Villers Bocage-2

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Tolga Alkan
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Villers Bocage-2

Post by Tolga Alkan » 11 May 2002 13:23

Hi there,
Can anyone identify there? I assume,the remainings of the single attack of Michael Wittmann on Villers Bocage.
Thanks

Image

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 11 May 2002 13:59

Tolga, I have seen this footage and again whilst I cant say it isn't around Villers-Bocage it is not the road where the bulk of the fighting occured. This is a small track rather than a road and as far as I know only 2 film sequences of Villers exist. Both show the Rifle Brigade's wrecked vehicles and one also shows the town center. Various other film shot around the same time may be nearby but I haven't seen any that could be positively identified as Villers. The one sequence always shown with Villers footage that I think could be near is of a destroyed M10 17 pdr that has penetrations in the turret.Lots of stills were also taken of this M10(62nd A/T Reg. 1st Corps).It is beside a destroyed Pz IV. I have seen other Newsreel footage of Destroyed Cromwell tanks that I believe to be 4th CLY tanks (therefore Villers film) but cant prove it is Villers. I.E. One scene of 2 Cromwells near what seems like a railway crossing,another scene of a Cromwell in a ditch with a troop plate on the turret( a 4th CLY habit) and a Firefly being driven by H/J soldiers. Footage of some Germans on a Firefly named 'Blondie' COULD be Villers. Photos of a captured Firefly marked with the armour type chalked on its surfaces show it to have a troop plate on the turret and thus I believe,a 4th CLY tank. Anyone able to add anything to this?.

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 11 May 2002 14:29

I kindly thank you Michael!
You post is very good and enough.I don't belive anyone does add anything to your post.
Regards

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 11 May 2002 14:53

Tolga, Michael:

My monitor is a bit dark, but are those Bren carriers in the forefront ?

E

Homer martin
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Hi

Post by Homer martin » 11 May 2002 16:30

It doesn't look like any of the roads in and around the areas of the fighting around Villers Bocage. Like Michael posted i only know of the two rolls of file with 100(103) frames of film taken by a German photographer not long after the fight. Frame 24a, 25a and 27a where missing. There is also a newsreel film and there well could be other frames in private alums out there.
Could this photo be from around point 213? I don't have a good map of the area to the north of point 213 to tell.


/HGM

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admfisher
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villers

Post by admfisher » 11 May 2002 17:34

The last and best picture I have seen comes from a book on the SS Pz Korps in Normandy.
In the photo the road that Wittmann went down, is a total mess.
The destroyed vehicles are bunched together, and hits are easy to identify as close hits with a large gun, hence Wittmans 88.

The photo above I have seen before but I cannot recall were. This photo has the vehicles spaced nicely and there is nothing on the ground. Besides this, there is a lack of dead vehicles.

I hope this makes sense. The main point is the grouping if the dead vehicles and the damage they have sustained. The picture here looks like it was taken after some battlefield cleanup.

Grant

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 11 May 2002 19:24

Let us sort a bit of the confusion out. To date the best source of still photos of Villers is Taylors book 'Villers Bocage Through The Lens',Taylors attempt to explain the action doesn't match the quality of the pictures.He states that he has published all the known photos of this battle but it is not correct.Lots of other photos were taken and they have been published elsewhere but usualy giving the wrong location. Will Fey in his 'Armour Battles Of The SS' has a photo of one of the knocked out Stuarts from Villers but he dates it in August and many miles from where it actualy was. Taylor does state frames are missing from the sequences he published and of these 'missing' frames 24,25 and 27 are of the men pictured in the adjoining frames setting fire to the Cromwells. Agte also uses other photos of Wittmanns knocked out Tiger that are unknown to Taylor. In all I know of about 20 photos not printed by Taylor. Now there also are 2 newsreel films taken at Villers. Both show the wreckage of the Rifle Brigade vehicles and 1 also shows the Tigers wrecked in Villers. Both are rather poor quality.Tolga I dont think you have seen any of these images or you would know your clips are not Villers. The road where all this took place was the motorway of its day and is very wide,it was not some small back-road!.Point 213 is on this road the RN175. If I remember correctly Tolgas original pic is from the first week in Normandy but I may be wrong on that. If I have missed anything out let me know and I will clarify.

Homer martin
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Hi Micheal

Post by Homer martin » 11 May 2002 23:55

Hi Micheal,
Humm just looking at the photo of the Stuart on page 217 of Will Feys' Armour Battles Of The SS. It does look like it could be the Calamity Jane II, its hard to tell. It looks like it was taken at a later date after the tank has been moved off the road more to clear a path. Could this photo have been taken after the Allieds started to bomb Villeirs Boage on the 14th but before it was leveled?

/HGM

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 12 May 2002 09:37

I searched again in my archive.In my first Villers Bocage picture.A tank fired up to road leading.You can see dust.It is not Villers Bocage,because there is no war correspodent in live-combat.German war correspodent didn't go to city or city arround before city under German hands.

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 12 May 2002 19:36

Homer, the Stuart is 'Calamity Jane'. Look at the houses in the right background and compare them to the photo on page 84 in Taylors book. As for the bombing Villers recieved several visits by both medium and Heavy Bombers,it is clear that photos 35 to 99 were taken before major damage and photos 1 to 34 after a bombing raid. If you have seen the Newsreel footageyou will notice the Cromwell in photo 59 now has roof-rafters resting on it(as shown on page 85,Taylors book). Later the Town was almost razed by Heavy Bombers but as this hardly touched the outskirts of the town it is hard to know when Fey's photo of Clamity was taken. The Stuart on page 134 of Fey's book COULD be the '2nd Stuart' on the RN175 outside Villers. On page 133 is the M10 I think could be near Villers and the Carriers shown on page 142 are not Rifle Brigade wreckage. Other views of these Carriers show them to have markings for the 3rd Batt. of an Infantry Division.

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