troops had reached Guesnay, Choltitz ordered the engineer battalion of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division to "proceed immediately via Montcuit and Cambernon to the railroad junction and seal off the front to the east if you are not [now] engaged in battle.46

Harassed continuously by fighter-bombers, the engineer battalion marched eight miles and took positions along the railroad that night. Just to the north, the battalion found a company of the 2d SS Panzer Division defending Cambernon with ten Panther tanks. This north-south defensive line facing eastward, though far from strong, was efficacious in slowing the 1st Division attack toward Coutances on 27 July. Farther south, hastily organized positions between Carantilly and Quibou held up another American armored column, this one driving toward Montpinchon."(p.258-259)

Perhaps Barkmann was part of one of those "hastily organized positions" that held up the American advance.

luftschiff
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by luftschiff » 05 Dec 2018 04:20

Does Weidinger's divisional history of the Das Reich have anything to say about this story?

joe cleere
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by joe cleere » 09 Dec 2018 23:45

I looked at Weidinger's Das Reich but could find nothing about Barkmann's action, only that he and others were awarded the Knights Cross on 27 July 1944. One of reasons for the sparse detail is that the front at this time had been ripped open by the carpet bombing of Panzer Lehr and the subsequent movement of VII Corps' five divisions (2nd and 3rd Armored and the 30th, 9th, and 1st Infantry Divisions) through the gap. The situation for the Germans was chaotic to say the least as they fought to stem the American advance. It was not a situation conducive to taking notes and writing thorough after-action reports.

j keenan
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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by j keenan » 10 Dec 2018 01:22

joe cleere wrote:
09 Dec 2018 23:45
It was not a situation conducive to taking notes and writing thorough after-action reports.
Yet they had time to keep an exact count of how many tanks their ACES destroyed :lol:

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Re: Barkmann's Corner

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Dec 2018 03:40

he gets a feature about Manhay later on

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