24th Lancers - Tessel Wood (c25th June 1944)

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    There are a lot of wrecks still in place in the 1946 air survey of Fontenay.


  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Some good photos in that link but a pity he can't tell his Tiger from his Panther :)
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Interesting "tag" there too... "a Teller mine done this job" : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Photo-album...D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    Teller mine: Teller mine - Google Search

    Wiki: Teller mine - Wikipedia

    I've been looking for some pics from there (Normandy / Fontenay) of regular 24th L (hopefully "C" squadron!) Sherman tanks with one track off - because this was the fate of one of gd's tanks. But noticed also that some of the war diary entries were scattered with accounts of other tanks there falling a cropper to these, even in this area, so the specifics of when things were and when things occurred (i.e. there is not enough info in the known photos to get an exact match...) mean even something "close enough" starts to look like a bulls-eye! :salut:

    Gd's account: How granddad lost a bottle of whiskey (and a Sherman tank) in Normandy

    Ps... also "stumbled" across this thread: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/19691-53rd-welsh-division-hq-war-diary/

    Which says:

    Enemy Mines and Booby Traps

    3. General
    Latest information is that the enemy is making increased use of booby taps in hedges, in gates and in houses,

    4. Laying of Tellermine 42 and 43
    A captured official pamphlet dated 1st February 44 lays down that Tellermine 42 and 43 will be laid upside down in order to make it more difficult to lift them. To ensure that the mines detonate they are to be laid with the pressure plates resting on wood battens or suitable stones or bricks.

    5. Mines in roads.
    A prisoner of war has stated that when roads have been mined or when minefields have crossed a road the following method was used.

    4 Staggered rows.
    PW know no details of distances.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  5. standbyabeds

    standbyabeds Member

    The Sherman on its side shows two AP entry holes by the driver's hatch. The huge holes on the underbelly show outward pointing damage from internal explosions. I think a huge ammo cook off may be the reason it's on it's side. How say?
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Don't know ;)

    Did a similar "search" - Ebay Fontenay-Le-Pesnel : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Ebay+Fontenay-Le-Pesnel&biw=1280&bih=685&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjutqPGxO_LAhXBRg8KHRRGBoYQ_AUICCgD

    "just to see" - what "else" might be there (at any one time) and came across a few other images marked with Fontenay-Le-Pesnel including - "7x5 Gloss Photo ww2E9 Normandy Calvados Fontenay Le Pesnel 1944 flp5"



    There seems to be quite a bit about this "219" including occasionally also this pic: Panzer 219 Normandy

    Some of which is quite confusing when you are just casually looking and reading.

    But I did find this: http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=192259

    Which suggests "Panther D from the 12th SS". Have you "tied" this 219 down to a particular wreck in that area "m kenny" ? Though I'm tempted to start (or find) a thread on "Fontenay-Le-Pesnil" - since this feels a bit more like that than "24th Lancers circa 25th June around Tessel Wood. :)
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    It was stopped by a frontal penetration. Later it was pushed off the road and tipped on its side

  8. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    This is the Panther in Fontenay. The clincher is the triangular patch of 'white' stonework in the building to the right. Clearly the turret has been removed but it is in the exact same position as in the previous photos.

  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Is there a particular ref. somewhere to the fight/fights in Fontenay that details the events around this particular Sherman and Panther etc. As well as the info on when the Sherman was later "pushed off the road and tipped on its side"?

    I think I've seen perhaps some of this variously, previously but I can't seem to tie down the details specifically to a "best source" or sources at the moment. To be totally sure yet what actually occurred there.

    I was glancing through some of the accounts at the Creully Club: http://www.creullyclub.freeuk.com/sept06.htm

    But couldn't find a specific one, that I was thinking was dedicated to Fontenay, without getting a bit distracted by really interesting things like the pic above.

    And going through some of the war diaries etc. which aren't really quite enough to totally tie some particulars down ;)

    I think I've seen somewhere a quote something like "a Sherman was blocking the road and had to be pushed aside"

    All the best,

  10. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    So many tanks were simply up-ended by dozers that it would be impossible to record them all. It was so common very few would think to explain/mention it.
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    From a simple search: Fontenay-le-Pesnel 1944 : Fontenay-le-Pesnel 1944 - Google Search

    Giving: Tank attack into Fontenay-le-Pesnel - WWII Today

    There is an account from Stuart Hills book (SRY): "I then received orders to accompany a Churchill tank to blast a nearby German headquarters in a chateau which we duly destroyed."

