Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

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AdrianE
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Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

Post by AdrianE » 15 Jun 2022 05:16

II Battalion 26SS Panzer Grenadier regiment attacks the Winnipeg Rifles in Putot En Bessin in the morning of June 8, 1944
Canadian accounts (example Marc Milner's Stopping the Panzers) have them supported by armour but its not clear which unit it came from.
Hubert Meyer' book says a platoon from Panzer Lehr joined 6th company. Since Panzer Lehr was fully mechanized that is at least 4 half tracks.

In the vicinity is III Battalion 26SS PGR, 12th SS Recon Battalion and a regiment of Panzer Lehr. Any of them could have contributed to the attack. So which did?

The Winnipeg Rifles war diary says Tiger tanks were involved. The only Tigers potentially there were 3 Tiger Is in the Funkenlenk company of Panzer Lehr. Is there any possibility of this being true?

Michael Kenny
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Re: Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Jun 2022 05:19

AdrianE wrote:
15 Jun 2022 05:16


The Winnipeg Rifles war diary says Tiger tanks were involved. The only Tigers potentially there were 3 Tiger Is in the Funkenlenk company of Panzer Lehr. Is there any possibility of this being true?
No.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

Post by Sheldrake » 15 Jun 2022 09:57

I suspect this may hide a Blue on Blue contact of some sort.

The History of the Royal Artillery In Normandy includes the following:

"At 0945 hrs, nine tanks supported by infantry attacked the anti-tank troops in the wood on the right flank of the Winnipegs, who were supported by Lieutenant May’s 6-pounders of 94th Anti-Tank Battery RCA and Lieutenant D.J. Blanchard’s 17-pounders of the 246th Anti-Tank Battery. The enemy opened fire at 1,200 yards and two 17-pounders and two 6-pounders replied, knocking out at least four tanks. This led to a day-long battle during which the anti-tank guns were reinforced by towed and SP anti-tank guns. By 1630 hrs, the fighting had died down and a very hard-fought little battle had been won. Lieutenant Blanchard was recommended for a DSO and received the MC, Sergeant Miller was recommended for a DCM and received the MM and Gunner Hitchins was recommended for an MM and Lance Bombardier Bloomfield a Mention in Dispatches.11"
Baldwin, Frank. Gunners in Normandy . The History Press. Kindle Edition.

The anti tank position is in the right rear of the Winnipegs, also acting as a flank guard on the right of 3rd Canadian Division.
The primary source for this was the citations for the medals awarded for this action. So, unless the citations were fictional, some tanks (or other AFVs) were engaged by Blanchard and May's anti tank guns. Another sad possibility is that these were British tanks from the left hand unit of 30 Corps, who were inadvertently providing fire support for the attack by 26 SS.

AdrianE
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Re: Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

Post by AdrianE » 15 Jun 2022 23:38

According to Milner, these AT gunners were deployed in a woods northwest of La Bergerie farm which would place them 1.5 to 2km behind the Winnipeg rifles at Putot En Bessin.

British tanks did put in an appearance late in the day in the area. 18 tanks of the 24th Lancers met up with elements of the Winnipeg Rifles and counter attacked. Some accounts say they took 70 prisoners. Meyer says this counter attack caused II battalion 26 PGR to consolidate on Putot and stop trying to reach the Caen-Bayeux highway. I think it likely that a German force engaged the AT gunners, but who?

And whose armour was directly engaged in Putot?

Michael Kenny
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Re: Who supported II/26th SS PGRs attack on Putot En Bessin

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Jun 2022 00:08


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