II/SS Pz Rgt 12 Eterville July 10th 1944.

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Michael Kenny
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II/SS Pz Rgt 12 Eterville July 10th 1944.

Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jan 2022 20:58

Szamveber's 'Waffen SS Armor In Normandy' :

10 July 1944

II./SS-Panzer Regiment 12:
The Abteilung, with 17 Panzer IVs and 2 anti-aircraft vehicles, was
ordered to cooperate with SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1
“Leibstandarte”. In order to carry out the order, it established
communication with Obersturmbannführer Albert Frey in the early
morning hours of 10. 07. 1944. At night and in the early morning
hours the enemy thrust forward in the sector of the 10.SS-Panzer
Division“Frundsberg” from Fontaine [-Etoupefour] towards Eterville
and Maltot, and this way, succeeded in breaking through at more
than one point calling for the recall of the infantry at Eterville.
The tanks of the 8. and 5.Kompanien occupied securing
positions from the crossroad northeast of Maltot to the road leading
to Hill 400 being north of Athis, with the frontline towards the west
and northwest. Three tanks were temporarily relocated to
Hauptsturmführer Erich Grätz’s command post, the château east of
Maltot.
Some Tigers (approximately four) from the Tiger Abteilung of the
Korps went into positions south of the crossroad northeast of
Maltot.
During the repulse of the enemy attacks launched with tank
support, and during the counterstroke carried out north of Maltot
towards Maltot and Eterville, the II.Abteilung destroyed:
• 19 Churchills
• 12 Shermans
• 1 Cromwell
• 1 flamethrower tank
• 15 armoured personnel carriers
• 1 self-propelled gun
• 1 anti-tank gun
During the fighting Untersturmführer Willi Kändler showed
outstanding capacities when he alone, knocked out 8 Churchills in
the valley north of Maltot with his tank. Untersturmführer Porsch
destroyed five enemy armoured fighting vehicles with his tank.
Sturmmann Haase showed outstanding bravery when he continued
to fire although his tank, no. 946, was hit several times, until the tank
caught fire due to further hits. He himself knocked out three enemy
tanks here.
As for our tanks, tank no. 552 received a direct artillery hit and
thus was rendered immobile, and one of the tanks of the
9.Kompanie, assigned to the 5.Kompanie, was also rendered
immobile because of a hit from an anti-tank gun.
In the late evening hours we ventured to carry out a
counterstroke towards Eterville with some tanks of the I.Abteilung
and the infantry of Regiment “Frey”, after occupying Maltot again.
In the north-eastern area of Eterville the infantry succeeded in
breaking through, however, after the enemy strengthened its
positions in the western part of the village and received
reinforcements, the occupied parts of Eterville had to be abandoned.
During the night we secured westwards on the general line
crossroads 48–Hill 400.

At night the assault guns of SS-Sturmgeschütz Abteilung 1 of the
“Leibstandarte” (approx. 40 armoured fighting vehicles) arrived at
the positions of the I and II.Abteilung. This way, these could carry out
regrouping into the Le Mesnil-Robert area via the bridge at St.
André-sur-Orne Ferrières and could gather their forces.
During the afternoon and in the night hours heavy bombardment
was laid on the command post at Etavaux, during which
Hauptsturmführer Hermann Tirschler was wounded. The command
post was temporarily west of Hill 67, north of St. André-sur-Orne.




11 July 1944
II./SS-Panzer Regiment 12:
Robert. Meanwhile Untersturmführer Herbert Walther, the
Ordonnanz Offizier, was wounded in his Panzer II. The tank was a
total loss. Otherwise no notable events on 11.07.1944


12 July 1944

II./SS-Panzer Regiment 12:
In the early morning hours of 12. 07. 1944 the replacement of the
II.Abteilung by the assault gun unit of the 9.SS-Panzer Division
“Hohenstaufen”. The II.Abteilung received a quarters area assigned
to them southeast of St. Aignan-de-Cramesnil. The Kompanien are
located as follows:
• 6. and 8.Kompanien in Conteville
• 5. and 9.Kompanien in Poussy
• Abteilung command post in Daumesrol
• Stabskompanie west of Bretteville-sur-Laize
The Kompanien are ordered to use the resting time for
engineering and maintenance work. The Abteilung has, on this day,
31 tanks, of which only 10 are operational. 21 tanks have to undergo
repairs partly by the workshop Kompanie, partly by the maintenance
units.



