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Hans von Luck and the Cagny 88s. Fact or fiction?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by harolds, May 16, 2012.

  1. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Those are the comments Daglish makes on page 256 but in his conclusions on page 263, he states:

    ..."Early-arriving German antitank weapons unknown to von Luck might possibly have accounted for von Rosen's Tiger losses."

    I acknowledge it's a left turn conclusion to his previous comments, but to give him the benefit of the doubt, I believe he had previously cited the short distance from Cagny to grant the possibly that something less than an 88 could have done the deed.


    I only have Daglish's summary of the account of the action but he states that the Tigers in moving south encountered British tanks, destroyed them, in the process found the Tiger sights had been messed-up by the bombing, continued south, toward Cagny their assigned sector, when the lead Tigers were destroyed.

    Daglish's account does not present von Rosen's acts so much as an attack but an attempt to set-up a defense facing west between Cagny and Manneville. Given his damaged sights and the apparent fact that he had lost the race to Cagny which now seemed occupied by a powerful new British weapon, he withdrew to defend what he already held.

    It stands to reason Daglish's summary would match a piece of evidence that he would present later, but I got to believe he found no other candidates for the two known destroyed Tigers, even if they were not visually definite.

    And full credit to Daglish for specifically stating what he could and could not see.

    And thank you for sharing the additional imagery. Always fun to study!!!
     
  2. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Absolutely fascinating thread.Cheers,Lee.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    To sum up so far: Confusion that equals the actual confusion of the battle. What is clear is that the Heer (including Waffen-SS units) did what they were famous for, that is reconstituting an ad hoc line out of bits and pieces of a smashed front and welding them into somesort of cohesive defence. This all being done on the initiative of local officers. Von Luck's efforts with the 88 battery would have been entirely in line with this type of effort. However, this is another thought: later on von Luck says that faced with infantry attack, this battery destroyed its guns in place and exfiltrated back to German lines. Now if that happened, wouldn't those destroyed guns have shown up on recon photos and been around after the war? In Ken Tout's book, "The Bloody Battle for Tilly" he stated that Caen and all the little villages to the west were so damaged by the fighting and bombing that it took about a decade to rebuild. Given that, those destroyed guns, IF THEY WERE THERE, would have been around several years after the war. I've never heard any post-war account of the guns. (Note that I'm becoming more sceptical of von Luck's account.)
     
  4. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    This thread has forced me to read more carefully Daglish's OtB:Operation Goodwood and I think I found a typographical error.

    Daglish identifies a potential location for von Luck's LW 88's where evidence of their position would be obscured from aerial clues.

    On page 259 there is a photo with an "E" marked where "E: Orchard with loopholed walls, clear of bombing". I believe this "E" is mis-marked on the photo (see attached).

    There are other descriptions of this orchard on page 256:

    "If it is assumed that German 8.8cm guns were present somewhere near Cagny, the only feasible position would seem to be the walled orchard on the north side of the former Cagny chateau."


    And page 263:

    "....A possible location would be the long, narrow, walled orchard north of the (former) Cagny chateau (Army map reference 112645)."
     

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  5. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    I doubt very much an AA Unit would be emplaced among trees!
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    The position is suggested as the final position of the LW 88's from which to engage ground targets.
     
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    This is all speculation and, as there is not a scrap of evidence that the 88's were there, your guess is as good as anyones.
    Try the version by Trew and Badsey in the Battle Zone Normandy title 'Battle For Caen'

    [​IMG]

    It should be pointed out that Daglish gives slightly different accounts/locations from his Over The Battlefiel Goodwood book than he does in his earlier Battleground Europe title 'Operation Goodwood'.
    And the object Daglish circles as a Tiger is far too big to be a tank!
     
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    There is a series of IWM photos taken in Cagny on July 19th

    B7756

    [​IMG]

    B7757

    [​IMG]

    B7758

    [​IMG]

    B7759

    [​IMG]




    And it was also filmed

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Locating pic

    [​IMG]

    A 'Then and Now' composite giving locations

    [​IMG]
     
  9. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    Hi Gentleman

    I live in Emieville, next Cagny. I meet Von Luck, Bandomir, Von Rosen... when 80's. I look for pics, maps, soldbuch... for the german unity for GOODWOOD. I have more book, Heimdal, After Battle, Ian D; Didier Lodieu...;) but i need help.


