Panzerwrecks 8: Corrections and Clarifications from Niels Henkemans

Niels Henkemans was kind enough to share some of his expertise on the Normandy campaign with us:

“The Stu.Gesch. on p.32 and 33 clearly belonged to Stu.Gesch.Abt.1243 (the renamed 2./Pzj.Abt.243) as it was the only formation with those vehicles in the area. You can also ask Martin about this as we have been discussing this in the past. (Both Stu.Gesch. on page 27 of Panzerwrecks 1 (revised) also belonged to that formation.). Pzj.Abt.709 only had Marder I ‘Lorraine’.

The story on p.32 and p.33 of PW8 about who knocked out that Stu.Gesch. is incorrect. It was knocked out by the 57mm AT-gun next to the vehicle. It belonged to the 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion (82nd Airborne Division) and the commander of the gun received a Silver star for knocking out the Stu.Gesch. When the crew pushed the gun forward past the vehicle (to get a clear LOS) the second Stu.Gesch. fired, taking out the crew. A soldier from the 505PIR took over the gun and knocked out the second vehicle. He received a DSC for that action. While it is true the 746th Tank Battalion also fought on that road, they didn’t arrive until later. That force included tanks from HQ section, the assault gun platoon and B Company. C Company did not arrive until later that day. The 746th clearly took out some Panzers on that road that day but they probably were further away from the town (in and around Neuville au Plain). It cannot be excluded they fired some rounds into the Stu.Gesch. (which looks like Swiss cheese) but if they did, they would have been firing at a wreck and shouldn’t be credited for it.”

Thanks Niels