First Panther tank in the West

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Mori
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First Panther tank in the West

Post by Mori » 02 Nov 2018 10:18

When did the Western Allies encounter the first Panther tank? Did the Germans engage any Panther prior to Normandy, like in Italy?

Simple query but couldn't find the answer by searching the forum. Thanks.

Richard Anderson
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Nov 2018 15:09

Mori wrote:
02 Nov 2018 10:18
When did the Western Allies encounter the first Panther tank? Did the Germans engage any Panther prior to Normandy, like in Italy?

Simple query but couldn't find the answer by searching the forum. Thanks.
I believe the first were at Anzio, during the last stages of FISCHFANG in late February and early March 1944. At least a couple were disabled or bogged inside American lines and later evacuated to England for evaluation.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Nov 2018 17:07

Also might be of interest that the first mention in Sigint was in Jan 43 according to Hinsley, Vol. 2, p.577.

Mori
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Mori » 03 Nov 2018 11:08

Thanks, perfect replies!

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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Nov 2018 15:50

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
02 Nov 2018 17:07
Also might be of interest that the first mention in Sigint was in Jan 43 according to Hinsley, Vol. 2, p.577.
Tanks!
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

DC North West
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by DC North West » 08 Apr 2019 11:52

Hi
Whilst they did encounter the Panther in Italy, and the surprise (for the US Army was Normandy). However, 21 Army Group had the greatest amount of armour to deal with. This may be of interest https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent ... ontext=cmh

This is an analysis by the Canadian's against the 12th SS Division Panther regiment. Also, I believe the first encounter in Normandy was a Canadian Lt. G. K. Henry's Firefly against 5 Panthers 12th SS on the 9th June 1944, needless to say, the Lt. Henry's gunner, Trooper A. Chapman, destroyed all 5. Though the Staffordshire Yeomanry Firefly's did engage, successfully, Tanks from 21st Panzer Division on D-Day 6th June 1944, I am not sure if Panthers were involved.

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sitalkes
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by sitalkes » 30 May 2019 00:15

DC North West wrote:
08 Apr 2019 11:52
Tanks from 21st Panzer Division on D-Day 6th June 1944, I am not sure if Panthers were involved.
21st Panzer had a gaggle of repurposed 1940 French armour (some were just the French tank with a German cupola) and Panzer iV's only I think, although panzer divisions were supposed to have a Panzer IV battalion and a Panther battalion I don't think they got the Panthers

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sitalkes
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by sitalkes » 30 May 2019 00:19

sitalkes wrote:
30 May 2019 00:15
DC North West wrote:
08 Apr 2019 11:52
Tanks from 21st Panzer Division on D-Day 6th June 1944, I am not sure if Panthers were involved.
21st Panzer had a gaggle of rubbishy repurposed 1940 French armour (some were just the French tank with a German cupola) and Panzer iV's only I think. Although panzer divisions were supposed to have about half and half Panzer IVs and Panthers I don't think they got the Panthers and none are on view in the video showing Rommel reviewing the division prior to D Day

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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 30 May 2019 13:56

sitalkes wrote:
30 May 2019 00:15
DC North West wrote:
08 Apr 2019 11:52
Tanks from 21st Panzer Division on D-Day 6th June 1944, I am not sure if Panthers were involved.
21st Panzer had a gaggle of repurposed 1940 French armour (some were just the French tank with a German cupola) and Panzer iV's only I think, although panzer divisions were supposed to have a Panzer IV battalion and a Panther battalion I don't think they got the Panthers
21 PD may well have owned some Somua S35 but they were too clever to use them in Normandy, you are correct they didn't have any Panthers.
Alan

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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by gracie4241 » 01 Jun 2019 15:37

According to Jentz, Die Panzertruppen vol 2,the 21 Panzer Division had 112 long barreled Mark 4 tanks,an extra APC equipped battalion(2 instead of one), and an extra 88 mm motorized battalion.With @ 15,000 men it was, legends to the contrary, a well equipped panzer division by 1944 standards, and almost certainly stronger than all but one or two(if that) eastern front divisions on june 6

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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Jun 2019 17:37

gracie4241 wrote:
01 Jun 2019 15:37
According to Jentz, Die Panzertruppen vol 2,the 21 Panzer Division had 112 long barreled Mark 4 tanks,an extra APC equipped battalion(2 instead of one), and an extra 88 mm motorized battalion.With @ 15,000 men it was, legends to the contrary, a well equipped panzer division by 1944 standards, and almost certainly stronger than all but one or two(if that) eastern front divisions on june 6
Strength as of 1 June was 16,297, plus an unknown number of HiWi. The division was part of XXXXVII Pz.K. in Heeresgruppe B Reserve, but was “at the disposal of” A.O.K.7. Pz.-Regt. 22 had two Pz.-H38 (f) (Hotchkiss) and one Pz. Char B-2 740 (f) Flamm, possibly with division headquarters, and otherwise was organized with:

Gefechtsstand – Aubigny
Kdr: Oberst Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski
Stabs-Kp. (three Pz.-III (l), five Pz.-IV (l), one Befl.Pz.-III)
I./Pz.Regt. 22
Gefechtsstand – Jort
Kdr: Major Wilhelm von Gottberg
Stabs-Kp. (one Pz.-III (l), five Pz.-IV (l), one Befl.Pz.-III)
1.-4. Kp. (17 Pz.-IV (l) each)
II./Pz.Regt. 22
Gefechtsstand – Fresné-la-Mère
Kdr: Major Martin Vierzig
Stabs-Kp. (five Pz.-IV (l), three Befhl.Pz.-S35 (f) (Somua))
5. Kp. (five Pz.-IV (l), nine Pz.-S35 (f) (Somua))
6. Kp. (five Pz.-IV (l), 13 Pz.-S35 (f) (Somua))
7. Kp. (five Pz.-IV (l), 13 Pz.-S35 (f) (Somua))
8. Kp. (six Pz.-IV (k))

There was not at "extra 88 mm motorized battalion" in the division, since there was just one of its type. It was Pz.Jg.-Abtl. 200 with two Kompanien, each with twelve 8.8cm Pak 43/41. H.-Flak-Abtl. 305 did have eight 8.8cm Flak (Mot.), but the two units were for two very different roles.

The division was reasonably well-equipped (I'm unaware of any legends to the contrary) in terms of numbers of equipment, but it was quite a hodge-podge of converted French vehicles alongside the standard German ones, which made maintenance problematic.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Kingfish
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Re: First Panther tank in the West

Post by Kingfish » 01 Jun 2019 19:16

DC North West wrote:
08 Apr 2019 11:52
Also, I believe the first encounter in Normandy was a Canadian Lt. G. K. Henry's Firefly against 5 Panthers 12th SS on the 9th June 1944, needless to say, the Lt. Henry's gunner, Trooper A. Chapman, destroyed all 5. Though the Staffordshire Yeomanry Firefly's did engage, successfully, Tanks from 21st Panzer Division on D-Day 6th June 1944, I am not sure if Panthers were involved.
June 8th according to your link:
The first combat operation of the 12th ss Panzer Division’s Panther battalion was the 8 June 1944 night attack on the village of Bretteville-L’Orgueilleuse, held by the Regina Rifle Regiment of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade.
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