    For the Cagny and the Flak 88 and Pak43/1 this real location.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    So Luck gave wrong information all the years he was doing the battlefield lectures!

    The pic of the pak is quite well known but do you have the official number for it.
    Is from the IWM B series or the Canadian Archives?
     
  11. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    No, I went on the spot with Hans von Luck in 1989 ;)
    I searched the ground with a detector with metals and that confirmed the location 88 and pak43 but i look for pics for the battle, because i m writing the book since 10 years !!!
     
  12. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    pics 88 on Cagny. position North. ( found with detector )

    [​IMG]
    and BEFORE/AFTER GOODWOOD

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Max,

    Thanks, that's the first solid evidence of the Cagny 88s. Didn't know about the PAK 43-1. That would have been in the correct position to knock out the Tigers!
     
  14. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    Yes, The Tiger I Feldwebel Muller and Feldwebel Schonrock destroyed with 88mm Pak43/1 The German artillerymen installed thef Pak in the kindling in the valley. They drilled a wall. I shall make photos!!.
    [​IMG]

     
  15. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    It is not evidence. It is a (much) later (corrected in view of the criticism) version of the story Luck was telling on his 1950's battlefield tours.
    Note that he now gives yet another location for the guns.


    If, if, if.................
     
  16. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    3 Tigers were hit. One had its gun destroyed but was able to drive away.
    There is no dispute that 88's were present on the battlefield (in considerable numbers) what is lacking is evidence for 1 particular gun postion. If these guns where in any of Luck's given locations then they are in those photos.
     
  17. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    When I met von Luck, I searched with him on 3 locations of 88 flak in the North of the village, in 500 meters of the church of Cagny. I found hundred of cartridges of 88mm.


    For the positions of Pak, it is the similar, nuts, diagonal ribs, detonator.


    I live in quoted by de Cagny, and it was the only possible place to place 88. Later the plain forms a valley with the brook which leaves Cagny to Manneville.
     
  18. harolds

    harolds Member

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    m kenny

    I do believe that 88mm cases in the area would INDEED be evidence (but not total proof) that von Luck's story isn't hogwash. I would probably give von Luck the benefit of the doubt, as far as exactly where those guns were and other small details. Given the problems with human memory such variances would be normal. As you pointed out in a previous post, there was a lot going on that day. Also, the total difference in the terraine after the bombing vs when von Luck saw it post-war.
     
  19. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    I presume the whole battlefield was awash with spent cases and we know there were 88's present. Given that a very heavy bomber raid had just finished I would say the bulk of the '88' cases came from the Flak guns/rounds that engaged them.
    The critical feature is the position of the guns. You have the accounts of 3 professionals who commented on how Luck's story changed over the years. They say he used accounts he heard from British tankers to bolster his claims but-and this is significant-one of the British accounts he used was shown to be factualy incorrect. They formed the opinion (unvoiced) that he was making more of his part than it actualy was.
    The whole thing is mired in the hogwash about invincible Tiger tanks and magic guns that can penetrate 2 tanks with one shell.
    During Goodwood sPzAbt 503 was severely mauled losing 13 of its Tigers for no discernable gain. It had the misfortune to lose the first Tiger II's in combat and you just have to read the excuses being used to explain away the Tiger II rammed by Gorman to understand the desperation.
    It is serously being claimed that the Gorman TII was hit by mistake by a german round at the exact moment it was rammed.
    Rosen's counter attack ws stopped dead when 2 of his Tigers were knocked out and a third rendered useless. 20 years later he claims they were knocked out by German guns!
    At the time he had no doubt they fell to British guns because he stopped his attack and left the field.
    Remarkable coincidence isn't it?
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I don´t mind if von Luck´s role was not that big after all, but who then stopped the allied attack? Becker´s guns which might or might not be there? I´d like to hear proof on that point instead for awhile because simply saying that the 88´s were not there means that there was no German resistance if the Tigers were gone,too??
     

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