British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

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Tom from Cornwall
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British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 27 Mar 2020 20:44

Hi,

In Hubert Meyer's History of 12th SS Pz Div there is an account of the capture of a British Lt Col on about 18 June 44 in the Normandy beachhead. The only Lt Col I can think of who was captured was Lt Col The Lord Cranley of 4 CLY captured during Villers Bocage battle on 13 June. The context suggests the account refers to the capture of a CO from a unit of 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

Now, Meyer normally backs on his German oral accounts with some reference to British war diaries but on this occasion the lack of a British reference is striking. Can anyone suggest which unit may have lost a Lt Col. If not, I have a feeling that the oral account confuses this engagement with that of 5 days earlier.

Regards

Tom

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Sheldrake
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 27 Mar 2020 21:08

Lieutenant Colonel M StJ Oswald, CO 107th Medium Regiment was on reconnaissance on 18th August in a tank near Grand Mesnil when and his escorting troop of tanks were ambushed and he was posted missing. It was later confirmed by a French civilian that he had been taken prisoner. Lt Col Oswald then escaped a few days later.

Michael Kenny
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Mar 2020 21:12

Talking of Cranley one of his letter was considered good propaganda given his wife's comments about 'Americans'.
Letter from Pamela.jpg

The sun continues to shine and I continue to enjoy it.
Julie is here this week and is in good form.
We lie on another haystack in the sun during the afternoon.
Last night we dined with Lady B.
There were three ill-mannered coarse looking
American airmen there.
They had never heard of stinging nettles.......
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Mar 2020 10:19

Sheldrake, Michael,

Thanks for responses. I'll take another look at Meyer's account and see what unit the German soldier came from. It begins to look very much like it was a misdated reference to the capture of CO 4 CLY though.

Regards

Tom

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Andy H
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Andy H » 28 Mar 2020 13:10

Hi

Michael Reynolds in Steel Inferno Pg129 states "Cranley was captured separately and turned up in German POW camp near Argentan on June 15th"

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Andy H

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Mar 2020 20:24

Had another look at Meyer and his account is from a member of the 12 SS Pz Div HJ Unterscharführer Leo Freund (in an account written in 1972) and backed by details in the Diary Divisionbegleitkompanie (which apparently records that on 18 June a platoon from the Begleitkompanie conducted a counterattack against a British penetration of Panzer Lehr Division positions and captured 120 prisoners (inc a Colonel, two majors and four more officers), 32 rifles, eight machine-guns, eight mortars, one anti-tank rifle, ten sub-machine guns, one radio, and a folder with maps and secret orders).

Leo Freund's account includes:
The enemy had broken through southwest of Tilly on 18 June. In the afternoon, the Divisionbegleitkompanie received orders to counterattack...The enemy was leisurely setting up positions...We suddenly found ourselves at the edge of wide trench with approximately forty Englishmen in it...we noticed that some of the Englishmen had embroidered stars on their epaulets.
Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: British Lt Cols captured in Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Mar 2020 20:38

Just found in the war diary of 7th Bn Green Howards that they lost a company and their CO during a counter attack by infantry supported by tanks on 18 June 1944. Lt Col P.H. Richardson. His account differs in many details from that in Meyer's history, most particularly in the stress that he places on the difficulty that the German tanks caused. He does agree though that when captured they were in a ditch.

https://s873.photobucket.com/user/rahon ... ort=3&o=48

It also looks like Lt Col Richardson subsequently escaped so something more to explore there.

Regards

Tom

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