    To me the bit above sounds rather like the Chateau of Bois Londe. : http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/572...parc-de-bois-londe-17th-18th-june-1944/page-2

    There is also this link: BBC - WW2 People's War - The Road to the Cross

    "Three tanks from the Sherwood Ranger Yeomanry came south along the Cristot road, termed “Hell’s Highway” (there were many “Hell’s Highways” in Normandy) in support of the RSF. However, one tank broke down while another was knocked out. The remaining tank had to transport the other tank crews back behind British lines. German Panther tanks from Panzer Lehr attacked from the west of the village, but were driven away by anti-tank fire from the Hallams."

    Where it sounds to me a little like the Sherman tank may have belonged to the SRY.

    That said though there is also a bit of detail in an account in NHL p217-218 - on Lieutenant Robert Hart's M.C. where again on the 25th June 1944 his troop of 24th L tanks was asked by infantry to remove a Panther that was holding up the advance. He destroyed one Panther apparently and forced another one to withdraw.

    In the 24th L WD he describes the episode in his own words as follows:-

    "Hervieu - 25/6/44 “ My troop was sitting astride the Fontenay – Juvigny road facing East when the CO of the Hallams came up to me and said that a Panther in the village of Fontenay was holding up his advance. I accordingly dismounted and went with him into the village where I saw this tank hidden by a wall of a house thus obscuring my view and preventing me from obtaining a good fire position. I went back to my tank and driving it into the village, knocked down the wall which was hiding the Panther. At this moment however, two more Panthers appeared just south of the road. I knocked one of them out and the other withdrew. Unfortunately in the meantime the original Panther had also withdrawn to position behind some trees, and I was unable to get a good shoot, so I went back to my original position.”

    For Robert Hart (KIA 18/8/1944): http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=2924472
    &: Casualty Details
    Where it says "C Sqn. 24th Lancers. Royal Armoured Corps", and perhaps oddly (?) 18/8/1944 - almost 3 weeks after the 24th L had been disbanded circa the 1st August 1944. However at this point 25/6/1944 - he was "A" squadron 24th L. according to a number of refs in NHL. and losses among the 24th L officers being quite high a number of squadron to squadron transfers had had to be applied. After the 24th L, NHLp232 has Capt.Robert Hart M.C. KIA 18/8/1944 as in the 23rd Hussars.

    The original Panther may perhaps have succumbed to the anti-tank fire from the Hallams, also I guess.

    Scrolling through twitter there are a few pics. mostly I think, ultimately, from the IWM: Fontenay-Le-Pesnel - Twitter Search

    Also: Imperial War Museum Fontenay-le-Pesnel - Google Search

    I've begun a new thread here also for some specific Fontenay-le-Pesnel posts: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60957-fontenay-le-pesnel/
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  12. standbyabeds

    standbyabeds Member

    Apart from the ww2 camera foreshortening and difference with google camera height. This mix of pictures shows a near enough position where the cottages once stood.

  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    Re. post #72 above, as in the google map ref. Chemin de Tilly, Fontenay-le-Pesnel - looks like Fontenay area: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57173-24th-lancers-tessel-wood-c25th-june-1944/#entry665968

    A motorcycle despatch rider passes a knocked-out Sherman tank and behind, a German Panther at Fontenay-le-Pesnel, 27 June 1944; http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205205947

    And maybe a SRY tank perhaps? Though on the basis of a vague hunch on my part nothing more though :(

    I've been thinking about the chronology and mapping of events and temporary camps, largers etc. command posts and minefields around Fontenay, with some collected stuff, just a start at the mo. here: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60957-fontenay-le-pesnel/

    Some detail I hear in the " Heimdal book 'La Bataille De L'Odon' " : http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Bataille-LOdon-Georges-Bernage-Editions-Heimdal/1678386764/bd

    "Description: BRAND NEW, La Bataille de L'Odon, Georges Bernage, This book related the epic clash between Scottish 15th Infantry Division and II SS-Panzer Korps which became a counterattack by the Germans towards the sea. This engagement in the Odon valley was part of Operation Epsom.The entire area of the battle is revisited here with a series of fascinating then and now photographs and the story of the battle is told day by day in the form of a chronicle.French Text."

    Looking via google etc. around Fontenay as well as at the aerial recons from circa 1944 etc. to match with some of my grandfather's (First troop, C squadron 24th L) descriptions of some of the terrain there etc.

