Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Pics: In Peiper's footsteps (La Gleize-Cheneux)

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Martin Bull, May 1, 2013.

  1. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Stoumont

    Dec 19th saw the attack on Stoumont. An effort of the KG Peiper to gain the next crossing of the Ambleve at Targnon, east of Stoumont.

    [​IMG]

    The first Panther tank to enter the village of Stoumont was knocked out near the Maison Robinson; same location today:
    View attachment 18857



    [​IMG]
    This 'mishap' stalled the attack temporarily; paratroopers near the Maison Robinson take care of a wounded crewman of the knocked out Panther.
    The Robinson house still exists, though the garden has been replaced by a drive-way.
    View attachment 18858


    For a detailed description of this battle, I recommend the two volumes of Duel in the Mist
     

    Attached Files:

  2. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    The remaining Panthers then swung off the road to the right and started to move forward across the open fields towards Rouâ, in an attempt to outflank the American defense (3rd Bn, 119th Infantry, 30th U.S. Infantry Division).

    [​IMG]

    The same fields viewed from the American perspective
    View attachment 18859 View attachment 18860
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,476
    Likes Received:
    1,380
    Location:
    London, England.
    I'll second that ! The two books are essential for the Bulge enthusiast, and I certainly hope that another volume or two are forthcoming.........
     
    pistol likes this.
  4. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    The infantry of the KG finally managed to penetrate into the village along the main road. They were followed by the Panthers, which left the fields and moved back on to the main road. At the church the Panthers took the left hand turn into the Rue du Village.

    View attachment 18861

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I did not go down the Rue du Village far enough for an exact comparative photo, but the white house in the background of my picture is the first house on the left of the WW2 picture.

    View attachment 18862
     

    Attached Files:

  5. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gare de Stoumont

    After the fall of Stoumont the KG pushed on to the west. The KG finally was halted by the Americans at the Stoumont Station, where several Panthers were knocked out. The Ambleve bridge at Targnon was still out, it had not been repaired after it had been blown in September 1944 by the retreating German Army. Under mounting pressure from the Americans the KG withdrew to Stoumont, where it went over to the defensive.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  6. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Martin, I hope you wil apologize me for hyjacking your thread. I did a three-day recce of the area where the 6. Pz Army attacked for a BFT later this year with Dutch Army Officers. The BFT also will cover the battles in eastern Belgium at Krinkelt/Rocherath, Elsenborn and Bütgenbach. I hope to come back on these later this year.

    Attached a picture of the Panzerrollbahn A at the woods entrance east of Krinkelt-Rocherath

    View attachment 18865
     

    Attached Files:

  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I'd like to see a 'now' picture of this site on the Rue Haut Rivage in Stavelot. This is King Tiger 105, backed into a building and abandoned after a hit from something (rifle grenade, mortar?) on the mantlet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    KB - Here you are ... the Rue Haut Rivage at Stavelot; the spot where the Tiger II backed into the house is beside the greyish coloured garage box.

    The 'now' is taken from the opposite direction. It was not allowed to move further up the road with the car, as you can see from the traffic sign.

    View attachment 18866
     

    Attached Files:

    KodiakBeer likes this.
  9. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,476
    Likes Received:
    1,380
    Location:
    London, England.
    Pistol, are you kidding !? Your series of photos is one of the finest 'virtual battlefield tours' I think we've ever seen on this Forum and really, maybe should have a thread of its own. In fact, if they were published as a booklet, I'd buy a copy immediately..............

    Al lI can say is, if you do another tour, I'd like to come ! :S!

    I'll round off with two last 'Then & Nows' of mine which are personal favourites, although in the case of the last one, maybe 'favourite' is the wrong word. But I get a powerful sense of the past whenever I visit that corner in Stavelot......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    -------------


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Then there finally is this Tiger II at the bridge of Stavelot. Knocked out during the vain German attempts to recapture Stavelot, after it had been retaken by the U.S. 30 Inf Division:

    [​IMG]

    View attachment 18867
    Same spot. Not a Tiger II, but pretty much close ...

