Real Life Panzerwrecks – Sd.Kfz.251/9. Falaise Gap survivor

Nicolas Leloup contacted me back in December 2011 regarding the Sd.Kfz.251/9 seen behind the Panther in the boneyard at Saint-Lambert sur Dives, and shown in all its glory in the rear gatefold of Panzerwrecks 11: Normandy 2. Here is what he had to say:

… I also own a collection of WWII collectibles and especially german Sd Kfz; all of them coming from Normandy. My father started to collect in the seventies and during the last 15 years I spent all my time and money in this passionating collection.

I have watch with many attention the last page of Panzerwrecks/ Normandy 2 : dump at Saint Lambert sur Dives.

As you can see in the middle, just behind Panther #234, there is a Sd Kfz 251/9 which catch my attention because the cab has a big hole on the driver side. And in my collection, I have such a cab with big hole at the same place and please have a look on attached photos :

  • The hole has the same shape
  • It is at the same place/location on the vehicle
  • The bottom right corner of the hole has the same shape on my cab and on your photo.
  • This cab was purchased by my father in the Trun dump close to Saint Lambert. The Saint Lambert dump with all the vehicles were the property after the war of Mr Maurat who was a scrapyard man who purchased all the Falaise/Chambois battle wrecks from the french state by auction. His main depot was the Trun dump and he used to gathered all the vehicles in some place like Saint Lambert before to scrap them and store them in Trun dump; just nearby Saint Lambert.

My 3 questions are the followings :

  • Do you have a better quality view of this Sd Kfz 251/9 ? Do you have any close-up of this vehicle?
  • Is it possible to have a copy of this Saint Lambert dump panoramic view?
  • Following you, what is the tactical number on the armour side ?

Note that this Sd Kfz 251/9 is one of my restoration project as I have the complete 7,5cm gun and the complete chassis. It means it is a survivor of the Falaise/Chambois gap!

If anyone has any more information or images of this particular vehicle would they please drop me a line using my contact form and I will pass it on to Mr Leloup. Below are the two photos he sent to me, along with a crop of the vehicle in question.

Panzerwrecks 11: Normandy Marders: Unit and Location Identification from Niels Henkemans

The vehicle on p.21-23 matches a vehicle that was destroyed near Isigny, [and points to] Pzj.Abt.352. Shots of a Panzerjager 35R(f) at the same dump support a link with 352.Inf.Div. as Schnelle Brig. 30 fought with that division from the beginning of the invasion.

Page 52: It is certain the vehicle was photographed at the Chef-du-Pont dump, meaning it is a vehicle of 1./Pzj.Abt.243.

Many thanks to Niels for bringing these identifications to our attention!

Panzerwrecks 11 and the Shape of Things to Come

No matter how good an original photo is when we first come across it, we always try to make it better during production. You have no idea how much work Lee puts into removing scuffs and stains and tears and tape. (Photos we used in PW8 originally had rusted staples in them, and Lee made them magically disappear!) The wonderful AMC photos in ‘Repairing the Panzers’ needed to be given plenty of white space and room to breathe to showcase their incredible detail, whereas the photos from manuals were clustered closer together for maximum impact. ‘Panzerwrecks 11,’ presented new challenges: The cover had to be revised to accommodate double digits, and several panoramic photos would suffer if confined to our normal 280 mm page width. As you can see by the sample pages, to deal with these opposing concerns we reduced the typeface and added gatefolds. But at heart it’s still a ‘Panzerwrecks,’ where the images come first. It’s still about bringing together photos from disparate sources and making them into a coherent, well-rounded presentation, and it’s still made possible by a bunch of guys chipping in to hammer out unit identifications, match up vehicle locations and add context and background (aka ‘facts’) to our captions. So, if you haven’t done so already, check out the sample pages, and imagine the rest. More close-ups, more details, more walk-arounds; 128 photos in all to take us into 2011, where our most ambitious publishing schedule to date awaits your purview.

Stay tuned, stay Wrecked.