Fontenay-le-Pesnel

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Fontenay-le-Pesnel

    I have some threads associated with things near this, but not Fontenay exclusively so work in progress for some events and links associated with Fontenay-le-Pesnel in Normandy, France.

    Mainly (but not exclusively) around June and July 1944.

    Also would be nice to have - some pics of what the area was like prior to mid 1944 and what it's like now.

    (To add post for some associated links, post for some chronological events)

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Fontenay-le-Pesnel

    Maps


    Map at Musee de Tilly sur Seulles (under link at "aux allentours" / "Around"): Google Translate

    Some associated WW2talk threads:

    Tessel Wood: 24th Lancers - Tessel Wood (c25th June 1944)

    Rauray: The Capture of Rauray (Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry et alia)

    Fontenay-le-Pesnel War Cemetery: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/43795-fontenay-le-pesnel-war-cemetery/

    49th Infantry Division (Polar Bears) Monument at Fontenay-Le-Pesnel : http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/317...n-polar-bears-monument-at-fontenay-le-pesnel/

    Thread titled "Desperately seeking" (in connection with the assault upon the village of Fontenay le Pesnel by, amongst others, the Hallamshire Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment) : Desperately seeking . . . .

    Links

    There are a few more WW2 1944 pictures here: Photos de Fontenay-le-Pesnel pendant la bataille de Normandie dans le département du Calvados : http://www.dday-overlord.com/photos...de-normandie-dans-le-departement-du-calvados/

    And a bit of text: translated: Google Translate

    Original French: Fontenay-le-Pesnel en 1944 – Calvados – Les villes et les villages de Normandie pendant les combats de la Bataille de Normandie : http://www.dday-overlord.com/fonten...dant-les-combats-de-la-bataille-de-normandie/

    I have noticed a number of pictures also say things like "near Rauray" in their description and many of these I guess could also just as easily be described as "near Fontenay-le-Pesnel".

    Operation Epsom overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Epsom

    Some IWM: Search Our Collections | Imperial War Museums

    War diaries of for example: 24th Lancers, 4/7th RDG, 12th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion Tyne Scottish, the Hallamshires.

    The Hallamshires: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallamshire_Battalion#World_War_II

    Normandy part of "John Crook's War" - (Hallamshire Battalion officer's account) : http://www.irdp.co.uk/JohnCrook/normandy.htm

    Books

    "An Englishman at War - The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC" By Stanley Christopherson, James Holland: Englishman at War

    "The First and Last. The Story of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards1939-1945" by Major J D P Stirling

    Heimdal book 'La Bataille De L'Odon' by Georges Bernage (in French) - (note from "m kenny", and see note by "sheldrake "post#38" below) http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Bataille-LOdon-Georges-Bernage-Editions-Heimdal/1678386764/bd

    "None Had Lances" - The story of the 24th Lancers by Leonard Willis:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/None-Had-Lances-Story-Lancers/dp/0951071807
    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/9780951071809/Lances-Story-24th-Lancers-Willis-0951071807/plp

    "The Normandy Campaign 1944: Sixty Years On" edited by John Buckley The Normandy Campaign 1944

    "Steel Inferno 1 SS Panzer in Normandy" by Michael Reynolds

    "The 12th SS - Volume 1" - By Hubert Meyer : The 12TH SS Volume One

    Some Contemporary links:

    Fontenay-le-Pesnel – Official website of the Town Hall (via google translate) : Google Translate

    French site: La commune | FONTENAY-LE-PESNEL

    Current plan of the Commune: http://www.fontenaylepesnel.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Plan_COMMUNE.pdf

    Video/film:

    Battlefield S5/E6 - The Battle for Caen

     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Fontenay-le-Pesnel

    Events

    June 1944

    Sunday 25th June

    There is an account of John Semken of the SRY apparently "brewing-up" a Tiger with his 75mm in the vicinity of Fontenay here on p402 of "An Englishman at War": Englishman at War

    An account of a tank attack into Fontenay-le-Pesnel : 25 June 1944: Tank attack into Fontenay-le-Pesnel

    On 25th June 146 Brigade advanced towards Vendes but were beaten back by a counter attack by tanks of the Panzer Lehr Division. Meanwhile 147 Brigade entered Fontenay-le-Pesnel but had to retire to the north edge of the village.
    http://www.rememberingscotlandatwar...-veteran-very-quickly-The-Battle-for-Normandy

    IWM - A knocked-out German 75mm anti-tank gun and one of its gunners lying dead beside it. A disabled Panther tank is also visible in the background. Fontenay-le-Pesnel, 25 June 1944 : THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944 (B 5939)

    Monday 26th June

    OPERATION EPSOM, 21st Army Group’s first major attempt to liberate Caen begins. The 12th SS continued to attack Fontenay all this day.

    Tuesday 27th June:

    IWM - A motorcycle despatch rider passes a knocked-out Sherman tank and behind, a German Panther at Fontenay-le-Pesnel, 27 June 1944 : THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORMANDY 1944 (B 6043)

    July 1944

    Saturday 1st July
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  4. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    By far the best source For pre WW2 views of Normandy locations is French postcard sites.
     
