3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy Hill
User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 3675
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby Urmel » 31 Mar 2014 19:29

You are not going to convince me by positing irrelevant conditions just in order to then see CYRCOM fulfil them (avoiding encirclement).

1) CYRCOM was not annihilated, but it was still beaten, and needed to be rescued by being supplied with additional troops. There's no argument about that in my mind, and if all that mobility amounts to is to run away faster than you can be pursued, that's not so exciting, especially since very large elements of CYRCOM, including key commands, did end up in the bag. Compare that to the Axis retreat in the opposite direction from 17-31 December.
2) Rommel not doing his job does not mean CYRCOM did its. Both sides can fail.
3) Hohmann not destroying the columns meant something. It didn't, other than that he didn't destroy the columns. Shrug. So what? Do you think the columns would have been able to stop Hohmann if his order had been to move on Matruh and take it? That's the key question.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 01 Apr 2014 09:47

If Rommel had captured sufficient of CYRCOM's forces he would have beaten CYRCOM

Acquiring desert achieved nothing for the Axis troops.

Encouraging Rommel to leave his supply base a long way behind him achieved a great deal for CYRCOM.

There are many criticisms of CYRCOM and yet they are never based on what forces CYRCOM had to use. That CYRCOM survived says much about its underlying organisational strength but that is obscured by the history of the DAK acquiring desert.

What do you think CYRCOM could have done with what it had in facing upto a leichte Division and Ariete following up behind?

Hohmann had a concentration of panzers at the border but did not destroy any column - my point is that mobility at this point was the method being employed to wear out Axis troops and it was working. CYRCOM bought time for later operations.

Job done CYRCOM.

I am happy to be wrong about this early period of the desert campaign so long as it is shown to be wrong based on data. So thank you for being always being ready to test something with me. I appreciate your views even though I may not be able to agree with them at the moment - but I remain open to being wrong.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 12 Mar 2017 14:31

ClintHardware wrote: By 0700 hours 15th May, 7th Support Group [previously Mobile Force H.Q.] had this to add to the battle between Hohmann's panzers and the 3rd and 4th RHA with UVOR Column on the 12th May 1941. This is from Section 1 of 7th Sp Gp's Intelligence Summary No. 25

Quote:
1. General Situation
It now appears that in the enemy sortie on 12 May, approx 60 Enemy Tanks were employed. At least 10 of these were hit but all were recovered by the enemy - as well as one of our Light Tanks which was abandoned on the Coast road. (WO 169/1154)

End Quote.

Does anyone have any German data?


Not sure why, when studying a minor skirmish on the 12th May and seeking German insights to the events, you ignore Schorm for the day - and then quote his entry for the 11th a little later??? Schorm has quite a lot of data about the skirmish.

Moreover, Jentz provides a translation of the DAK KTB for the day. I know you now have the original German too.

From other KTBs, you can find that Hohmann's band of merry men commenced Unternehmen "Goldelse" the day before and had a flak zug of 20mm and a batt. of 88mm attached. At the end of the Unternehmen, Abt.Hohmann reported einsatsbereit 5/I 2/II 14/III 4/IV 1/bef, 1 aircraft shot down, 1 Major and 3 O/Rs captured, 2 artillery pieces destroyed, 2 captured and a pair of ammo trucks blown up. No indication of any own losses at all.

The claim of Hohmann employing approx 60 tanks is just standard over-exaggeration. Whether the RHA hit anything is debatable - but likely. Whether this claim has any credibility is for the faeries to determine...
ClintHardware wrote: In the fire fight 'B' Troop 4th RHA claimed one panzer with turret shot off by one of their 25-Pdrs. 'B' Troop 3rd RHA claimed 5 panzers disabled by their three 2-Pdrs. Where 7th Sp Gp gets the figure 10 from two whole days later is unstated. However, the RHA claims would have been for panzers they saw damaged by their fire which was extremely close at the end. This seems to indicate that when the Germans recovered their panzers, their temporary inoperability was not recorded so we are left with the understanding that all the panzers were operable even if one had a turret shot away.

