Artee wrote: ↑
17 Sep 2014 07:10
Nice to see the vigorous debate still raging…
On the subject of the armament & location of 10./1716 on D-Day it seems many of us are still confused - despite the fact that the puzzle has already been solved on this very thread (not solved by me, I‘ll add). If some of the following seems plagiarised it’s because I’m not basing it on guess work - it’s a summary of various peoples great efforts.
By the time the Allies decided to land in France the 716 infantry Division had formed eleven
batteries. In short, on 06Jun44 10./1716
was equipped with 4 x 15.5 cm sFH414 (f) (Field post No. 39308 D). The Battery was likely positioned between Formigny & St Laurent Sur Mer near La Londel (or Le Monchet ). A contemporary German map (likely dated some time after March) specifically identifies 10./1716 exactly where Allied Air Reconnaissance/Intelligence tentatively identified a four gun position (Grid Ref 657875 on the Allied map, which is accurate to 20May44). I am attaching edited parts of both maps (both of which come from omahabeach.vierville.free.fr/)
The YouTube link provided by bunker14 (on 10Sep) is particularly interesting. On 12Jul44 US Signal Corps cameramen filmed “Nazi Gun emplacements” at “St Laurent”. The footage shows a gun position with several howitzers in a field position (complete with personnel dugouts and underground ammunition storage). The howitzers are all 15.5 cm sFH414 (f). The position has clearly been hit Allied artillery or naval guns. At least two of the howitzers appears to have been spiked ie. destroyed by own crews (or by US engineers after the position was captured). Of note a close up of one the gun shields shows the gunners were using “7 Lag” (ie. Charge 7) at a range of 3050m - which correlates almost exactly with information depicted on the contemporary German map.
Conclusion: 10./1716 was in action in the Omaha area - firing on American forces landing on Dog and/or Easy beaches. The Battery was shelled on 06June and/or 07June. It was probably abandoned late on 07June as US forces pushed south - the gunners destroying their guns in the process (from “Omaha Beachhead” on 07June: “The 3d Battalion of the 26th Infantry, advancing down the St-Laurent road, had been stopped a half-mile short of Formigny by strong resistance from machine-gun nests and made no progress for the rest of the day…”). The three men of 10./1716 captured on 09June (likely then fighting as infantry) were probably made POW as German forces attempted to withdraw south.
On 06June 11./1716
was equipped with 6 x 15cm sFH 13/1 (Sf) Geschützwagen Lorraine-Schlepper (f) (Sd.Kfz.135/1) (Battery Commander Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf, Field Post No. 09664 W). During April 44 the 716th Division formed a “Gerätbatterie” with the Self Propelled guns still available in the LXXXIV Corps sector. Indeed, the neighbouring 711th Infantry Division had apparently acquired a Self Propelled battery about the same time, though neither the 01May44 Kriegsgliederung of the 716th or 711th list their respective SP Batteries. The 716th’s only motorised artillery battery apparently became operational, as 11./1716, some time in early May. This new
self propelled battery was called “Graf Waldersee
” (hence considerable confusion in various histories).
Conclusion: On the morning of D-Day 11./1716 aka Graf Waldersee was at Plumetot ie. in the Sword area, where it fought against British forces landing on Queen beach. By the end of 06June 11./1716 aka Gaf Waldersee had just three SP guns still in action.
Artee10. 1716 near Omaha....jpgProbable sFH414 (f) of 10. 1716.jpg