Disabled Panther 1947

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Owen, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Anyone know any more about this Panther, where it was exactly & what happened to it.
    Photos from here.
    Magnum Photos

    NN11468326_Social_Media_Watermark.jpg NN11468327_Social_Media_Watermark.jpg NN11468328_Social_Media_Watermark.jpg NN11468329_Social_Media_Watermark.jpg
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  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Though the caption says Belgium it looks quite French. Road sign points to Cernay & Reims. Seems like Lorraine or region west of the Vosges 1944 to me.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Shame the road-sign isnt in shot abit more. :(
    There is a Cernay in Reims and a village outside it too
    Cernay-lès-Reims - Wikipedia

    Any pics of it in ATB Ruckmarsch ?

    edit : chap on twitter seems to have found location.
    Can't work out where village is yet though.
    Peter De Cauwer on Twitter

    EDIT: ok found it Berru.

    not far from German Cemetery.

    berru 1.JPG berru 2.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Flicked through Ruckmarsch and haven't spotted it. (Had forgotten what a pleasing book it is.)
    I like the reversed turret. Obviously as likely to have been kids in the intervening years, but perhaps something symbolic of a desperate retreat there.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Yup, Third Army's XX Corps.

    The 7th US Armored Div swept through the area by the end of August 1944. CCB bypassed Reims to the south on 28 August in a dash to the Meuse River. Next day CCB and CCR, which had reached Fismes on the Aisne, wheeled eastward and cut off the roads north of the city. The 5th US Infantry Div then liberated Reims on 30 August without difficulty. By noon of the 31st the 7th Armored Division tanks were across the Meuse at Verdun.

    See Martin Blumenson's "Breakout and Pursuit", p.667/668.
    HyperWar: US Army in WWII: The Breakout and Pursuit [Chapter 31]

    Opponent? Have to delve into that, but a likely candidate is the Panzer Lehr Division.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    From the enemy perspective in about the same timeframe; filmshots of retreating Germans in Paris. Maybe our Panther is on the images:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Opponent: Panzer Lehr Division

    The retreat of the Panzer Lehr beyond the Seine led through Reims. See the attached map taken from Helmut Ritgen, "Die Geschichte der Panzer Lehr Division im Westen, 1944 - 1945"

    Pz Lehr Reims.jpg

    The Panther most likely - you never can be sure, because the situation was extremely fluid - belonged to Kampfgruppe Ritgen of the Panzer Lehr Division. The following is a (free) transcription of page 192 of Ritgen's book:

    On the evening of 28 August the Division, under command of LXXX Korps, took up position in a defensive line anchored on Jonchery - Chambrecy - Pourcy, which covered Reims in a wide arc. On 29 August this line was attacked by the 5th US Infantry Division and after a short fight the weak German forces fell back to the edge of Reims and the northern bank of the Aisne-Marne-Canal. Unexpectedy the enemy attacked again at 23:00 hrs and seized the village of Beine-Nauray. After some confusion the Panzer pulled back to the Suippes-sector [Suippes River] near Warmeriville [NE of Reims]. The city of Reims was lost. After enemy armor [7th US Armored Div] threatened Warmeriville with encirclement, the Gruppe Ritgen received permission to fight its way out to Vouziers. The vigorously pursuing enemy was slowed down by road blocks of felled trees and tanks, an observation plane was brought down by infantry weapons. In the afternoon of August 30th, Kampfgruppe Ritgen established a bridgehead defense at Vouziers.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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