The Battle of Cassel 1940 - Research

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've decided today on my next trip to France (70th Anniversary in May) I'm going to photograph The Battle of Cassel and 'The Defence of Hondeghem by K Bty 5 RHA'.

    I've got the later covered thanks to Idler's thread and the others who contributed to it but I reckon I could do with some more detail on Cassel and what was happening and where.

    I've got a copy of the 'Map' and some general information in my books but is there anything very specific related to the Ox and Bucks and the Glosters who were defending the town in the form of books etc?

    All contributions appreciated as searches on Amazon and Abe have drawn a blank regarding books.

    Also got this thread:

    Glosters at Cassel

    Cheers all,
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks to Dave aka Mr C.

    4th Bn. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Private Vaughan

    Lance Corporal Eldridge and Signaller Smythe

    Lance Corporal Greenhough
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Does anyone know where 'The Keep' is in Cassel? It's mentioned a few times in the diaries above but no grid ref is given.

  10. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Cancel my last - that was Hazebrouck, not Cassel!
  11. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    On the Cassel sketch map by Captain Jones (Sebag p531) 'The Keep' is annotated as the block of buildings on the south side of Place Dunkerque which is where the Bank was/is, but the building to the right of this looks rather castle-like to me?
    Fantastic War Diaries, there!
    Looking North towards Place Dunkerque:

    Attached Files:

    • Keep.JPG
      File size:
      215.9 KB
    Drew5233 likes this.
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I couldn't quite figure it out looking at the West side of the town. Cheers.

  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    First effort (excuse the poor crayoning):

    Attached Files:

  14. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    How about this effort?
    Cassel Town Satellite.JPG
    I have just cut & paste reverse images (black writing & annotations did not show up too well) of portions of the sketch map onto a Google map.
    Not too sure about my placing of D Coy on the road to Bavinchove however.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I think I need to print them off (Google Earth-Non Satellite Version) and have a buthers.

    I think I may leave this battle for the third trip this year as I'm begiining to think it will require a bit more research than originaly anticipated after reading about the battle today at work.

    Cheers for your help chaps.
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    On the off chance, does anyone know of any other maps that exsist to do with the battle at Cassel?

    Link added for ref:

    Glosters at Cassel
  17. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Not much in the History of the RA.

    24 Field Rgt's war diary states:
    At Cassel on 26th May Capt Daukes's OP engaged tanks only 50 yards from his position with great success. Capt Rowlandson was well in front of the infantry when he was cut off but he got away. Capt Robinson destroyed several tanks near Ledringhem and Capt Dixon took a gun to meet enemy advancing from Riet Veld and killed many.

    28th May - Capt Robinson and his OP party, L/Bdr Warne and Gnr's Wright and Hawkins did great work getting the Glosters out from their position between Ledringhem and Cassel and then fought their way out as infantry. Warne was wounded and captured and was awarded the MM. Gnr Wright was killed.

    5 RHA had a hard fight at Cassel from 26th to 28th May. On 26th Capt Holman of G Bty formed an anti-tank screen at Wormhout. 2 Lt Lanyon took Sgt Bartle's gun of B Troop and an armoured OP with a patrol of Fife & Forfar Yeo and hit 2 tanks.

    27th May - B Troop heavily shelled with 2 men killed, 10 wounded and 1 gun out of action. Capt Norman took out a section to engage tanks while he could. 2 Lt Wixley awarded MC when GPO of G Troop. He had 2 guns put out of action by shell fire and then helped man the remaining guns to keep up the rate of fire to help F Troop at Hondeghem. He also knocked out several tanks himself when down to a single gun.

    Sgts Bartle, Foster & Ratly & Gnrs Myerthall & Thomas of G Troop were all awarded the MM for gallantry under fire that day.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  18. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Just being reading this very good account of an a Worcestshire Yeomanry anti-tank gunners experience defending Cassel here -

    Dunkirk - the untold story

    in it he mentions that forty enemy tanks were destroyed by AT guns at Cassel ,could this be correct ?
  19. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Hi Derek
    This bit caught my eye:
    "On 26th Capt Holman of G Bty formed an anti-tank screen at Wormhout." Was this battery present on the day of battle ie 28th?

    Seems to be some indication that the RA were present at Wormhoudt in addition to the 53rd Worcester Yeomanry RA.

    For example B Company Warwicks war diary talks of a 9pd gun

    "5 light tanks came down road to block. Fired on – direct hit by 9-pd gun and tanks turned around "

    I have never heard of a 9 pd gun - is this a HRA weapon?
  20. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    I don't know whether this is of interest but I am attaching a report by a Cheshire gunner on the subject of Cassel.

    Actually the Cheshire historian says that a composite of A/C coy 4th Battalion Cheshires were used, the numbers being 4, 6 and 11 (not 12, as stated in the soldier's report) platoon.

    4 covered the South, 6 the North and 11 the West approaches

    I can understand why 5 platoon is missing since it was destroyed on the Dendre but I can't see what happened to the two missing C Coy platoons. C Coy was in reserve at the Dendre and should have been more or less intact.

    Apparently 2 platoon, their AA light guns was initially left at Cassel but was subsequently returned before the action started.

    The official report also talks of Lt Col Danson, CO 4th Cheshires, taking a Battery of 53rd AT RA with him.

    They claim to have covered the withdrawl of the Infantry and 4 Platoon being the last to leave of Cassel as it covered the withdrawal of 6 and 11 platoon.

    Major Gore-Hickman, commanding Cheshires at Cassel died of wounds and Lt Golland was killed. All other Officers captured.

    Attached Files:

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