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I saw some nice picture postcards of Fontenay-le-Pesnel : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Fontenay-le-Pesnel+postcard&biw=1280&bih=685&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihveTG1_rLAhVMWhoKHfMyAD0Q_AUIBigB

    Including an aerial view: http://images.delcampe.com/img_large/auction/000/295/552/146_001.jpg

    [​IMG]

    & : http://www.communes.com/images/orig/postcard/maxi/14278/2d3baf99a25861765ffbc5e3926c8e8d

    Le Chateau Fontenay-le-Pesnel : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Chateau+Fontenay-le-Pesnel&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ9cSV1vrLAhVHthoKHSnpDc8Q_AUICCgC&biw=1280&bih=685

    [​IMG]

    As well as Boislonde: http://j.y.merienne.pagesperso-orange.fr/fontenaylepenel11.jpg

    [​IMG]

    There are a few more WW2 1944 ones here: Photos de Fontenay-le-Pesnel pendant la bataille de Normandie dans le département du Calvados : http://www.dday-overlord.com/photos-de-fontenay-le-pesnel-pendant-la-bataille-de-normandie-dans-le-departement-du-calvados/

    And a bit of text: translated: https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dday-overlord.com%2Ffontenay-le-pesnel-en-1944-calvados-les-villes-et-les-villages-de-normandie-pendant-les-combats-de-la-bataille-de-normandie%2F&edit-text=&act=url

    Original French: Fontenay-le-Pesnel en 1944 – Calvados – Les villes et les villages de Normandie pendant les combats de la Bataille de Normandie : http://www.dday-overlord.com/fontenay-le-pesnel-en-1944-calvados-les-villes-et-les-villages-de-normandie-pendant-les-combats-de-la-bataille-de-normandie/

    I have noticed a number of pictures also say things like "near Rauray" in their description and many of these I guess could also just as easily be described as "near Fontenay-le-Pesnel".
     
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Some of the war correspondent Anthony Cotterell’s writings from the front, during his time in Normandy were about the fighting around Fontenay-le-Pesnel i.e.

    "This is War!: The Diaries and Journalism of Anthony Cotterell, 1940-1944" (edited by Jennie Gray) : This is WAR!’

    Some other links: re. Anthony Cotterell are here: http://www.anthony-cotterell.co.uk/index.html

    And the "Battle of Fontenay" is also touched on in part 2 of "MAJOR COTTERELL AT R H A WAR CRIME AND A MYSTERY JENNIE GRAY": (Title page and contents); http://swbplus.bsz-bw.de/bsz3760950...AA59DCA01A2D96BCD967E333BD6BC6C?1370333434306

    In addition there was a "WAR" magazine article called, in a play on words, "Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright" also by Anthony Cotterell.

    Ref. from "This is War": This is WAR!’

    Product details - Paperback: 12 pages
    Publisher: Army Bureau of Current Affairs (1944) e.g. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/WAR-Tiger-Burning-Bright-August/dp/B00K5TF3G2
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  7. Artz

    Artz New Member

    Hi guys,

    I have some information regarding the Château de Boislondes, it actually belonged to my great grand parents. Their family name is Lemaigre de Mesnil. This château has been unfortunately destroyed during the war but my family still own some land. My great grandma has written a diary from the 6th to the 22th June 1944 in french. Let me know if you want to know more about it.
     
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  8. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Hello Artz,

    Welcome to the forum.
    I would love to know more about your great grandma's diary. I have spent a lot of time on searching boislonde because I have found out that my grandad was killed whilst fighting around the parc on 17th June and Last June my dad and I visited boislonde to lay a wreath and plaque in memory of my grandad. So anything new is always of interest to me.
    Best regards
    Shaun
     
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  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hello Artz!

    Not sure if you were "shouting" there Shaun :P - but hopefully you didn't "scare" Artz away? :)

    Btw Artz - I seem to remember some quotes in:

    The "12th SS (Volume 1)" - by Hubert Meyer: Nb: there seems to be quite a lot of detail about the fighting around Parc de Bois Londe in Hubert Meyer's "12th SS - Volume 1" - The 12TH SS Volume One

    Discussed also I think here: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/572...is-londe-17th-18th-june-1944/?hl=+bois++londe

    That seem to contain refs. to such a document from the time. Is there any chance perhaps that that is the same one as you refer to? Or is it a different one? And if so where is it now I wonder? Also btw2 in the same thread where: Yan says:


    And goes on - with some more fascinating Bois Londe info. -

    - you might or might not have seen / be aware of this / these posts from Yann yet?

    And as SDP says / said there: the "Curator of the Tilly sur Seulles Museum, Stephane Jacquet" may also be interested in any info you have.

    I think from memory a lot of the things my Grandfather references relate potentially to Hervieu (swimming in the river there etc) - a bit further away (from Bois) on the other side of Points 102 and 103 but as I read in the 24th L war diary I think that the C squadron of the 24th L (that he was in) spent some time - some nights I think - camped out in the grounds there.

    eg. (for example)

    17/6/44 During the afternoon, ‘B’ Sqn (24thL) supported an attack by the DWR on Parc de Bois Londe, a wood on our front which harboured infantry and tanks and was causing us considerable trouble. An account of this attack is given at Appx E. ‘A’ Sqn after some eventful forward patrolling fromPt 103, returned to Hervieu in the evening.


