The Battles for the Parc de Bois Londe (17th-18th June 1944)

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi all,

    Currently looking for best links for and info on events surrounding this topic,

    All the best

    Rm.
     
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    #2 - Links

    Nb: This action probably fits within a broader thread for the actions around Point 103 and St.Pierre at: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57272-the-battles-for-point-103-and-st-pierre-8th%E2%80%93-18th-june-1944/
    But will attempt to cover here in more detail those that specifically relate to the Battles around the Parc de Bois Londe.

    Other threads: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/54772-le-parc-de-bois-londe-boislonde/

    "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

    War diaries of for example: 24th Lancers, Sherwood Rangers (SRY), Duke of Wellington Regiment (DWR)

    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": https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zAbDS7uLVIMC&pg=PT266&lpg=PT266&dq=Tessel+woods+Lancers&source=bl&ots=02oz0wfcjE&sig=U0eKAiu45F-4_hPCnas8gt8wLBU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=i1ocVZH2A4StaYLRgqAK&ved=0CFIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=parc%20de%20boislonde&f=false

    Maps (for context):

    Eastern Flank of the Normandy Bridgehead (June-July 1944): http://www.ibiblio.o...ps/OpSumm-7.jpg
    Where "Parc de Bois Londe" would be slightly to the east of the "R" in Tilly-su"R"-Seulles" and south of the first "L" in "Le Mesnil Patry".

    (Nb: closest map I have found at present to the actual dispositions around that time - this one though is just for the 12th June): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Perch#/media/File:Operation_Perch.svg Parc de Bois Londe is on the "front-line" roughly half-way between Tilly on this map and the position posted for the 8th Armoured Brigade.
     
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    #3 – Events around Parc de Bois Londe - Normandy on Saturday 17th June 1944.

    Just prior to this the 24th L were engaged mostly on Point 103
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57272-the-battles-for-point-103-and-st-pierre-8th%E2%80%93-18th-june-1944/

    1400 hours - 24th L "B" squadron advanced on Parc de Bois Londe" objective in support of DWR (Duke of Wellington Regiment)

    Nb. The position was under heavy mortar fire during the entire afternoon.

    1600 hours - two 24th L tanks (from 24th L "B" squadron???) lost due to German "88mm" gun fire.

    1800 hours - five German tanks reported on right flank, one of which was quickly disabled by the right hand 24th L Troop leader (Leathers???). Three more German tanks were shot by SP 17 pounders (Unit???).

    1845 hours - seven German tanks were reported on the left flank and the situation began to look critical as allied anti-tank guns experienced difficulty getting into a good firing position. By maneuvering troops however, the enemy were stopped from over running the position. A defended perimeter was maintained until last light when "B" squadron 24th L was relieved by ‘C’ Squadron 24th L.

    Events around Parc de Bois Londe - Normandy on Sunday 18th June 1944.

    "C" squadron 24th L moved back to Point 103 after being relieved by a squadron of the Sherwood Rangers (SRY) in the early morning.

    it is a little after this that the Germans are reported to be putting down a severe amount of shells and mortar.

    Nb. According to the SRY War Diary 'A and B sqds of the SRY' relieved the 24th L "on Pt 102 just south of Cristot" in support of 147 Bde and 'A sqd SRY' supported the 6Bn Duke of Wellingtons in a wood just north of Fontenay called Le Parc De Boislonde. NOT SURE WHY C SRY is not apparently mentioned here - but the a's, b's and c's in the SRY WD can look very similar in the handwriting of the WD author so it's possible one of these is an 'a', a 'b' and the other a 'c' - 'thou not sure which at the mo. (Rm). Nb2. Later A + C are working together and B is alone so probably that's the way it was???

    And for which there are some further details (If searched with parc de Boislonde): https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=v7LgAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=%22Hervieu%22+8th+Armoured+Brigade&source=bl&ots=k9YNumCW6e&sig=UO2bjfkonqmlw1KrvuL3OH88iDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EistVeCpC4roaLGxgugF&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=parc%20de%20bois&f=false
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    It is worth reading "The History 12 SS" as it does give the impression that the Germans also abandoned the park. Their infantry counter-attack failed in the face of heavy artillery fire.
     
