Leopoldsburg War Cemetery

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by Dee, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Dee

    Dee Member

    I have another cousin, Bertie Edgar Pallett, who was a Guardsman with the Scots Guards, who died on 9 September 1944 and is buried at Leopoldsburg War Cemetery.

    Does anyone have any information or snippets on battles that took place in this area around this time, any info would be appreciated?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Dee
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Hi Dee,

    The men buried here were largely killed around the Albert Canal area and on the Belgian/Dutch border. I have the history of the Guards Armoured Division and will check it and come back to you.
     
  3. Dee

    Dee Member

    Originally posted by Paul Reed@Mar 2 2004, 05:06 PM
    Hi Dee,

    The men buried here were largely killed around the Albert Canal area and on the Belgian/Dutch border. I have the history of the Guards Armoured Division and will check it and come back to you.
    Paul

    Thanks very much for that, it would really help.

    Dee
     
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Following the liberation of Brusselles, the Guards Armoured Division then proceeded to the Belgian-Dutch border. Here it seized the crossings along the Albert Canal; fighting began on 6th September. On 9th September the divisional history records:

    Later in the morning the Germans proceeded to put in a strong attack from the East. Two platoons of X Company Scots Guards were temporarily isolated and suffered severe casualties, Lieutenant I.N.Thorpe MC being killed and Lieutenant A.D.G.Llewellyn wounded and taken prisoner, but it was finally driven off and three Jagd-Panthers were destroyed.

    Source:

    Captain The Earl of Rosse ‘The Story of the Guards Armoured Division’ (Geoffrey Bles, London, 1956)
     
  5. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    You may not know what a Jagdpanther is? A picture of one is below. It was quite a powerful tank hunter, with a 88mm gun and good armour protection. British troops first came across them at Hill 304 in Normandy in July 1944; it was in fact a Scots Guards battalion that encountered them on that occasion.

    Source of the photo is:

    http://www.battletanks.com/jagdpanther.htm
     
  6. Dee

    Dee Member

    Paul

    That's great, thanks so much for the information it is something I can now put down on my family tree. It is just unfortunate that I won't be able to access his service records until they are released, as I am not next of kin (I think I have this correctly).

    Additionally, one small question, is the Jagdpanther the correct term for a tank that would have been in the "Panzer division" I have heard mentioned so frequently in WW2 films like 'The Big Red One'?

    Thank you once again.

    Dee
     
  7. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    As the CWGC site states, a number of the soldiers buried in the Leopoldsburg cemetery had died in a British military hospital nearby, but I am not sure that it had been established by the date in question. It looks to me as though the British forces had just arrived in the area.

    The only battalion of the Scots Guards in the British 2nd Army was the 3rd Tank Battalion, equipped with Churchill tanks. They were part of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, which at the time was attached to the 3rd Infantry Division (VIII Corps).

    By early September 1944, the British had just about outrun their supplies and after taking Antwerp on 4 September, the advance quickly ran out of steam, which was lucky for the Germans because they had virtually an open front between there and Maastricht, although after they lost Antwerp they reacted quickly and began to reinforce.

    There were no major battles around Leopoldsburg around 9 September, but smaller scale actions are reported in or around nearby Heppen and Hechtel, about 8km away. Unfortunately, I don't have any sources which relate to these actions in any detail, so I don't know what units were involved.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by angie999@Apr 12 2004, 04:08 PM

    The only battalion of the Scots Guards in the British 2nd Army was the 3rd Tank Battalion, equipped with Churcill tanks. They were part of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, which at the time was attached to the 3rd Infantry Division (VIII Corps).


    Correction, I didn't know about X company, mentioned onthe thread, being in the area. This was an infantry company from the disbanded 4th battalion, which was used to reinforce one of the other guards battalions.

    Do you know if your cousin was an infanteer or a tankie?
     
  9. Dee

    Dee Member

    Hi Angie

    Thanks for your info, unfortunately I have no idea what my cousin was, it is a side of the family I have only just found in my geneaology research and I am gradually trying to put things together.

    Cheers

    Dee
     
  10. RASigs

    RASigs Member

    Additionally, one small question, is the Jagdpanther the correct term for a tank that would have been in the "Panzer division" I have heard mentioned so frequently in WW2 films like 'The Big Red One'?

    Dee

    The Jagdpanther isnt actually a tank. They are a self propelled 88mm anti tank gun on a Panther Tank body.

    From what info I have, they would have been in independent heavy anti tank battalions.

    2 Battalions of these operated in france/belgium/holland prioor to the battle of the bulge. These battalions were the 559th and 654th
     
  11. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by RASigs@Apr 26 2004, 06:26 AM

    From what info I have, they would have been in independent heavy anti tank battalions.