I am surprised that a turret shot away did not involve a level of damage that the Germans considered worth reporting. Or perhaps the explanation is that 'B' Troop 4th RHA only believed they saw the turret shot away even though it happened 30 yards away from their muzzles.

My money is on both RHAs' figures but not those of 7th Sp Gp or the DAK.

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 13 Mar 2017 09:14

I'll re-check it shortly.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 20 Mar 2017 10:13

Mark your post is not relevant to this topic about the 3rd and 4th RHA shootout with 42 panzers on the 12th May. 42 counted and stated by one of the RHAs present - can't remember which right now.

I agree with you about the exaggerated panzer numbers but 42 is an exact number on this occasion and I can't believe someone would round to 42 instead of 40, 45 or 50.

To put the firefight together you need to look at the 3rd and 4th RHA war diaries.

Jentz says nothing about the firefight but has one paragraph on Jock Campbell on page 132.

Schorm says nothing about the firefight but later refers to casualties without stating when or how they came about. Perhaps Jentz missed it by following only the German accounts, but if he did, why did he not query what Schorm was referring to in respect of casualties?

I am not attributing Schorm's referred to casualties as being from the firefight - they can remain hanging in the air to illustrate again the incompleteness of records we have to work with.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 20 Mar 2017 14:19

ClintHardware wrote:Mark your post is not relevant to this topic about the 3rd and 4th RHA shootout with 42 panzers on the 12th May. 42 counted and stated by one of the RHAs present - can't remember which right now.


"Not relevant" ???? :roll:

The thread title is 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann.

Lt Schorm was a zug commander of Pz.IIIs as part of Pz.Gp. Hohmann. Lt Schorm's diary entry describes what he did and saw that day. It describes portee guns (3RHA) and fld arty playing anti-tank (4RHA). But, to you, that is "not relevant". Quite bizarre!

Jentz provides an English translation of the DAK KTB entry for the day. You claim it does not exist, even though you extract information from the very next paragraph on the page..... And, you feel it is "not relevant". Quite bizarre!

I have provided a wee bit of additional information regarding Pz Abt. Hohmann from the relevant unit KTB. And, you feel it is "not relevant". Quite bizarre!

I also notice in this last post of yours you make no mention of Pz Abt. Hohmann at all and just mention shootouts with pantsers. Given the bizarre nature of your "not relevant" claim, the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that you now consider 3RHA and 4RHA to have engaged a totally different group of pantsers. I look forward to your explanation as to which group of pantsers this was.

Alternatively, an illogical conclusion can be drawn, and that is that you have decided that the DAK KTB, unit KTB and Schorm diary are "not relevant" because they don't accord with the ahistorical narrative you wish to push. I mean, you spent several posts arguing with Urmel how brillant the British were tactically by using their mobility to evade the Germans whilst inflicting severe damage upon those same Germans. Now you have evidence that it was somewhat different. In this minor skirmish alone, from German reports there are no losses of their own and 4 enemy guns captured as well as a Major and 2 O/Rs. Evidence not suiting your ahistorical narrative is thus "not relevant".

+++

Changing tact slightly.

I notice you now claim the pantsers number 42 in total and have convinced yourself it is a true and accurate claim. Previously, you posted it was "approx 60". In other words, 7 Spt Gp has inflated the reports of their units by 30%. Why?

It's the same with the damage inflicted claims. You posted the unit claims were 6 and the 7th Spt Grp inflated it to 10. 40% inflation. Why?

Why are 7th Spt Grp punting up the chain and to other units inflated numbers which are themselves based upon unconfirmed claims?

Now do you start to see where my previous comments in another thread about British staff officers "deluding themselves" flows from?

And one final piece of evidence for you to digest which comes from a British Corps level WD. While you put your trust in the claim from the 3RHA/4RHA WD that the Germans had 42 pantsers as opposed to the 7th Spt Gp IntSumm which stated "approx 60", their superiors didn't believe either of the claims and wrote it up as "totalling 25 AFVs". Which, rather unsurprisingly, seems to dovetail with the German numbers....

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 21 Mar 2017 06:12

Yes...I was very surprised to discover in the war diaries of the 3rd and 4th RHA's a long series of statements giving an account of a firefight that involved a counted total of 42 panzers...because I had not seen it referred to anywhere else.

