SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

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Richard Anderson
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Nov 2020 00:04

Well, the Sherbroke's landed 12 Sherman VC, 46 Sherman III, and 10 Stuarts on D-Day. A Squadron lost 1 III to mechanical on 7 June, C Squadron lost 4 VC and 3 III to KO and 1 III to mechanical, HQ lost 2 Stuart KO. B Squadron is murkier on dates, but lost 5 KO and 7 damaged, probably all on 7 June. So they had a s many as 78 tanks going into the engagement at Authie.

Nearly forgot, Archives Canada Microfilm T-12758.
"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

Michael Kenny
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Nov 2020 02:07

guder wrote:
13 Nov 2020 15:13


In 448 pages, extensively researched official Abteilung diaries and moving personal accounts, and hundreds of photographs, Stephan Cazenave tells the story of the boys and men of SS-Panzer-Regiment 12.

Did this extensive research throw up any details of the 'captured tanks' that 12th SS were 'forced' to use because of their own disastrous losses?
Screenshot_44ert.jpg

One is mentioned in this document:


PRO WO171/336, War Diary of 30 Corps "G" for June 1944.

"Appendix 'B' to & AD Intsum 30
REPORT ON CROMWELL TANK WITH GERMAN MARKINGS.
Found 4 Jul 44 at 905657 Recovered by an Armd Div REME and inspected BRETTEVILLE L'ORGUEILLEUSE 923720 5 Jul 44.

1. Type Cromwell CS Mk IV (95mm gun)
2. Markings (a) German cross on front and side of turret
(b) British markings painted over with cam paint but the following clearly visible:
T187761
1 LCT
3. Condition Penetrated in eight places by what looks like 17 pdr but NOT set on fire. REME reports that NO KO'd Cromwells handled have been set on fire.
4. Modifications
(a) Cupola previously reported as German is definitely British.
(b) German wireless apparatus (thought to be an inter-comm apparatus only).
5. Amn Confirmed that some German amn for main armament was in the tank.
6. Documents Following found in tank:
Identification: 12 SS Pz Div
FPN : 59043 A
7. General Tank definitely did not belong to the Div that found it. No information available as to who knocked it out or when.
(Source: 8 Corps IS No. 11)
COMMENTS: This tank was lost at VILLERS BOCAGE on June 13."




This is the Cromwell mentioned above shown just after it was taken at Villers Bocage June 14-15th.
Cromwell-Point-213-runner.jpg

and this the location where the wreck was found/knocked out:


July 6th 1944
3022 0310-515 July 6th_stitch.tmm.jpg


Another mention:

The book '1st and 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry' (pub 1946) page 117 has a note claiming the 2nd Notts Yeo recovered a Cromwell with German markings whilst in reserve ( 30th June-8th July) north of Putot-en-bessin.


On the 30th(June) the Regiment was drawn into reserve and moved back to leaguer in some wheat fields N. W. of Norrey-en-Bessin alongside 29th Armoured Brigade. Next day the Regiment moved into harbour to the North of Putot-en-Bessin, where it remained till july 8th reorganising and re-equipping. Capt. ]. P. McGillycuddy took command of "A" Squadron with Capt. A. B. Venner as 2 IC. Several "C" Squadron tanks were recovered from the battle-field and also a Cromwell, which had been captured by the Germans from the 7th Armoured Division used by them in the battle and knocked out by the Regiment. On the 8th the Regiment moved up to some corn-fields South of Le Mesnil- Patry in a counter-attack role. On the 11th "B" Squadron landed and on the 12th joined the Regiment

The location of the dump where this wreck was most likely ended up is 99% certain to be the collection point at Bray which is just above Putot en Bessin

7F-1 Caen 1-50.000,,vg.jpg
4069 0308-504 July 3rd Bray M4 Graveyard b.jpg
Note that these 5 captured tanks do not appear anywhere as 12th SS losses.

Note also that I am fairly confident that the famous Analysis of 75 mm Sherman Tank Casualties Suffered Between 6th June and 10th July 1944:Report No. 12 was compiled by a 'survey' of the tank wrecks as they sat in this dump at Bray.


https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent ... ontext=cmh
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Last edited by Michael Kenny on 18 Nov 2020 16:05, edited 2 times in total.

