British involvement in the Bulge

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    stolpi provided this additional information:

    A post-battle count of the area found the tanks as follows:

    Mk V Panther at 466745 (abandoned; last operational Panther of 2 Pz Div)
    MK V Panther at 463735 (KO-d)
    MK V Panther at 452709 (KO-d)
    SP gun at 461737 (KO-d)
    SP gun at 458745 (abandoned)
    Typical armor duel for a delaying action. Given the terrain, no chance to out-maneuver a single Panther with greater numbers. I imagine the Shermans trying to keep the Panther's attention while the 17 pdr got into position.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=50896&stc=1&d=1305647722
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Map for East Riding Yeomanry above.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=51343&stc=1&d=1306352430
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Having looked through this thread at some length realising the main object of the thread was to discover what British Forces did at the Battle of the Bulge and to discover that little bits and pieces came out of it all with individual comments of what single units did in those battles.

    A better understanding of what the British did is in fact well illustrated in the Book in Nigel Hamilton's trilogy of "Monty - The Field Marshal 1944-1976" - Volume 3 - ISBN - 0-241- 11838-7 chapters 4 - 10 -which tells a tale different to what we have been used to in the past from Hollywood and other areas - without getting bogged down in unit battles.
    Cheers
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Stolpi
    would agree that your "small unit" actions are important to the overall situation in the Ardennes and will get some people reading more of the truth in order offset the revisions of Hollywood and others- however - not being too au fait with the NWE campaign it seems to me that the British made a much more intelligent contribution rather than just with "small unit" actions.

    For example - much has been made of Patton's 90 degree turn to a clear site towards Bastogne - never a mention of Horrocks' movement from the Coast over the admin tails of at least seven divisions in order to get his troops on the Muese by the 19th December - just before the Supreme Commander and First Army Group Commanders had woken up to the fact that there was an immense break in their lines.
    Nor the effect of one Corps Commander disobeying orders to create a reserve ready to attack - nor the effect of a whole Army's HQ disappearing into the blue without contacting anyone.

    This was the real story of that Battle in those days - as it is - the revisionists still hold sway - and the British contribution was in "small unit" actions - however I have no doubt that I shall be called Anti-American for my views - but stick and stones etc.....
    Cheers
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Stolpi
    would agree that your "small unit" actions are important to the overall situation in the Ardennes and will get some people reading more of the truth in order offset the revisions of Hollywood and others- however - not being too au fait with the NWE campaign it seems to me that the British made a much more intelligent contribution rather than just with "small unit" actions.

    For example - much has been made of Patton's 90 degree turn to a clear site towards Bastogne - never a mention of Horrocks' movement from the Coast over the admin tails of at least seven divisions in order to get his troops on the Muese by the 19th December - just before the Supreme Commander and First Army Group Commanders had woken up to the fact that there was an immense break in their lines.
    Nor the effect of one Corps Commander disobeying orders to create a reserve ready to attack - nor the effect of a whole Army's HQ disappearing into the blue without contacting anyone.

    This was the real story of that Battle in those days - as it is - the revisionists still hold sway - and the British contribution was in "small unit" actions - however I have no doubt that I shall be called Anti-American for my views - but stick and stones etc.....
    Cheers

    Good grief. ....I'm rolling my trouser legs up as I read this....
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Stolpi -
    Fits the bill exactly

    Cheers
     
  7. Theobob

    Theobob Senior Member

    Stolpi,
    Looking at your map,trigged a long forgotten memory.
    My dad told me about a town that they(6th Airborne) had liberated.I had no idea if it was in the Ardennes or on Varsity,but i have always remembered the place as Caens,but i know that he was`nt in Normandy so i assumed my memory was failing(dad passed away in 79)
    Cens would seem to fit the bill,he told me that shortly after liberating "the town" that they were attacked by the yanks which then triggered a German counter attack.
    The map seems to have them all meeting at one place.
    Can anyone fill in the gaps?


    Map:

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
     
  8. Theobob

    Theobob Senior Member

    Oh ok,
    Dad was in 5th Brigade,he was in 2nd Forward Observer Unit RA.
    One of his unit veterans who i am still in touch with was at Bure i think.


    I'm sorry but the 6th Airborne Division did not advance to Cens, as is wrongly indicated on the map. As I said the map is not quite correct. Only some contact-patrols ever came as far as Champlon Crossroads.

    In which unit was your father serving?

    Here an outline of the operations of 6th Airborne Division in the Ardennes. The Division was alerted on 20 December 44 and moved by ship and road to the Meuse area, where it took up defensive positions along the line of the river between Namur and Givet (with 6th Airlanding Brigade) on 26 December 1944. Near the end of the year the Division moved into the Ardennes and took over frontline positions at the tip enemy salient (sector Aye - Givet), with the two Para Bdes forward and the 6th Airlanding Bde in reserve.

    The operations of 3rd Para Bde, left divisional flank, had a defensive character (see the Brits in the Ardennes thread for the War Diary of the Bde), whereas the 5th Para Bde, on the right, attacked on 3 Jan 45 along the line Wellin - Grupont in an attempt to eradicate the bridgehead the Germans still held over the L'Homme River to the south of Rochefort. This operation culminated in the costly three-day 'battle for Bure' and ended with the capture of the village on 5 Jan 45. The Germans however held strong positions on dominating ground around Bure and such had been the losses that it was decided to abandon the village and go over to the defensive in this area. The 6th Airlanding Brigade took over the 'Bure sector' and the 5th Para moved to Rochefort, while the 3rd Para Bde extended its sector to the east (relieving the 71st Bde south of Marche 8/9 Jan and taking over GrimbiƩmont from the Highland Division on Jan 10).