Hubert Meyer has this via a personal conversation with one of the tank crew who 'towed' an immobile panzer
pg 151 :
Then, the Panzers came themselves under fire from Eterville. One of them was
rendered immobile. Untersturmführer Kändler took it in tow and
withdrew with his three Panzers to his starting position.
but it could be one (of the two?) 9 kp panzers that also appear to have been hit.



From the above a single total loss (a Pz II) on July 10



The area seen June 12 :
Etavaux June 12 jjjj.jpg
And a photo from the Sale Collection showing Pz IV ?52 'in Eterville orchard'
8-SAL-18-114.jpg
It must be '552' and far from being an immobile casualty it is in fact a total loss pictured still in place after the Germans were ejected from Eterville. A loss not mentioned in Szamveber.


More from the Sale Collection which must be the Churchill's mentioned on July 10th.
Eterville July 10-11.jpg
Eterville Churchill wrecks.jpg

and a Sherman from 'A' Squadron 3 CLY
3 CLY Etterville M4.jpg

War Dairy, 3CLY.
July 10

Move to concentration area at 9466 NE of MOUEN. Moved across river ODON during the afternoon and took up battle positions in support of 43 Div.
Major Gale MC, fatally wounded by shell fire and several officers wounded during periods of intermittent shelling.
A Sqn made contact with 2nd Seaforths near JUMEAUX. Enemy infantry and tanks were reported on the ridge running East from ETERVILLE to LOUVIGNY and A Sqn were ordered to establish a standing patrol on this ridge. 2Tp were sent up under artillery concentrations and engaged and put to flight enemy infantry visible among trees on the summit. Two further troops took up positions on the ridge and engaged 3 Panthers - 2 of which were knocked out without loss.
C Sqn under command of Capt. Pearson 2i/c took up a position to the West of A Sqn and inflicted heavy casualties on enemy infantry attacking ETERVILLE. At last light 4 Panthers and 1 Mark IV appeared and 2 Panthers and the Mark IV were destroyed without loss, the remaining 2 Panthers came under fire from the Royal Scots Grey and were destroyed.
B Sqn remained in reserve and the Regiment withdrew at last light to leaguer in area 9764.
Casualties:-
Killed -Major RF Gale MC
-Sgt King
Wounded -Capt. JC Sturrock
-Lt CJ MacGregor
-2Lt RA Leach
-Lt BH Penrose
-L/Cpl Townend

July 11

Same positions resumed at first light. During the morning the enemy put in a counter-attack on ETERVILLE. The attack was beaten off with heavy casualties to the infantry and A Sqn knocked out 3 Tigers, 1 Mark IV and 2 SP guns, a number of others hit and probably damaged. C Sqn under command of Capt. Murray destroyed 1 Tiger. Our loss was 1 Sherman destroyed, the crew of which escaped alive. The Regiment was under almost continual shellfire throughout the day and this continued when night leaguer was formed in the previous nights position.
Casualties:-
Killed -SSM Brown MM
Wounded -Lt Copson MC
-Lt Alltree
-Lt Brodie
-Cpl Maxwell


As only 1 Sherman is listed as a total loss it must be the one in the photo.
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: II/SS Pz Rgt 12 Eterville July 10th 1944.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 15 Jan 2022 20:49

Michael Kenny wrote:
12 Jan 2022 20:58
II./SS-Panzer Regiment 12:
The Abteilung, with 17 Panzer IVs and 2 anti-aircraft vehicles, was
ordered to cooperate with SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1
“Leibstandarte”. In order to carry out the order, it established
communication with Obersturmbannführer Albert Frey in the early
morning hours of 10. 07. 1944. At night and in the early morning
hours the enemy thrust forward in the sector of the 10.SS-Panzer
Division“Frundsberg” from Fontaine [-Etoupefour] towards Eterville
and Maltot, and this way, succeeded in breaking through at more
than one point calling for the recall of the infantry at Eterville.
The tanks of the 8. and 5.Kompanien occupied securing
positions from the crossroad northeast of Maltot to the road leading
to Hill 400 being north of Athis, with the frontline towards the west
and northwest. Three tanks were temporarily relocated to
Hauptsturmführer Erich Grätz’s command post, the château east of
Maltot.
Some Tigers (approximately four) from the Tiger Abteilung of the
Korps went into positions south of the crossroad northeast of
Maltot.
I thought this ULTRA signal might be of interest for this action:
DEFE3-53 - XL1490 - 10 Jul 44 - Maltot.JPG
I'll see if there are any more as the action progresses.