    18/6/44 The Regiment remained at Hervieu throughout the day resting and maintaining the vehicles. The day was uneventful. ‘C’ Sqns defensive position at Parc de Bois Londe, was relieved by a Sqn of the SRY in the early morning.
    atrolling fromPt 103, returned to Hervieu in the evening.

    Fascinating info though. Re. Veterans etc. there are still one or two left (I think I am sure) that were actually there!


    All the best,

    Rm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  10. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    RM I have no idea why my font is so large
    On here seems to be a hick up with my phone.
    Artz has sent me the Diary to look through so they were not to scared
     
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Sounds like an important historical document Shaun.

    Does it seem to be - to you - the same thing quoted from in "The "12th SS (Volume 1)" - by Hubert Meyer: Nb: there seems to be quite a lot of detail about the fighting around Parc de Bois Londe in Hubert Meyer's "12th SS - Volume 1" "

    Or is this wholly something different then?

    If you were/are on your phone - it's probably just selecting a font that looks right for the way it is set up. - I've noticed too some characters you use like " " don't seem to "translate" - :) - but I think - from context I can make things out.
     
  12. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    RM It is quite interesting although all in french so I've had to use a translation app to read it which is clearly not a 100% accurate but you still get a good picture of life for the château residents.
    A lot of it was in the battle of tilly sur seulles book which I remember reading thankfully all in English and some of that books material seems to have come from several other book sources. So maybe the Diary Artz sent me was the original but over the years has been published a few times in books although only snippets.
    That's only my opinion tho

    Regards Shaun
     
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Some ref. links to the new Heimdal book due (June 2018 - potentially) on Fontenay-Rauray 25-28 June 1944:

    A Facebook page for the book: Fontenay - Rauray, Autopsie d'une bataille, 25-28 juin 1944

    FONTENAY-RAURAY, Autopsie d’une bataille - Editions Heimdal

    [​IMG]

    "Les deux auteurs, Frédéric Deprun et Baptiste Flotte, désiraient détailler cet épisode de la bataille de Normandie débutant par l'opération Martlet, sur les flancs de l'opération Epsom. Les recherches extrêmement détaillees vont venir se concentrer au fil des pages sur le verrou de Rauray et ses combats de blindés. Une chronologie précise a été rendue possible de la destruction de chars Panther devant Fontenay face aux assauts des Polar Bears et de la 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division jusqu'à l'enfoncement de la défense allemande tenue par la Panzer-Lehr-Division et la 12.SS Panzer-Division « Hitlerjugend ».
    A travers une localisation précise de photographies inédites et un bilan des opérations dans les deux camps, cette étude, divisée en trois parties, apporte une attention toute particulière sur les reliques des combats et les temoignages qui accompagnent les différents actes de la bataille
    ."

    With google translate's effort: "The two authors, Frédéric Deprun and Baptiste Flotte, wanted to detail this episode of the Battle of Normandy starting with Operation Martlet, on the flanks of Operation Epsom. Extremely detailed research will come to focus over the pages on the lock Rauray and his armor fights. A precise timeline was made possible of the destruction of Panther tanks in front of Fontenay against the assaults of the Polar Bears and the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division until the sinking of the German defense held by the Panzer-Lehr-Division and the 12.SS Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend".
    Through a precise location of unpublished photographs and a review of operations in both camps, this study, divided into three parts, pays particular attention to the relics of the fighting and the testimonies that accompany the various acts of the battle.
    "
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  14. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Ref Map:
    Fontenay01.jpg

    1947:
    Fontenay1947.jpg

    1972:
    Fontenay1972.jpg

    2006:
    Fontenay2006.jpg

    2016:
    Fontenay2016.jpg
     
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  15. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    fontenaylepenel14.jpg

    fontenaylepenel13.jpg
    fontenaylepenel9.jpg fontenaylepenel7.jpg
    fontenaylepenel.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    It's looks as if there is still a sign of maybe a bomb crater in the 1947 aerial photograph on the right hand top third of the pic. I imagine there are probably still quite a few about but this one seems to be an exceptionally large one. Probably full of water which helps it stand out. Or though looking as close as I can I can't really tell if it's a flaw in the original photo?
     
  17. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Flaw I reckon.

    1947 - now you see it:
    flaw1947.jpg

    1972 - now you don't:
    flaw1972.jpg
     
  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    There were certainly still some shell holes in the northern edge of Tessel Wood when I visited in about 1999 filled with water and about 5-10m across. Remnants of HMS Rodney bombardment at the start of Operation Martlet 25-26th June 1944
     
  19. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Very interesting thread , i am currently researching the role of 10 and 11 DLI during Martlet and the fighting around Fontenay and Rauray so many thanks for posting some of the photos and postcard shots .
     
  20. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Bit of contraversy to say the least in Normandy at the moment re the new book as well !
     

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