I do not need to argue with other sources because the above is in addition to what they have stated - therefore they are not relevant.

In respect of this topic please note the 42 is not my claim. I was not present.

Here is another example even though it is off topic: I recently discovered that Jentz makes no mention of a long protracted firefight that Lt-Col H. B. M. Groves and Cpl Burgess of 'C' Squadron of the 7th RTR had on the 15th or 16th June against 15- 20 panzers in which two panzers were knocked out. Mark have you got anything in your sources on the unit identity of those 15 - 20 panzers and also who was in the two knocked out panzers?

Mark have you web searched pantzer ? Can you tell us all again why you are using that form of word ? You go right ahead and use that word if you wish but it has no AFV connection according to Google - does that strike you as odd ?
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

valentine III
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: 16 May 2012 12:14

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby valentine III » 21 Mar 2017 14:15

A few thoughts about your discusion here.

British tried to use their columns to harass Axis forces around Tobruk and the border, but they had little firepower and less standing power so if the Axis reacted and tried to cath them, they, like flies, had no other alternative than fly away. Annoying and also a remembrance they were around there but few real casualties.

If they tried to stand and fight aganist a panzer force, they had every perspective to be destroyed in the act. Maybe kill or seriously damage a few panzers like in the case from the subject, but in the end they would be destroyed.

The only purpose I can guess was a good thing was to make the Axis overreact and move their panzer force to chase them. Why? Well, moving the panzers around had at least 3 positive results for the British.

First: The panzer force was separated from it's main objective that at that time was subduing Tobruk.

Second: Moving Panzers around, to the border, consummed a great ammount of the scarce fuel supplies the axis had available and had obtained at such cost crossing the sea by ship or airplane.

And third: Moving the Panzers around also increased mileage and the wear and tear of the tanks themselves: so increase supplies and repair parts needs and increase repair work and decrease future availability levels. All this also stressed the Axis supplies lines.

Of course light columns could be dealt by other axis light columns and were'nt able by themselves to produce this effects, so it was necessary something like Brevity to cause the overreaction called Skorpion.

Ed

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 21 Mar 2017 16:06

You opened this thread witb the title: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann and ended your opening post with:
ClintHardware wrote:Does anyone have any German data?


If you attitude on being given that data is (my bold and underlining):
ClintHardware wrote: I do not need to argue with other sources because the above is in addition to what they have stated - therefore they are not relevant.

... I see no point in 'helping' you further. Why ask people to assist if you then just tell them it's "not relevant" when it is precisely the data you asked for. I understand it may not be the data you wanted. :roll:

So, ...
ClintHardware wrote: Here is another example even though it is off topic: I recently discovered that Jentz makes no mention of a long protracted firefight that Lt-Col H. B. M. Groves and Cpl Burgess of 'C' Squadron of the 7th RTR had on the 15th or 16th June against 15- 20 panzers in which two panzers were knocked out. Mark have you got anything in your sources on the unit identity of those 15 - 20 panzers and also who was in the two knocked out panzers?

.. I will not be trawling through my material trying to find an alleged engagement at an unknown place and an unknown time against an unknown enemy. I suspect anything I find will just be disregarded as "not relevant" if it doesn't tie in with your ahistorical narrative.

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 26 Mar 2017 22:18

MarkN wrote:You opened this thread witb the title: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann and ended your opening post with:
ClintHardware wrote:Does anyone have any German data?


Yes but your data was way off the mark and it seemed you were attempting to obfuscate.

It is page 177 in TCinNA that Jentz misses the 16th June action of Lt-Col Groves and Cpl Burgess of 7th RTR and not page 132. His lack of detail about 2nd RTR on Hafid Ridge on the 15th June is surprising too.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 27 Mar 2017 19:38

What garbage are you peddling now???

ClintHardware wrote:
MarkN wrote:You opened this thread witb the title: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann and ended your opening post with:
ClintHardware wrote:Does anyone have any German data?

Yes but your data was way off the mark and it seemed you were attempting to obfuscate.