Michael Kenny
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Nov 2020 02:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Nov 2020 00:04
Well, the Sherbroke's landed 12 Sherman VC, 46 Sherman III, and 10 Stuarts on D-Day. A Squadron lost 1 III to mechanical on 7 June, C Squadron lost 4 VC and 3 III to KO and 1 III to mechanical, HQ lost 2 Stuart KO. B Squadron is murkier on dates, but lost 5 KO and 7 damaged, probably all on 7 June. So they had a s many as 78 tanks going into the engagement at Authie.

I covered this action in another forum:

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showt ... hp?t=28282

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 Nov 2020 12:54

Michael,

When are you going to publish all of your extraordinary research? Brilliant stuff again.

Rich,

Thanks for those numbers. Not 500 or 100 then. 👍

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 21 Nov 2020 06:55

Received the book today- as a preview it is a must-have and complements other works especially the unit diary of SS PR-12. There is an unusual depth and breadth of detail about the "life and times" of the unit, personalities/personnel & sundry details. A key feature of the book is the huge photo gallery- many of them "behind the scenes" , from private collections and not generic photos- with many detailed captions. A comparable researcher is someone like Jason Mark. The book is also dense with accounts from veterans,in training, after-hours, and in combat. The first 148 pages covers troop training and the rest of the book focuses on combat June-August 1944. Not a book for the general audience or persons afraid of skull-caps. A lot of skull caps in this one :lol:

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Nov 2020 09:42

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
18 Nov 2020 12:54


Thanks for those numbers. Not 500 or 100 then
Not the only suspect number in the extract.

This:
Screenshot_f341.jpg
claims a lot but fortunately can be checked because there were 2 aircraft taking photos that day.
Authie map june 7 1944 c.jpg
This is the tip of the Canadian advance (green arrow) at Franqueville (black square on map) where they were ambushed and lost several tanks. perhaps half a dozen. The area is open so you can clearly see the nearest wrecks at Franqueville ringed in yellow. The pink arrows shows the area where 5 kp (mentioned in the book extract) SS Pz Rgt 12 were firing from.
June 7th c.jpg
Now there are known wrecks lost in the ground haze so not every detail is visible but clearly no way there are '20' burning wrecks knocked out in the first encounter.
Slightly wider view
June 7th 46.jpg
Here you can see German tanks skirting Authie (white square on map)
June 7th Authie bb.jpg
II/SS Pz Rgt 12 had 12 Pz IV as total losses and an unknown number knocked out. Their counter-attack failed to drive the Allies back into the sea.
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 21 Nov 2020 10:48

Michael, looking at the relevant pages from "Waffen SS Armour in Normandy", which is just extracts from the regiemnts war diaries, on 7th June 5th Company only lost 3 Panzer IVs on 7th June. However it does give the entire battalion's losses as a total of 12 that day. As for Canadian tanks claimed destroyed it has 5th Company 9 Shermans, 6th 14, 7th 5 and 8th 1. Ammunition expenditure for the 2nd Bn that day was 944 x HE and 721 x AP and their total personnel casualties were 30.
These figures are bit less dramatic.
Alan

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Nov 2020 11:10

Cult Icon wrote:
21 Nov 2020 06:55
Received the book today
Great, good for you, Mr Cazenave will be pleased.

I'd be grateful if you could tell us what endnote 327 from page 306 says? It's the statement about not taking any prisoners.

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 04 Dec 2020 04:24

Charles Steiner wrote:
17 Nov 2020 20:38
Just for the record, I have this book as the two others on this division. I can add that a fourth book about this division is planned which will deal with the war crimes.
Do you know what the 4th and 5th volumes are going to be about?

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 04 Dec 2020 15:35

Cult Icon wrote:
21 Nov 2020 06:55
The book is also dense with accounts from veterans,in training, after-hours, and in combat.
Are there many accounts about being captured by the Allies?

