Tom from Cornwall wrote: ↑
23 Jun 2021 16:30
Thanks for posting these details from 2nd Panzer Division.
Does anyone have any details of successful infiltration operations by 2nd Panzer Division though? It would be interesting to compare those with the diaries of the British units they opposed.
Yes, they are interesting, but what do they really tell us? There are no dates, no actual battle descriptions, and no accounting of casualties or actual objectives captured. During the second half of June, 2. Panzer opposed elements of both First U.S. Army (V Corps and 1st Inf Div for the most part) and Second British Army (XXX Corps). I cannot find where 2. Panzer actually made any significant advances such as described in that period, except in support of the operations at Villers Bocage.
It does not appear that in June those operations were directed at the 1st U.S. Inf Div. It spent much of the month recovering from the landing operations, while maintaining the connection with the British, while holding an extended front facing parts of 2. Panzer at Caumont. From about 12 June when 2. Panzer started to enter the line, to the end of the month, the 1st Inf Div reported 525 battle casualties. For its part, 2. Panzer reported 1,391 casualties for June, roughly 600-700 per week; I don't know if that is "without paying a heavy toll in manpower" or not?
Of course, Allied losses in that period would include those of XXX Corps, but then it would also include the rest of the Germans engaged in the Villers Bocage battles.
July of course gets messier. For 1-10 July, 2. Panzer reported 282 BC, then 293 11-20 July and 350 21-31 July. But was it really engaged in casualty conserving "Peaceful Penetration" tactics or simply not as heavily engaged as other German divisions? I don't seem to be able to find anything from V U.S. Corps commenting on an erosion of its front caused by such tactics, nor are the losses of the 1st Inf Div indicative of any significant defensive or offensive operations against the Germans around Caumont. From 1-20 July they reported just 218 BC, then from 21-25 July as they shifted to the VII Corps for COBRA they reported zero BC.
Anyway, the data are probably there if we can trace where 2. Panzer and its opponents were, but I suspect it will not reveal a huge dividend for any supposed "Peaceful Penetration" tactics.