The Fey incident

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Andreas
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The Fey incident

Post by Andreas » 08 Jun 2005 07:17

[split from the "Defeat of Schwere Panzer-Abt. 509 in Hungary" 1945 topic]
Michael Kenny wrote:The Fey incident is described as either Aug 7th or 8th 1944. 21st Hussars were in action in the area but I have not found anything that describes the loss of 15 Shermans in the manner Fey says it happened.
Andreas do you mean you have a Regimental History book or the Units War Diary? Could you post the version as printed in your book?
Michael - the Fey incident is pretty much confirmed from the unit history, IIRC. The documents passed through my hands and I read them in the form of copies from Bovington's library, because a friend asked exactly that question (he had the same doubts you had). I am not sure I kept a set of copies and could not find anything in the chaos that is my library last night. I have another dig tonight, and if that does not turn up anything I will ask my friend to send me a scan.

I believe I had both, the regimental history and the war diary pages for those days, but am not 100% certain of that. Definitely the history, maybe the war diary. It'll cost you ca. UKP10 to get it from Bovington library, in case I can not turn it up.

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jun 2005 19:42

When I was on Yahoo's 'tankers' forum I had some posts about Fey and one poster (I can't remember who) replied and said he helped Fey with his book by providing him with details of Units who had losses that could match his claims in Normandy. However the post was quickly deleted by the author and not spoken of again. The poster did not seem too keen to be a source for Fey's claims and all other documents and books I have seen confirm that 23rd Hussars had heavy losses but not an example where 15 Shermans were lost in one action. All other sources even say they did not have that many Shermans in service on Fey's 2 dates. So they did lose tanks but 15 in one action?

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 10 Jun 2005 09:38

Hi Michael

Some info should be forthcoming on the weekend. Turns out my memory played tricks on me, and the war diary/unit history does not confirm the incident. Assuming it was the unit in questions.

Apologies for getting off on the wrong foot on this one.

All the best

Andreas

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 11 Jun 2005 22:46

Okay, got the copy of the war diary of 23rd Hussars. No tanks written off on the 7th. From the 8th to the 10th however, 12 Sherman 75 and three Fireflies are written off. That is an exceptionally high number for that period, but the war diary does not tell us what happened.

I have a go at the regimental history next.

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Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jun 2005 00:34

Strange because 23rd Hussars had 22 killed 1-7 August and only 1 more killed up to Aug. 12!
I suspect the 'written off' tanks were from the earlier period and the paperwork filled in later.
Does anyone have a copy of the original German version of Fey's book 'Panzerkampf' and the year of its publication?

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 12 Jun 2005 15:55

Okay, just read the relevant pages in the regimental history. Now it turns out that Fey may have been right after all.

On 2nd August, near Chenedolle, one mile east of Le Bas Perrier, A Squadron 23rd Hussars lost all but four of its tanks within a matter of minutes to an ambush executed by Panthers. It is not said how many they started with, but if they were full strength, that would make 15. They claim three Panthers destroyed in return.

The consolidated write-off during the period 8-11 (8-10th as stated above 12 Sherman V and 3 Sherman Vc, also 1 3-ton truck, 2 ACs, 4 HTs; 11th a further five Shermans) is probably due to the losses incurred in the period 2nd-7th, when the regiment was pretty much cut off on Hill 218 outside Chenedolle. It does not appear they had time for a lot of paperwork during this period.

Not sure how this fits with Fey's account.

All the best

Andreas

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jun 2005 16:28

It leaves Fey's account as a work of fiction. 2/8/44 is not 7/8/44.
Panthers (plural) is not Tiger(single).

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 12 Jun 2005 16:59

Michael Kenny wrote:It leaves Fey's account as a work of fiction. 2/8/44 is not 7/8/44.
Panthers (plural) is not Tiger(single).
Ah, if that is what he claimed, it makes it seem rather unlikely. :)

Tigers were involved in the fighting at Hill 218 from 2nd to 7th, but it appears that the bulk of the losses was incurred by A squadron on the second.

All the best

Andreas

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