  5. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob you seem to have all the info i have been able to find out about the attack on boislonde where my grandad was killed. I was surpriced by the 12 ss history it was quite a useful source. I have been searching from a french perspective to see if theres anything out there from a french point of view. Ive not found anything new yet but its early days. I wouldnt mind getting a look at the book Tilly-sur-seulles sounds an interesting book. Not sure if it covers much about le parc de boislonde tho. Plus i dont think ive found a copy that im willing to splash out that much on just yet.. However ill keep an eye on ebay! As i see a couple of weeks ago a signed copy of "None had Lancers" went for a bargain price of under £14. I paid £30 for my copy. Still happy tho.
    i guess the attack on boislonde started from the direction of .103 or les haut vents both are the same direction as you know but id guess that the main strong hold would have been .103 Im under the impression my gd was killed in the evening between 18:00 and 19:00 but how close to the parc he was i do not know. I do wonder what route a sherman tank would have taken from .103 towards boislonde? I mean it seems a bit risky driving down the nearest track or would they have gone across country. Its pretty comman knowledge about the hedgerows and ditches across normandy making cross country very hard going and reading none had lancers it does seem they made use of the roads. Im planning a trip over to normandy this june and will walk from .103 to boislonde to lay a plaque somewhere a long the route. Ill be following this thread with much interest.
     
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hallo!

    There's this snap from a recon flight: http://ncap.org.uk/frame/1-1-54-3-432?search=keywords/Cristot

    Flown by a 400 Sqd Canadian Royal Airforce flight (CRAF) on the 24th June 1944 - showing the terrain between Cristot and the Parc de Bois Londe with (i believe :) ) tank tracks that can be picked out.

    They seem to have gone pretty much straight for it. Very brave guys and all that :poppy: :poppy: :poppy:

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Remember that, by the time that image was taken, the battle was over as far as the Parc was concerned so lots of those tracks will be well worn after battle tracks. Real tracks but just don't read too much into them.
     
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yes, just been reading the SRY war diaries (very interesting account of the 18th, an inf retreat "without orders" and the missing Sgt Bartle :eek: ) and the account of these dates in "An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson Dso Mc." By Stanley Christopherson, James Holland - on why the SRY missed/were spared the "events" of the "mis-fired attack" on the Villers Bocage https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=daO2AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA523&lpg=PA523&dq=Major+Laycock+sherwood+rangers&source=bl&ots=gRo6DooNrK&sig=DBam4gho5TD4spkiTsc80KYsDDw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PRspVfKcDcTeaPCggbAM&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=boislonde&f=false who details the movements of the SRY - and says that subsequent to the 17th (i.e. when a squadron of SRY relieved the "C" squad of the 24th L at the Parc de Bois Londe) the SRY tanks regularly drove between Pt. 102 and parc de Bois Londe. Plus the particularly big storm of the 19th-22nd June (that wrecked so much of the Mulberry Harbours) - will have played havoc with the ground terrain between the 17th and the 24th (when these recon shots were made).

    There's something to be said for reusing well used routes though, given that they might be safer (from mines) having recently been "run over" by other armour. (Not withstanding that any new mines laid by a sneaky foe might be wisely put in a tank trail in the hope of scoring a hit there :ph34r: )

    Still at least we now know where a tank can / will have gone back in the day....

    Rm. :pipe:
     
  9. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Cheers rob thats an interesting site for aerial photography. I will bookmark it and browse some more around Fontenay etc,
    ill probably place one of my plaques nearer the parc anyway As thats got to be pretty close.
     
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yes, I was trying to get an idea from them what Point 103 was like - "m kenny" at post # 7 of: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57272-the-battles-for-point-103-and-st-pierre-8th%E2%80%93-18th-june-1944/ Has posted a diagram of where each of these CRAF aerial recon photos is at, but from that at least it doesn't look like the CRAF covered Pt. 103 at this point.