The data I provided and pointed you towards is EXACTLY what you asked for in your opening post.

So, I presume by "way off the mark", you mean it does not suit your fantasy narrative...

As regards to obfuscation, you're the one obfuscating. Here's some more of it.

ClintHardware wrote: It is page 177 in TCinNA that Jentz misses the 16th June action of Lt-Col Groves and Cpl Burgess of 7th RTR and not page 132. His lack of detail about 2nd RTR on Hafid Ridge on the 15th June is surprising too.

On 20 March ( see here: viewtopic.php?p=2068911#p2068911 ) you posted
ClintHardware wrote: Jentz says nothing about the firefight but has one paragraph on Jock Campbell on page 132.

That response was in reference to the actions of Pz.Gp. Hohmann on 12 May where Jentz provides a translation of the DAK KTB entry which you have chosen to ignore with your historical revisionist's myopia.

You only brought up Groves and Burgess the following day - 21 March ( see here: viewtopic.php?p=2069073#p2069073 )

Now, back to the 12 May skirmish where the British famed mobility to run away in the face of German opposition served them less well than desired.

The relevant WDF IntSumm notes that the German forces (Hohmann et al) returned very sharpish back to their original start lines. Something they were at a loss to understand and explain. Thus, the area of desert above the escarpement returned once more to a no-man's-land occupied by neither force - but patrolled frequently by both. How do you think they got a pantser with no turret, and the turret, and the other 5 (or 9) knocked out tanks off the battlefield so quickly? Do any of the subsequent patrol reports record stumbling across them?

User avatar
ClintHardware
Financial supporter
Posts: 585
Joined: 21 Jan 2011 12:17

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby ClintHardware » 02 Apr 2017 19:00

MarkN wrote:garbage


I am sorry I confused you and you are still not referring to the same firefight.

In terms of
MarkN wrote:running away
I am pleased units of CYRCOM and later the reformed WDF frequently had the upper hand in terms of mobility over 5. leichte Division.

In the last three years I don't think you have ever countered anything I have seen in original records with any success. You did help me with a pantzer point on the 14th April and I have used that. Thank you. But let me add that your point was modified heavily by various eye witnesses in different places along the miles of Tobruk border.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 04 Apr 2017 11:30

ClintHardware wrote: I am sorry I confused you and you are still not referring to the same firefight.


I was not confused. It has been apparent all along that you are deliberately trying to mislead and misdirect as the information presented - exactly that which you have asked for - does not coincide with your ahistorical narrative. I am merely pointing that out.

Back to 12 May.

WDF noted that their own forces consisted of "Two colns Coastal area" and "Three colns SOFAFI area and 4 RTR all placed under one comd."

Then, in the washup, they concluded:
"The reason for the enemy's precipitate withdrawal from SOFAFI to CAPUZZO during the afternoon cannot entirely be accounted for by the successful attack delivered by one of our colns and remains for the moment a mystery."

Note "one" of the columns was successful. Thus the efforts of the two others were unsuccessful.

Have you been able to positively confirm that the column that you have under the microscope is the one the WDF considers successful? Can you be absolutely sure that the WDF agrees with your analysis about how "successful" UVOR was? Given how much your analysis differes from everybody else's - contemporary and post-conflict - it would not be a huge surprise if you are disagreement here too.

You have chosen to dismiss the words of Schorm, the Pz.Gp. KTB, the DAK KTB and the WDF WD because they do not tally with your own narrative. That's not historical analysis. The deliberate decision to ignore evidence (by considering it "not relevant" or "way off the mark") is just part of the process of creating a revisionist and false history.

ClintHardware wrote:In the last three years I don't think you have ever countered anything I have seen in original records with any success. You did help me with a pantzer point on the 14th April and I have used that. Thank you. But let me add that your point was modified heavily by various eye witnesses in different places along the miles of Tobruk border.


