Need help. Panzerfaust or something bigger?

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Sherman Baxendale.jpg

    There has been some discussion about this knocked out 'Sherman Firefly' of the 13/18th Hussars at the village of Megchelen (28 March 1945). See for the complete story: RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew')

    The story goes that this tank was knocked out by a 'Panzerfaust' at close range. IMHO, judging from the size of the impact, it must have been a large caliber gun. According to the War Diaries the 13/18th were fired upon by enemy SP-guns (Hetzers?).

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    CL1 likes this.
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Why the 2 arrows? The visible hole is clearly an AP hit as HC penetrations are around the size of your finger.
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Thanks M Kenny - The two arrows are not mine, they were on the original photo I received from the family of the tank driver, who didn't survive, as did the rest of the crew. The impact, indicated by the bigger arrow, is the one I meant. The other one probably shows the spot of a glancing shot (not sure).

    HC = hollow charge?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  4. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    This is a Panzefaust strike inside and outside. It seems German 'holes' were a little bit bigger than i thought.
  5. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Penetration from a shaped charge warhead detonating against the left hull side of a French M4A2.
    Shaped-charge warheads usually leave a distinct pattern of spall away from the point of penetration. It seems too me that edges of the "holes" are far more jagged than those created by an AP round.

    stolpi likes this.
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    But, to me this seems still is a smaller hole than an AP round.

    Canuck - so it could be a Panzerfaust?

    (Like your new avatar BTW)
    canuck likes this.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    If a projectile weapon, I'm voting 'Normal' AP.

    That colander Grant was created using panzefaust projectiles, I think of various sizes, and the holes are quite small.
    Panzerfaust testing

    I suppose diaries, accounts, AARs etc. might confirm what was going on at the time (what sort of hole does a hafthohlladung leave?), But on balance it's most likely to be AP.
    stolpi likes this.
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Thanks von Poop - The War Diary of 13/18th Hussars states enemy SP guns (which must have been those nasty volatile Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzers). The War Diary of the 7th Hampshires complains about lots of enemy SP-fire and bazookas (sic).

    Now the local story goes that a German fired three Panzerfaust shots at the Sherman from close range, but it's one of those 'hear-say' stories that sometimes tend to get persistent. I will be visiting the site next October with family (sister) of the fallen tank-driver and hope to give her the real story.
  9. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    From what I've read and seen, I'd put my 50p on an 88mm AP.
  10. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Any thoughts about the distance from which the AP could have been fired; assuming that it was a Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    What makes you think it was a Hetzer & not another model of SP gun ?
  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Yes, Panzerfaust or Panzerschreck
  13. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    The War diaries mention enemy SP's, so I went looking for units that were active in the area. The area of Megchelen fell within the sector of the 1.Fallschirm Armee which disposed of the 741. Panzerjäger Abteilung (three companies each equiped with 14 Jagdpanzer 38 (t) or Hetzer). I assume it was this unit that saw action near the village. The Hetzers were also active opposite the 51st Highland Division. One was KO'd at Dinxperlo which is not far from Megchelen. See: RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew') and RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew')

    Other likely candidates fall of, the 15. Pz Gren Div (Jagdpanzer IV L/70), by that time was operating against 12 Corps further east near Bocholt (RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew')) and the Panzerjägerabteilung 346 (STUG's and Marder III), belonging to the neighbouring 25.Armee, was fully engaged by the Canadians at Emmerich further westwards (RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew')).
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    Owen and canuck like this.
  14. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    Tricky Dicky, SDP and 8RB like this.
  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Visit by Pat Williams the sister of James ('Bill') Baxendale to Megchelen. Her first time visit to the grave at the Military Cemetery at Mook and the site of the fieldgrave. She was 14 when her brother died.

    Her parents, devastated by the loss of their only son, went over to Holland in 1946 to visit the fieldgrave at Megchelen. They were accompanied by Bill's young wife, Jean. She and Bill were married a couple of days before he left to fight in Europe. The Baxendale's received a very warm welcome by the local inhabitants. The wreck of the Sherman Firefly at the time was still 'in situ'. On request of the father one of the steering sticks of the tank - the last object held by his son - was removed from the tank and taken back to Engeland. Upon returning to England the parents named their house at Timperley "Megchelen".

    Pat brought the steering stick back to Megchelen and donated it, together with Bills medals, to the local History Museum.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    Tricky Dicky, SDP, Owen and 1 other person like this.
  16. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Well done Stolpi!
    stolpi likes this.
  17. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    BTW the Sherman was knocked out by a stationary A/T-gun, positioned at a farmyard along the Uilenweg, about 700 meters to the left. A fact that has been confirmed by eye-witnesses (one of the children of the family who lived at the farm). From this position the Sherman was knocked out with a couple of shots, one a glancing shot on the front side of the tank. The enemy resistance had immediate repercussions for all buildings along the Uilenweg, by nightfall the sky turned red of the fires of the burning farms, all of them set on fire by the Crocodiles.

    Google Map.jpg

    Baxendale tank 2.jpg Baxendale tank 1.jpg
    After the war, somewhere in 1946, the wreckage of the Sherman Firefly was towed by a steamroller to the village of Megchelen and displayed at the village center as a War Monument. There it stood next to the church until it was sold to a scrap dealer and demolished in 1956.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    Tricky Dicky and Owen like this.
  18. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    A simple 'convert to greyscale' on the photo 2 posts above can remove the obtrusive yellow mark.

    stolpi and Tricky Dicky like this.

Share This Page