Looking for info on 214 Brigade action near Cleve, 12 February 1945

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Chris C, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    I have here a citation report for a sergeant in 59 Anti-Tank Regiment who (from what I can make out from the WD) was supporting elements of 214 Brigade at Cleve when the Germans attempted a counter-attack:

    Feb 11 1500 - 236 Bty and one SP Tp u/c 214 Bde moved to area CLEVE to relieve Tps of 235 Bty...
    Feb 12 1000 - TP of SPs (L tp) at present under command 236 Battery destroyed enemy ‘PANTHER’. Range approx 550x and first round of ‘sabot’ caused to burst into flames.

    I have the DCLI history at home (but am not there) so I can check 5 DCLI later. It looks like the other regiments in the brigade were 7 Somerset and 1 Worcestershire.

    Is it familiar to anyone?
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Chris, I'm unsure if you have the actual recommendation, or just a reference to it.

    Do you have these / are you interested in seeing any/all?
    All 59 AT Regt RA, not all Sgts.
    Search results: (royal AND artillery) AND ("59 Anti Tank Regiment") | The National Archives
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi dbf, I do have the report - it's for Sgt Stone. Thanks for asking!!

    edit: here is my transcription:

    W/Sgt Thomas Walter Stone 1544723
    59th A/Tk Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division
    Periodical MM

    Throughout all the battles since the beginning of this campaign this NCO has shown initiative, bravery and leadership of the highest order. During the fighting west of Caen Sgt Stone, showing complete disregard for his personal safety when under heavy fire, was responsible for the recovery of two guns of his troop when the position had been overrun by the enemy. In February 1945 during the heavy and bitter fighting around Cleve, Sergeant Stone as No. 1 of a 17 pounder S.P. Valentine took his gun under heavy shellfire across open country in full view of the enemy and destroyed a Panther tank at 500 yards range. Although his own position was then drawing fire Sergeant Stone continued firing his gun at infantry positions and was largely responsible for breaking up an impending counter attack. His fine fighting spirit and great devotion to duty have at all times been most marked
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Thanks to dbf's tagging and owen's post eight years ago, I found a link to 1 Worcestershire's transcribed war diary online I don't see mention of a counterattack on Feb 12. Thank you both!

    ( War Diary - 1 Worcesters. 43 Wessex Div. )

    Can't find anything like that for 7 Somerset. Does anyone have a copy of Story of the Seventh Battalion The Somerset Light Infantry June 1944 to May 1945 who could check February 12 '45?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris - Have you looked here:

    Action of 214 Bde, bypassing the town of Cleve on 10 & 11 Feb: VERITABLE 1945: 15th Scottish & 43rd Wessex Divisions in the Reichswald battle

    German counterattack (116 Pz Div) against the Bedburg/Hau position on 12 Feb: VERITABLE 1945: 15th Scottish & 43rd Wessex Divisions in the Reichswald battle

    The Panther could be one of the many Jagdpanthers of the 655 s.Pz.Jg.Abt. that were active in the area. This unit was temporarily attached to the 116. Pz. Div, whose armoured units, due to the paucity of gasoline, had still not arrived in the Rhineland.

    The destruction of an enemy tank (and several AFV) on the 12th is mentioned in the battle reports but I hadn't seen the recommendation before and would like to use it in the Op Veritable thread if that is alright with you. Again a SP 17-pounder to the rescue!

    Edit: I also came across this title: 43rd Wessex Division
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From The Story of The 7 SLI for 12th Feb '45.

    Attached Files:

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  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Sadly no, I didn't come across it before - I think I tried searching for "12 february" and didn't think to try "12 feb".

    It would be interesting to know whether the vehicle in question was a Panther or Jagdpanther.

    Please do supplement your excellent thread with the citation report! Once again I am much obliged to the work you have done.
  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Thank you very much, Owen!

    I think this confirms that these vehicles were Panthers rather than Jagdpanthers. Also it seems clear now that the AT Regiment's war diary was incorrect when it recorded the counter-attack was at 1000.

    Curiously, the "vehicle names spreadsheet" version 4 does not record a Firefly with the name Hellzapoppin. I was hoping that would indicate which tank unit was in support (which might be helpful for Stolpi's thread?) although I am sure that could be determined some other way or might already be known.
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I do not have pictures nor descriptions of this tank.

    According to Heinz Günther Guderian, "Das Letzte Kriegsjahr im Westen, die Geschichte der 116. Pz Division, 1944 -45", there were 8 - 10 tanks of the 116.Pz Division available. Together with the attached tanks of the s.Pz.Jg Abt. 655 these were organized into a 'Panzer Gruppe Brinkmann'. The attack against the British positions was conducted by the I./60 Pz.Gren Regt on the right and the I./156 Pz.Gren Regt on the left, while the II./60 was held in reserve (the II./156 had not yet arrived on the battlefield). The I./60 attack - aiming for Hau - was repulsed, the attack of the I./156 reached the Horstmannshof before it stalled. German losses in the attack - especially in infantry - were high.

    From the "Foreign Military Study B-215, 116. Pz Div, 16.1 to 3.3.1945" it transpires that the right assault group was supported by the 8 - 10 organic tanks of the 116.Pz. Div. (a mixed group of Panther and MK IV tanks) while the left assault group got the support of six heavy assault guns (Jagdpanther).

    So probably a Panther (or MK IV). There is no mention of knocked out tanks in the German reports, but the commander of the tank group - Hauptmann Brinkmann - was severely wounded and died next day.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Page 114 describing events on the 11th says..

    "C" Company was still leading with a troop of tanks of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards.
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  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    13/18 Hussars - or at least one squadron - were also there on the 12th in support of the 43rd Recce. The 13/18 Hussars assisted the Recce in a probe along the Cleve - Goch road. They ran into the left wing of the German attack, though, and lost some tanks - also some recce vehicles were knocked out.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  12. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    You are all amazing :)

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