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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. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    There was only 88 flak of III flak korps, but also Pak43 / 1 of the 1053art, the stug Becker ( stug200 ) panzergrenadier of 125, Pak40 of the art 1059 and the artillery of 105mm and 210mm of the art 155 and nebelwerfer brigade 9 and PZIV rgt 22.


    2 tigerI were well drilled by Pak43. Know you that 2 tigers took a road in a valley and that they were in shelters of shermans

    maps

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    nn news pics.



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    and von Luck :milwink:
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  2. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    Can you explain how you located this photo and the evidence that shows it is under the power lines near the Tiger II rammed by Gorman

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    The photo that was claimed to be a Cagny Pak 43 on the afternoon of 18/7/44 (below) is no such thing.
    32 Gds Brigade finaly got into Cagny at 18:00 and by 19:30 had captured all the remaining Germans (21 PD/2 PD/ 16 Luft.)


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    The claimed B number and the soldiers around it all indicate a photo taken around the 20th of July and far from any combat.
    It would be a simple matter to obtain a copy of B B 7832 from the IWM for about 10 Euros. It would give you the photograph notes and I can not understand why you have not done this long ago.
     
  3. maxdenormandie

    maxdenormandie Member

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    In archives of the Calvados, we have in photos English free it was mentioned, "in July 18th afternoon proximity North Est Cagny. B 7832"

    Otherwise for the other PAK43, it would have been set up in the evening of July 18th or 19 in the morning and destroys the 20juillet 1944.On the first photo, it's intact!! it's has 10meter but to the left of the second location. this PAK was positioned as on my plan.
    Here is the photo, it is clear? :rolleyes:

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  4. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    I have just looked through the Perrigault 21st PD book and most of the pak you posted are placed at Manneville/Emieville
     
  5. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    A slightly wider view of the pak above showing it is not 'emplaced' in a hedgerow and that it is in travelling mode.




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    A pak 43 caught in the open by British tanks on July 18th

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    Two further wrecks from Goodwood

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    An interestting quote from Dunphie's The Pendulum Of Battle, Operation Goodwood July 1944
    page 123:

    1st Armored Coldstream Guards (Guards Armoured Division) No 3 Squadron was to guard the exposed east flank, while No 1 Squadron sent a force forward towards the village. Captain Tony Heywood was second captain of the squadron:
    "Half the squadron, under Captain Jones, worked its way forward from Le Prieuré, supported by fire from the rest of us in the area of the farm. They managed to get into the northern outskirts of Cagny, although Captain Jones' tank was brewed up and two others had turned over in bomb craters. However, they did knock out one Mk IV tank and a couple of flak guns".
     
  6. WakeyDave

    WakeyDave New Member

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    My first post on here - and a resurrection of an older thread that was the reason I sort of surfed into the site.

    I was walking around Cagny a few weeks ago and took this pic of the 'orchard' location that several posts have identified as the site of the Von Luck 88's. The gaps knocked in the wall in front of the trees weren't done by apple scrumpers I fancy ! Anything behind that wall would have been well placed to fire at advancing Brit armour but - as I recall - the Tigers would not be seen from there , being in a depression , and Von Luck himself mentions how high the corn was.
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    Von Luck's story ?? Well - Panzer Commander is a great read but it's always had an air of fiction about it to me. Do we really believe the prisoners he had brought to him were so keen to open up with their newly found chum the second he mentioned his time in England and give him so much information? What should we make of his constant references to having 'avoided the jewish question' at all times. That and other remarks along the time honoured 'we wus only following orders' line. He seems keen to mention endless cups of coffee , probably a failed ad for his post war buisness interests. Links to Angola - coffee comes from Brazil?? Where was it the bad guys hid again post war ??!!

    I jest slightly - far be it from me to point the finger at this experienced and professional soldier. I just think a pinch of salt is required when reading his memoirs.
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I knew Ian Daglish, whose untimely death was a sad loss to the world of military history. Ian approached the story of Normandy from a fresh perspective and asked questions which had not been asked before.

    von Luck and von Rosen were Op Goodwood veterans whose testimony was given weight because they were adopted by the British army as guest speakers on the annual Army Staff College Battlefield tours to Normandy which took place in the 1960s and 70s. Von Luck had been rescued from obscurity as a night porter in a hotel. Von Rosen rose to a prominent position in the Bundeswehr. I would not wish to undermine the reputation of either of these valiant soldiers. However, there are reservations which should be placed on the uncorroborated testimony of veterans regardless of their rank or eminence. Richard Holmes drew attention to this in "Tommies." in language which reconciled the integrity of veterans with the frailty of memory. The sad story of Charles Durning's exaggerated war record should be a further caution.