    At one point (as he wrote later) - "Then we moved to a place called Fontnay-le-Pesnel, it happened that we didn’t know the area, anyway our approach was stinking, we came over a hill so close together it must have been a dream target to the Germans, they knocked out the tanks each side of me, the crews were out in a flash and one ran to my tank and I could see he was asking “which way”, I had time to point and we were away like hell, I had told my driver to move and fast down the slope towards a clump of trees, now I had a moment to tell the crew on the inter-com what we were up to, telling the driver to swing left before the trees, stay in the open and get back up the slope putting on all speed, which wasn’t much as we got near where we’d come out, there was a gap and we made it. I heard a cheer go up and was surprised to find the rest of the squadron there while two tanks had gone into the clump, telling my crew to take it easy I jumped down and as I did a young officer walking towards me kicked …a phosphorous bomb and was covered with the damn stuff, I called to my crew to throw down the gentian violet and covered his face with it and he was taken off in an ambulance but was back next day none the worse. Two days later he was killed."

    There are also some other WW2 pics of the area around Fontenay: http://www.dday-overlord.com/photos...de-normandie-dans-le-departement-du-calvados/
    I have linked to here: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60957-fontenay-le-pesnel/
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Another one of those war game scenarios with a bit of background attached:


    18.10 "The Hell of a Day"

    - The Battle for Tessel Wood (June 25th, 1130)

    "I saw the Sherman tanks go up in confident and steady formation and disappear into a hilltop wood near Tessel. I was very scared at the thought of my first action but the sight of the tanks charging into the wood eased my fears, because I thought there would be nothing left to fight. Imagine my dismay when an hour or so later the tanks or what was left of them came belting out back." - Pte. Robert Nixon

    As the Brits still struggled to capture the east sector of Fontenay, the next phase of the operation began. Codenamed "Walrus", its goal was the dense wood near Tessel-Bretteville. The 1/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI), being the reserve battalion of the 146th Brigade, were tasked with capturing the wood. They marched uphill across open ground, following a creeping barrage and supported by the tanks of 'B' and 'C' Squadron, 24th Lancers.

    Play notes: This scenario makes for a good introduction to combined arms tactics. It is playable in about 2 hours.

    Duration: Turns 6-12 (7 turns).

    Historical notes: 'C' Squadron of the 25th* (sic) Lancer tanks engaged targets on the west side of the woods, while 'B' Squadron operated in the area south and southeast of Fontenay. The woods were finally taken, but it was not long before the 1/4th KOYLI were then counterattacked by the Hitlerjugend.

    * 25th (sic) Lancer - 24th Lancer.
  15. Little Black Devil

    Little Black Devil Active Member

    Here is a 24th Lancers Sherman. Photo taken in April 1944 right before 8th Armoured Brigade gets in concentration area in the South of England.

    SDP likes this.
  16. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I was at Tessel Wood very briefly - literally just driving past and no time to stop - last Tuesday on a slight detour whilst on the way to the Ouistreham Ferry: great pity to note that many of the trees are being felled. A whole swathe of trees has gone alongside the road that runs along the eastern edge of Tessel Wood. Anyone know what's going on? Not exactly 'hallowed ground' like the Landing Beaches but still sad to see what's happened to the trees. The area where the trenches are/were is now fully covered in felled trees: I hope they did a thorough search for any UXBs etc before resorting to the chain saws!
  17. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    Hi I'm looking at trying to gain as much info about my father in-laws experience during D-day etc. Are you able to confirm that this Sgt Austin Jones 24th Lancers tank 3.
  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic



    I'm very aware of Austin Jones via one of his (late) best mates aka Harry Dews. Harry mentioned Austin several times many years ago.

    I'm afraid that, apart from his Service Number and Trade (hopefully I have that information back home in my files) that's about all I personally know.

    Best regards
    Steve Pannell
  19. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    Hi Steve

    Thanks very much we are aware of Harry Dews they both went down to London for the reunion, he always came back with a great story.

    I will try and get his medal card as I would like to surprise my wife with a framed photo replica medals cap badge etc. do you have a link so I know what campaign medals he would have received.

    thanks again


    P.s can I assumed that Austin was also in the attack at Tessel woods
  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    He will have been at Tessel Wood (unless he had been wounded and evacuated).

    I have no information as to his Medal entitlements. That will be on his Service Record available from the MOD as will loads of other information.

    Note: I need to check my files for 'Jones': there was more than one of them and we need to ensure we are discussing the same Jones so we don't go up the wrong path. If you know he was a Tank Commander then in all probability he was in the Troop mentioned in my earlier post but I need to check (currently away from my files for a day or two).

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