    When it became apparent that the enemy started to vacate the salient, the 6th Airborne Div moved forward again on 9 and 10 Jan 45 (Operation 'Skate') trying to catch up with an enemy who by then were puling out as fast as possible. By the 11th of January the Airborne Division was pinched out by the advance of the American VIII Corps on the right (south) and the 51st Highland Division on the left flank. More details on these operations will follow in my Brits in the Ardennes thread (I hope).

    For a link to the operations of 3rd Para Brigade see: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/battle-...tml#post359625
     
  9. bullet

    bullet Junior Member

    my uncle danny reagan 13th para regt was kia at bure village. r.i.p. not a mention of the brits ,in the battle of the bulge film . yanks eh/
     
  10. levien

    levien Just a member

    my uncle danny reagan 13th para regt was kia at bure village. r.i.p. not a mention of the brits ,in the battle of the bulge film . yanks eh/


    I quiet agree.

    Levien.
     
  11. jujoos

    jujoos Junior Member

    Now that we have returned to the 53rd Recce. Here an account of J.W. 'Bud' Abbot of 'C' Sqdr, 53rd Recce as I received it from him in a (handwritten) letter many years ago [I've adapted some of the dates he gave in his letter; the [] is my remark].

    Hello

    Although I joined this forum some time ago I haven't had the time yet to contribute with some of the photographs, accounts etc of my father's. It was lovely today, therefore, when by chance one of my children stumbled upon your post quoting a letter you received from 'Bud' Abbot. Joseph 'Bud' Abbot is my dad and he would have been thrilled to know his memories and experiences live on through this forum. [​IMG]
     
  12. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  13. levien

    levien Just a member

    Wonderful picture!!

    Levien.
     
  14. john howell

    john howell WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Pieter,this is not the tank i drove it is probably lieutenant faulkners.i was lucky to have the only rubber tracked tank in the troop.the disadvantage was i had two days in the lead entering la roche & going up to hives, due to getting a better grip.although tony faulkner says his was the first tank into la roche he is wrong the first was crewed by cpl.snowden commander,jim teeley gunner,tommy rushden wireless op & myself driving.as a rule troop leaders did not lead,it was not a good idea to lose the commander first. He did a reccy.on foot but neglected to mention the abandoned tank around the corner which came as a bit of a shock regards john
     
    Jonathan Ball likes this.
  15. john howell

    john howell WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    pieter,i am sure you are right that the tank pictured is tony faulkners.i am sure it is not an lad crew as the men are wearing black berries l.a.d wore infantry style khaki headgear
     
  16. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    pieter,i am sure you are right that the tank pictured is tony faulkners.i am sure it is not an lad crew as the men are wearing black berries l.a.d wore infantry style khaki headgear
    The 1.NY. LAD did wear Black berries . The photos in my fathers collection, including the Tank on its side and the Archer, and all the photos showing himself and other member of the LAD all wearing black berries.
    It's a few of years ago, after his death, that I disposed of his old berry that he had keep for many years, but I still have the old leather jerkin that he wore.

    Ken.
     
  17. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    Sorry I don't know, but most of dad's photos are of the LAD. The only identification I have is the area the photo was taken,he wrote this on the reverse side of most pictures.

    Attached - photo of Sherman engine being repaired/replaced this possibly is in the same area, the identification written on the reverse side is 'M.'
    I would think Marche? the LAD base location was in Marche 9th to 23rd.Jan.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hello Puchenau,

    Have you come across The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in Holland site? It may be of general interest. A reconnaissance patrol on January 29th escorted an artillery forward observer group across the River Maas. There is also some information on signal equipment used. Of course this is after the incident in which your Father was wounded but it might give you an idea of the kind of activity taking place in the area.

    Perhaps this should be under Airborne?
     
  19. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Puchenau,

    Have you contacted the creator of the Go To It Gunners site? He may be able to direct you to a veteran with a memory of the time on the Maas. Unfortunately David "Dai" King ends his account with 2 FOU just as preparations were made for the Ardennes. I suspect your Father dealt with 2 FOU regularly after their formation in August of 44.

    2 (Airborne) Forward Observation Unit, RA

    Another possibility is getting your hands on the war diaries of the 53rd Airlanding Light Artillery Regiment (and others) for this period from the National Archives if it exists. Also I'm not sure how friendly fire incidents were handled. There could possibly be an investigation report tucked away somewhere?
     
    brithm likes this.
  20. Theobob

    Theobob Senior Member

    Thank you, Cee. I will follow up on your suggestions.

    Hi Puchenau,
    Was your father British or Canadian?
    2FOU was made up from both,my father(Canadian) was in 2FOU in the Ardennes and on Op Varsity.
    I have a fairly comprehensive list of Canadian 2FOU`ers and i dont see his name.
    I am in touch with a surviving British 2FOU`er who i will try your fathers name on to see if it rings any bells,but as you know these guys are getting on a bit and memory's are beginning to fade
    Good luck with your search
    Rob
     

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