In the process of posting here I may help you, or I may not. But helping you is neither my objective nor my concern. This website is about sharing history - it is not about sharing false narratives. My words are offered to bring historical balance to yours and to give other readers an opportunity for themselves to weigh up the various evidence available. Like you, I was not a witness to the events on 12 May 1941. I do not attempt to propose that one account is more true and accurate than any other. Schorm, the Pz.Gp. KTB, the DAK KTB and the British WDF WD seem to tally pretty well. Maybe that is an indication of historical reality. Perhaps it is not. But at least other readers now have a chance to consider the evidence rather than just be told by you what is relevant and what is not.

ClintHardware, you have previously stated that you are an author in the process of writing a series of books of which some have already been published. You are writing these books for your own financial gain. I wish you good luck in your endeavours. But if you want somebody to do your research for you, I suggest you get your wallet out and start offering an incentive.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 1415
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby Tom from Cornwall » 04 Apr 2017 15:49

Hi,

ClintHardware wrote:
Acquiring desert achieved nothing for the Axis troops.

Encouraging Rommel to leave his supply base a long way behind him achieved a great deal for CYRCOM.


Acquiring desert may have "achieved nothing for the Axis troops" but the loss of the airfields in Cyrenaica had a chilling effect on offensive operations from Malta and must have made the RN's job in both supplying Malta and interdicting Axis supply routes much harder. This was never just about the "brown jobs"!

I'm not sure that the use of the phrase "encouraging Rommel to leave his supply base a long way behind" is strictly supported by any historical evidence either. Can anyone point me to a British army (or RN or RAF) appreciation which suggested that it would be a good idea to concede vast swathes of territory, airfields, ports, etc to the enemy so that his supply lines get extended? Given the mechanical state of British armour in Cyrenaica at this point I would have thought the British would have been much happier with a good old-fashioned static battle. :)

All the best,

Tom

MarkN
Member
Posts: 707
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 3rd and 4th RHA Shootout with Pz Abt. Hohmann

Postby MarkN » 04 Apr 2017 16:59

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Hi,
ClintHardware wrote:
Acquiring desert achieved nothing for the Axis troops.

Encouraging Rommel to leave his supply base a long way behind him achieved a great deal for CYRCOM.

Acquiring desert may have "achieved nothing for the Axis troops" but the loss of the airfields in Cyrenaica had a chilling effect on offensive operations from Malta and must have made the RN's job in both supplying Malta and interdicting Axis supply routes much harder. This was never just about the "brown jobs"!

I'm not sure that the use of the phrase "encouraging Rommel to leave his supply base a long way behind" is strictly supported by any historical evidence either. Can anyone point me to a British army (or RN or RAF) appreciation which suggested that it would be a good idea to concede vast swathes of territory, airfields, ports, etc to the enemy so that his supply lines get extended? Given the mechanical state of British armour in Cyrenaica at this point I would have thought the British would have been much happier with a good old-fashioned static battle. :)


Hi Tom,

To support your line of thought an excerpt from a MOST SECRET letter Lt.Gen. Smith (Wavell's CoS) to Lt.Gen. Beresford-Pierse (GOC WDF) of 16 May [ file ref: CRME/1776/G (O) ] Underlining in the original.
Our policy in the Western Desert must be to drive the enemy west of TOBRUK as soon as possible, and to keep him west of TOBRUK by means of forces in the TOBRUK - EL ADEM area. It is essential that the landing grounds between TOBRUK and SOLLUM should be available for the use of the RAF.

Two days later, WDF Operational Instruction No.6 dated 18 May [ file ref: 2949/G ] issued to Brigadier Gott (Comd Sp Gp) contained this as point number 4.
The object of the WDF is to drive and keep the enemy west of TOBRUK.


Documentary evidence clearly indicates a desire to hold eastern Cyrenaica and have Rommel "as far west as possible". This in direct contradiction to the ahistorical narrative that the British strategy was to let Rommel be as far east as possible to "leave his supply base a long way behind him".

The documentary evidence also bursts the false narrative that BREVITY and BATTLEAXE were merely "The Empire exercising". They were failed operations.

And finally, 'Jock Columns' designed to cause mischief through hit and run tactics were never going to achieve this aim. They were merely a military expediency at the time. Regrettably, some senior British brass deluded themselves as to how effective these columns were and decided to make them the basis of offensive operations. January 1942 shows up the wisdom of that decision.


Return to “WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]