    There's also the site at:http://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/accueil

    Which is tricky (I think!) to use but gives a chance to look at some recon images made in 1945 and plus - it took them a while to clear up so a lot of the 1944 WW2 was still in situ in 1945 (and years+) and can be browsed for with this site. (provided your French is up to it?!) after you've picked a close town (Fontenay?) choose "'Leas Prises de Vues Aeriennes' option" from the drop down and the set of pics for the year that you want (get as close to +1944 as you can).

    Some people look on there for what they can find so if you can pin point things down any further they might be able to follow a lead?

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hum...

    Just noticed in (if searched with parc de Boislonde): https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=v7LgAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=%22Hervieu%22+8th+Armoured+Brigade&source=bl&ots=k9YNumCW6e&sig=UO2bjfkonqmlw1KrvuL3OH88iDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EistVeCpC4roaLGxgugF&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=parc%20de%20bois&f=false

    That's there's some detail there on the 17th June action at Parc de Bois Londe, and in the addition to the "B" squad 24th L loosing 4 tanks there, Delaforce has "C" squad showing a loss of 2 tanks somehow, but with "at least four Tiger's brewed up" with "one by Lt. Frank Fuller at 100 yards" (who I currently have "listed" as the commander of the "B" squad 24th L tank "Buccaneer" which was later "brewed up on the 25th June somewhere in the vicinity of Tessel Wood?) with some additional info then on the unfortunate Duke of Wellington's north of Fontenay on the 18th.

    The chance of "C" squad 24th L engagement losses there at Par de Bois Londe seems quite "contradictory" to me though at the moment - although they relieved "B" squad 24th L on the evening of the 17th and there was mortar fire (noted) that might have caused this subsequent 2 tank "C" squad 24th L loss perhaps during that night? At least as far as I am aware though there were no "C" squad 24th L KIA casualties associated with this 2 tank loss? and no mention at all I could see in the 24th L War Diary as such for "C" squad actions of this kind or of any losses at all for "C" squad on the 17th June....

    Hum, hum hum.....
     
  12. yann

    yann Member

    Hi,
    This is a picture of ''le Chateau de Boislonde'' by 1935'.
    The "lady of Boislonde" is on the picture with her 4 daugthers and her white poodle.

    Regards.
     

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  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Nice pic. thanks Yann,

    Where does it come from???

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  14. yann

    yann Member

    From my familly.
    One of these girls is my mother.
     
    Ramiles likes this.
  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Nice to hear from you!
     
  16. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Yann

    Welcome to the forum.

    I guess that this thread is giving you mixed emotions because it is, in effect, about the destruction of your family home.

    Does the family/you still live in the area?

    Incidentally, I have visited the Tilly/Fontenay/Tessel area many times (my late father was with 24th Lancers and I was Hon Sec of the 24th Lancers Old Comrades Association until we formally disbanded in 2007).

    Steve
     
  17. yann

    yann Member

    Hi Steve, Ramiles,

    The four sister are still alive!
    But spread in France . No one is living anymore in this area (the closer live in Cabourg 25 km ).
    I will try to find other pictures when I come back to see my mother at Christmas (I live in Scotland/Aberdeen for few months), but as I remember the only pictures I saw are dated after war. I let you know.
    For info , my grand father rebuilt a house on the left of the ruins, and lived until his death in 1975. He used to welcome veterans who visit the battlefield.

    Regards
     
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  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Yann

    A nice story albeit very sad about the destruction of the original house.

    Have you researched the Battle of Parc de Bois Londe. There is lots of information available.
     
  19. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Good Evening yann, Rob and steve
    That's a new picture for me. Especially with the people in it. I found it quite difficult to find any pictures of the château.
    Yann boislonde holds special meaning to me as it's where my grandad was killed in action during a battle on the 17th june. We visited there this June for the first time. I've even had a sign made to put on the front of my house. So I think about boislonde then my grandad each evening I come home from work. I will try and post a picture via my phone.
     
  20. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    I find this is a good way to remember my grandad
     

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