Regards

Tom
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: II/SS Pz Rgt 12 Eterville July 10th 1944.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 16 Jan 2022 21:12

Michael Kenny wrote:
12 Jan 2022 20:58
A loss not mentioned in Szamveber.
Michael,

I thought this signal might be of interest as well for 12th SS Pz Div:
DEFE3-54 - XL 1631 - 12 Pz Div tank repair msg of 21 Jun - 11 Jul.JPG
Regards

Tom
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Sheldrake
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Re: II/SS Pz Rgt 12 Eterville July 10th 1944.

Post by Sheldrake » 17 Jan 2022 00:50

Here is an extract from Gunners in Normandy
7th Hampshires were now launched on Maltot, supported by one company of 5th Dorsets and A Sqn 9th RTR. With the barrage moving ahead they passed the crest and moved down towards the village. The leading companies lost the barrage and, under heavy enemy mortar and machine gun fire, they entered the village and soon reported it in their hands. However, the enemy were well dug in and the battalion “had merely superimposed themselves on top of a very strongly held enemy locality”. A protracted fight to clear the village developed against dug in positions and Tiger tanks

From 1215 to 1700 hrs the artillery were was engaging targets continuously in support of 7th Hampshires. Bombardier Lakey, an OP Ack in 217th Battery described the fighting:

“The Sergeant signaller was in the vehicle relaying instructions to the Corps artillery. At one time we ordered ‘fire as fast as you can’; having previously given them our location something went wrong and the medium shells all fell on our position. Meanwhile I had taken up a position behind my vehicle and was using a machine-gun to fend off advancing infantry. The carrier was on fire and the ammunition was getting low … I waited a few seconds until the German platoon had to pass a gap in the hedge and I gave them the full blast of machine-gun fire. They faltered and I shouted to my trapped colleague to get out of the carrier.”

Maltot was completely ringed with artillery fire, controlled by BC 217 Bty, Maj Penrose and his FOOs:

“Maj Penrose, Capt Cash and Lt Blincow were in the pocket. The CO 7 Hamps was wounded and the IO killed, Maj Penrose organised the defence and fire was put down all around the area to stem heavy infantry counter-attacks.”

Lt Blincow was killed while pointing out an 88 mm to a tank which was blown up by the 88. At 1900 hrs the Corps artillery was firing on the orchard to the south of Maltot, rate rapid.

By mid-day, the precarious position of the Hampshires had been realised and 4th Dorsets were sent to restore the situation in Maltot.

“By 1300 hrs, 4 Dorsets were being called from Eterville to reinforce the remnants of 7 Hamps. All comms with 217 Btys OP s had been lost for over an hour. 4 Dorsets reached Maltot at 1800 hrs and were promptly driven out by a heavy counter-attack from the east. We engaged with V targets which produced 1,260 rounds per minute for 19 minutes. 4 Dorsets withdrew and Maltot remained in enemy hands.”

A troop of 17-pounders from 233rd Battery accompanied the Dorsets deployed to form an anti-tank screen round the south of the village. They were quickly overrun in a German infantry counter-attack and, after expending all their small arms ammunition, removed the breech blocks of the guns and retreated to the infantry slit trenches losing half the troop in the process. Sgt Stevens’s troop of M10s of 129th Battery was still in action:

“The fourth M10, realising that the Churchills they were supporting had all been destroyed, took up a hull down position and invited some infantry who were being slaughtered, to come on board for protection. They replied ‘Not bloody likely, you’ll not get us in that steel coffin.’ I think that said it all.”

Enemy tanks worked their way behind the battalion whose position was desperate and at 2030 hrs they were given permission to withdraw, covered by “extremely accurate support from 112 Field Regiment”.
There were quite a few bravery awards for the artillery in this action.

Major Penrose and Captain Cash were awarded MCs. Paul Cash died a few days later. His unborn son is the British politician Bill Cash MP, a long term Eurosceptic and prominent Brexiteer.

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