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Kon_Greece » 22 Dec 2020 23:41

Greetings gents, I have this book, and I can highly recommend it. It has the daily KTB reports that you can find in Szamveber's Hitlerjugend book, but it also has plethora of first hand accounts not printed elsewhere(I have an extensive library on Waffen SS panzer divisions) as well as contemporary pictures, some of which were taken after the war, depicting the wrecks of specific 12th Pz.Rgt tanks. Cheers.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 23 Dec 2020 16:34

I finished reading the first section on training and it expands the unit diary & Hubert Meyer. I don't think there is any unit history of an armored unit, Axis or allied that is more informative in english as far as training goes.

The personal accounts and troop training schedules etc. give a useful picture of how the German army (the unit was largely trained by the Army) tried to train their tank troops with very limited time and resources (equipment, ammunition, specialized personnel, etc.) in 1943 and 1944. This is far cry from the pre-war standards of training , a good comparison can be found in Schneider's Panzer Tactics. The training of SS Panzer Regiment 12 can be described as very rushed, improvised and low resourced. Officer and NCO candidate crash courses for 17 and 18 year olds on the fly. This unit was raised from a group of veterans and transfers from the Heer, numbering only over a company who trained 16-18 year olds and Luftwaffe transfers. There is a severe lack of fuel, ammunition, vehicles, and AFVs to train on and it is implied that the men had a lot of free time and their training was intellectual and not sufficiently hands on as a consequence. Dozens of LW transfers were executed for desertion, there were executions among the HJ for theft, and there were deaths from training accidents.

Their unit training only starts in proper in 1944 with several unit maneuvers, the substance of which was limited by fuel shortages. There is an impression that there was a lot of downtime from the lack of resources and vocational expertise. Anyway, a useful model of what it was like. Certainly a veteran German unit coming to the West to rebuild would not have the same difficulties as a newly raised one as SS Panzer Regiment 12. The unit was considered ready shortly before D-Day, with the training of the Panther battalion lagging than of the Pz IV.

The photographs of training are interesting, and there are some from their April maneuvers. However it seems like a lot of personal accounts/photos were acquired from personal contacts, so a lot of other perspectives aren't included. I would have liked to have seen more details and photos from the other maneuvers noted in their unit diary.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Dec 2020 18:53

Cult Icon wrote:
23 Dec 2020 16:34
Dozens of LW transfers were executed for desertion, there were executions among the HJ for theft, and there were deaths from training accidents.
Are they recorded in the official documents?
Cult Icon wrote:
23 Dec 2020 16:34
The training of SS Panzer Regiment 12 can be described as very rushed, improvised and low resourced.
Which accounts for their poor performance in the attack I suppose and the abysmal lack of combined arms tactics in the attack in particular.

I'd [still] be grateful if you could tell us what endnote 327 from page 306 says? It's the statement about not taking any prisoners.

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 May 2021 07:42

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
17 Nov 2020 20:53


There was only one Canadian armoured regiment at Authie on 7 June 1944 though wasn't there? Not 500, or even 100 tanks then.
2 CAR kept detailed tank loss numbers. The total number of tanks they wrote off on June 7 was 15.
2 of the losses were Stuart recce tanks.
12th SS total losses for June 7th were 12 Pz IV.
12th SS claimed 29 tank kills .
2 CAR claimed 41 tank kills.
The encounter, in terms of losses, seems to have been pretty even.

Those reading Szamveber's 'Waffen SS Armor In Normandy' might gain a different impression. Szamveber (page 40) footnotes Reynolds ( page 69 Steel Inferno) as 'confirming' that 2 CAR lost 28 tanks this day of which 21 were destroyed. It is clear that Reynolds read the June Appendix in the Sherbrooke's War Diary but he either can't read properly or wilfully misrepresented the numbers (as in conflating categories and double-counting) in the hope no one would check. I checked. Reynolds got it wrong. Reynolds also undercounts the 12th SS losses at 9 instead of 12.

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 May 2021 08:22

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Nov 2020 00:04
B Squadron is murkier on dates, but lost 5 KO and 7 damaged, probably all on 7 June.
The original document is a count of all losses June 6th-11th. B Squadron in the only bit where there is no breakdown by date of the losses. It is entirely possible some of the B Squadron losses are from other dates.

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