    [​IMG]
    Looking from the town across the Amblève River to the Stokeu district. The same Tiger tank, now covered in snow, is visible to the left of the picture. The big house in the center, next to the bridge, has gone. It is now the site of the monument with the halftrack. Note the small knocked-out vehicle next to the Tiger: a Schwimmwagen belonging to the Recce Bn (KG Knittel) of the 1st SS Pz Div. Several of these amphibious vehicles were used for crossing the Ambleve in the desperate attempts to retake Stavelot from the US 30 Inf Div.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kai-Petri likes this.
  11. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    ... the houses at Belle Vue, located to the top left of the previous 'then' picture, still carry marks of the war.

    View attachment 18868
     

    Attached Files:

  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Thank you! My father was in that house when it fell. It was known then as the Lemaire-Crismer House. He broke a small bone in one of his hands when it fell, a minor thing that troubled him for months afterwards.

    A small group of men from the 117th, Company A, were stalking that Tiger in the streets paralleling it. This was the tail end of the Peiper column and companies A and B, along with some heavy weapons guys from Company D had come down through the main square. The King Tigers had been forced into the side streets and a group of GI's had followed this one. My father was calling in 81mm mortar shots from the homes along that street. I'm not sure if the mortars had been set up in the square or were further north outside town. Other men were shooting rifle grenades at KT 105. I've been able to find no mention of bazookas, but that doesn't mean there weren't some present.

    Wessel, the commander says that they got a direct hit on the gun mantlet that caused the driver to panic and back into the building. Wessel doesn't know what it was that hit the tank, though a series of very clear photos taken after the battle show no damage at all to the mantlet. It may well have been a rifle grenade or mortar round.

    [​IMG]
     
    rkline56 and pistol like this.
  13. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    This is very interesting information Kodiak Bear - where can I find more about the 117th Infantry operations at Stavelot. Would like to have more info for the BFT next October. Do you have the After Action Reports or even Combat Interviews?
     
  14. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Stavelot

    View of Stavelot from the southern (or German) bank of the river Amblève; the line indicating the Rue Haut Rivage points directly on to the greyish garage box.

    View attachment 18870
     

    Attached Files:

  15. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47

    Attached Files:

  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    PM me and we can exchange email addresses. I have some things I can send you.
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    View attachment 18874

    KB, the attached AAR from the 825th TD has their version of the actions regarding the Tiger which backed into the building. Bottom of page two-top of page three.
     

    Attached Files:

    pistol likes this.
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Pistol, I should add that the combat interviews done by Ferris after the battle shed very little light on this episode. He actually credits both the 117th and the 825th for KT105 in various places - apparently thinking two different KT's backed into houses in Stavelot. I have copies of both claims in the Ferris papers. Really, credit must go to King Tiger 105's driver who panicked after a minor hit and buried his own tank in that house.

    You might be able to shed light on that episode. I simply don't know if the place where 105 was hit (some yards forward of where it ended up) is visible from the TD emplacements in the square. My 'take' on the episode is based on map overviews that seem to indicate that KT 105 would not have been visible from the square, so the hit on the mantlet must have come from mortar/bazooka/rifle grenade. That seems plausible too, because surely even a glancing a hit from TD round would have left a divot in that mantlet whereas these other weapons might have left no mark on that heavy steel.

    Another view:

    [​IMG]
     
    pistol likes this.
  19. pistol

    pistol Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    47
    Natman - thanks for sharing!

    While one section went up the Rue du Vieux Chateau and was ambushed, the remaining section of towed TD's set up its two guns along the Avenue Ferdinand Nicolai in Stavelot. Both guns engaged the enemy infantry which had taken up position in the houses at the Stockeu district across the Amblève valley and, later on, they engaged the German armor that descended the Route du Vieux Chateau into the town. After the Stavelot bridge fell into German hands, the 3-inch gun of Sgt Hauser was turned around, so that it faced in the direction of the town centre.

    [​IMG]
    Pz V Panther knocked out by the TD of Sgt Celentano on the Route du Vieux Chateau
     

    Attached Files:

    Natman likes this.
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Captain John Kent, Company A, 117th

     
    pistol and Natman like this.

Share This Page