    They would actually have been in Panzer Divisions, but not necessarily in Panzer Battalions. A Panzer Division consisted of many vehicles and weapons other than tanks (A/A Batteries, various Artillery battalions, motorised infantry, Anti-tank companies, engineers, supply, etc, etc.)

    B.
     
  12. Dee

    Dee Member

    RASigs & BAYERNWALD

    Many thanks for that...at least I wasn't too far off track.. :D
     
  13. RASigs

    RASigs Member

    Bayernwald

    The 1944 - 45 Organisational structure of a Panzer Division did not include any JagdPanthers.

    The Panzerjager Battalion of this timeframe consisted of:

    Battalion HQ - StuG III or Marder

    Towed Panzerjager Coy 75L46 Towed AT Gun
    Self Propelled StuG III or Marder

    The only Division to have JagdPanther allocatted into their formations were for the relief of Budapest. These divisions were:

    2nd SS Panzer Div Das Reich
    9th SS Panzer Division
    10th SS Panzer Division

    The largest collection of Jagdpanthers was for the Battle of the Bulge where 51 were split into 6 independent schwere Panzerjager Abteilungens ( heavy anti tank battalions )
     
  14. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    RASigs.

    To your list, I'll add for the Westfront (Dec.1944) 12th SS Pz Div "HJ", 21 Pz Div. and the Pz Lehr Div., alongside the 1 ss Pz Div "LAH", and 10 SS Pz Div "Frundsberg".

    These Divisions were equiped with either 14 Jagdpanther or 31 StuGs (or a mix of both).

    There were also, as you say, several indipendant H.Pz.Jg.Abt. (519, 681, 682, 683, 657, 668 and 686) equiped with Jagdpanthers during the Ardennes battle, but I was always of the understanding that they were always allocated to a Pz.division whether temporarily or not.


    B.
     
  15. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Dee, I have just acquired the regimental history of the Scots Guards in WW2, and when I have a spare moment will have a look and see what it says.
     
  16. Dee

    Dee Member

    Originally posted by Paul Reed@May 23 2004, 11:02 AM
    Dee, I have just acquired the regimental history of the Scots Guards in WW2, and when I have a spare moment will have a look and see what it says.
    Paul

    Many thanks for that, it would be interesting to see if anything is mentioned.

    Dee
     
  17. Baldblutch

    Baldblutch Member

    Hi!

    Leopoldsburg was also the starting-off point for operation Garden, there is even a monument (a Sherman Firefly) at the square in front of the station to commemorate this.

    It was the Guards Armored who was spearheading this attack on september 17, 1944.
     
  18. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Baldblutch@May 27 2004, 03:17 PM
    Hi!

    Leopoldsburg was also the starting-off point for operation Garden, there is even a monument (a Sherman Firefly) at the square in front of the station to commemorate this.

    It was the Guards Armored who was spearheading this attack on september 17, 1944.
    You saved me a task. I realised I didn't know where Garden was lauched from and I was going to find out.

    I think that XXX corps, including Guards Armoured, was switched from the previous Brussels/Antwerp line of advance for Garden and the Canadians came up onto the left flank.
     
  19. Baldblutch

    Baldblutch Member

    In fact, the Firefly is right in front at the site of the old film theatre, where the briefing of all the generals was held a few days before Garden by Brian Horrocks of 30th Corps.

    The Canadians were at that moment still fighting around the Scheldt estuary in a battle that is called 'the battle for the Leopoldscanal' which is between Ghent and the coast.

    Before Garden, the Guards armoured had liberated Brussels, than shifted Northeast to fight in the battle for the Belgian Canals. Their attack road was from Brussels over Louvain an Diest To Beringen, where day made a bridge-head over the Albert canal on September 6. From there on, they went Eastwards towards the town Of Hechtel, where they were attacked by strong German forces and it was at that moment that X Company, Scots Guards, got cut of on September the 9th. The town of Hechtel was only cleared the 12th with artillery support. It was on the 10th of september that the Gards made a daring attack cross country towards the Bridge over the Maas-Schelde Canal to the North of Hechtel, now better known as 'Joe's Bridge'

    The 50th Division, meanwhile, built a bridge-head at Gheel over the Albert Canal and a bridge-head over the Maas-Schelde Canal south of Retie, that's on the left flank of the Guards. The 11th Armoured supported the Guards right flank at the Bridge-Head at Beringen and from there on attacked Helchteren, Peer en Bree (Northeast) and from Helchteren made an attack toward Hasselt to the south.

    That is what I found out in the book 'Market Garden, then and now', pages 50 to 58.

    Hope this helps!
     
  20. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Baldblutch@Jun 2 2004, 07:12 PM
    That is what I found out in the book 'Market Garden, then and now', pages 50 to 58.

    Hope this helps!
    Yes it does. Thanks.

    Could you say who the author is and whether it is still in print?

    Of course, with the 60th coming up later in the year, they may republish a few older books.
     

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