    For many years we have accepted von Lucks' account as fact. . Von Rosen accepted that the hits on his tigers may have been German "Friendly fire" during a battlefield discussion with von Luck on an Army Staff College Staff Ride. It should also be noted that the British army were predisposed to hear stories of the success of 88s, as this was the "bogy weapon". But Ian's analysis raises major questions.

    The evidence from the post war interviews with General Pickert, the commander of III Flak Corps is that the Flak 88s were very rarely deployed as anti tank guns and suffered heavily when they did. At that stage of the war, the flak artillery's main task was AA defence in the absence of an effective fighter force. A flak battery has lots of vehicles. In order to undertake its primary role its position cannot easily be completely hidden. It is not possible to deploy a HAA battery in wood, orchard or village without hampering the ability of the guns to achieve the arcs needed to engage formations of aircraft. It may be that the Luftwaffe battery incident happened, but not at Cagny. Or maybe Ian Daglish did not do his homework properly and the PR evidence is flawed. Or perhaps von Luck found himself telling a tall story one night which his audience wanted to hear.

    For what it is worth, the 21st panzer Division was particularly strong in SP anti tank weapons improvised by Major Becker and forming Pz Jgr Bn 200. The Pak 40 75mm guns used as the armament for his unit were quite capable of penetrating the armour of Sherman and Cromwell tanks. The platoons of this unit were deployed in the villages SE of Caen. It may be that von Luck's story has detracted from the achievements of Becker's unsung heroes.
     
    alfynokes and Otto like this.
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    I have said as much many times. Becker did all the dirty work and had his glorystolen by those in love with the super-gun swatted tanks and planes with equal ease.
    The entire Flak Korps in Normandy claimed a miserly 80 odd tanks knocked out and the 3 special Flak Units formed to fight against ground forces lost more guns (30+)than the 20 tanks they claimed as kills!
     
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Indeed. The III Flak Corps claimed only 80 88mm AFV kills out of 3,600+ tanks claimed by Army and SS units in Normandy. III Flak Corps also claimed 12 tanks knocked out by hand held weapons. According to the interviews with General Pickett the commander of III Flak Corps in Niormandy, (US Army Historical Division foreign military studies MS B-597) "Several " "Flak Kampf groups" were created from the German home defence. Each of these contained four "detatchments each of two 88mm flak guns and they were intended for ground warfare to support the anti tank defences. They were inadequately trained for ground warfare and remained in the Trun area until the Op Goodwood offensive. According to Pickert they weren't effective and lost far more guns than they knocked out tanks. Pickert (P25) states that on 19th (?) July three out of four AA Regiments were deployed around the centre of mass of 5th Panzer Army E of the Orne. The flak Kampfgruppen solely for ground action were deployed BEHIND the army antitank gun belt, astride the Caen Falaise road level with Roquancourt (10km S of Cagny). (Zetterling identifies three of these ij Normandy 44) They do become involved in the fighting and inflict heavy casualties - but at the cost of heavy losses to Artillery fire. Pickert is vaguer abotu dates as he refers to 19th July , but allied attack by heavy bombers is clearly that of the 18th, while battles fought by the AA KG around Roquancourt would have to have been those of "Op Atlantic" a few days later. However, Pickert also mentioned that the AA units around Caen accounted for 20 of the attacking bombers and , in passing that some of the AA units there engaged armour as well. These are consistent with the essence of the "von Luck" story. Pickert also complained about army officers demanding that AA guns cease engaging in their main task of air defence and switch to Atk duties. So there is substance to the von Luck story - but did it happen at Cagny?
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    This is something of a thread *bump*. I've just been reading Daglish' Over The Battlefield - Operation Goodwood and the contributions to this thread are quite fascinating and IMO represent the WWII Forums at their very best......
     

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