This was the first Normandy port to fall into Allied hands, but the Germans had so thoroughly demolished its facilities that it was of little benefit to the Allies for months. The tank wreck in the foreground is a French Renault R-35 light tank. His father repaired adding machines for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company until he lost his job. But Taylor says they were completely outmatched by the Germans' massive Tiger tanks, heavily-armored monsters armed with the feared 88 mm guns. We wonder about the rest that served with us in the artillery unit we served in. This is a demonstration of how the Sommerfield matting was intended to be used once foliage was attached. Another view of the Panther Ausf. One such officer discovered Captain Red Berry and Company C of the 740th posted near Sprimont. When Rubel spotted an artillery crew driving east with a towed 155mm cannon, he stopped them and had them set up behind the chateau, where they added their Shermans’ 105mm fire. By daybreak on the 22nd, Berry had maneuvered a platoon of M4s right up to St. Edouard’s. Between 50 and 100 SS panzergrenadiers, many screaming “Heil Hitler,” stormed St. Edouard’s and pushed the GIs out. It was during this attack that Lt. Col. Rubel stood atop a chateau wall and directed fire. Fighting it's way toward the German border. This meant it was to reequip with M4 Sherman medium tanks and M5A1 Stuart light tanks. He called home, but when Billie did not answer, he immediately went home and found she had overdosed on sleeping pills. The German push west came to a violent end. G knocked out while supporting Grenadier Regiment 1058's attacks on U.S. paratroopers in Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Within hours it was ordered to deliver its nine borrowed M4s to another unit. “I heard two hits and saw the Brits sliding straight across the floor.” Miller recalled. Lo by midJuly. Staff officers from the 30th Division spread out in all directions to find anyone who could help hold the line west of Stoumont. Two more shots put the Panther out of action permanently. This 57mm gun is seen deployed behind a hedgerow in July 1944. Miller did not know if they were Germans, Americans, or Belgians. CCB, 3rd Armored Division, passes the knocked-out German column. The "salad fork" developed by the 747th Tank Battalion was one of the first attempts to develop such a device. The American officer in charge addressed the prisoners through a bullhorn. Deadly German fire kept the Americans out of La Gleize that day, but everyone knew the end was near. We raced volkswagens on our time off and we'd go to the range and shoot all day. IV chassis and was first encountered by the U.S. Army in Normandy in June 1944. “I considered her my mother,” he said. An M4 tank supporting troops near Haye-du-Poits on 7 July. Out of fuel, ammunition, and supplies, Peiper passed the word to his exhausted troops: “Destroy your equipment and escape on foot.”. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments. Copyright © 2006–2020, Some rights reserved. Occasionally, the Germans shelled the American side of the river and the Americans returned fire. This example was modified by the 9th Air Service Command ordnance for airfield protection in Normandy by adding a gun shield along with a German aircraft machine gun found on a captured airfield. When time came to take the Individual Tank Crew Test, the 740th passed with an average score of 83.73 percent, the highest record in the armored force at the time. “I don’t know if it’s because we were scared or just didn’t have any better sense, but we got the job done.”. This one was hit no fewer than four times, but from the size of the gouges on the bow, it was probably a victim of M4 tanks of the 746th Tank Battalion. After serving his country for more than three decades in war and peace, Miller became a private investigator. Company: 480th Port Battalion: 746th Tank Battalion Rubel started his training program with the basics of driving and firing, day and night, over the roughest terrain. There were 110 of these in service in France in 1944, mainly in Normandy. The other StuG I I I Ausf. “He would tell us, ‘Left two meters, down one meter,’” explained Miller. When Miller joined the 740th, it was encamped at Aubin-Neufchateau, Belgium, about 10 miles west of the German city of Aachen. The M4 numbered 1-35 is named Intruder and is from one of the armored regiments of the 3rd Armored Division. Could the tankers get into action before Peiper attacked? Showing mercy on his former enemies, Miller sometimes gave his spare clothes to the hapless prisoners. “I never thought much of [General George S.] Patton,” he recalled of the Third Army’s commander. The 740th Tank Battalion, so desperately thrust into action against Kampfgruppe Peiper, was formed in March 1943 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Crashing through Ligneuville, Stavelot, and La Gleize, the enemy column was, by midday on December 18, only 12 road miles from First Army headquarters, located in the resort town of Spa, Belgium. A pair of Panthers block a narrow country lane in Le Desert after the failed Panzer Lehr Division's counterattack of 11 July. The Battle of the Bulge had reached its peak. His premonition proved correct. Miller joined the Army’s Enlisted Reserve Corps at age 15, claiming he was 18. The Americans quickly knocked out three Panther tanks and stopped the Germans’ progress. The tank crews were mostly farm boys and ranchers. . Late in the afternoon, some American infantrymen occupied St. Edouard’s Sanatorium, a large brick building on the eastern edge of Stoumont. Again Ashby’s aim was true, his shell ricocheting off the Panther’s lower front slope plate. As snow fell, the 740th continued to support the 30th Infantry Division. First Army needed accurate information to find and then halt the German advance. Thank you so much again for helping me A view down the road as an M4A1 medium tank of the 33rd Armored Regiment passes by two knocked-out Pz.Kpfw. By nightfall, the U.S. advance had gone 2,000 yards past Stoumont while enduring ferocious German resistance. Brave Americans like Cecil Taylor turned the tide of battle, stopping Hitler’s elite SS at Stoumont. Once with the 8th, the Daredevils pushed forward to the city of Düren and the Roer River. How cool is that. This time, 2nd Platoon, led by 1st Lt. John E. Callaway, spearheaded the attack. Here is a demonstration in July prior to their operational debut in Cobra. He only saw explosions and La Gleize’s church steeple. Once, on a narrow road, his driver rolled over some dead bodies. The work took him closer to the front than his tank had. The other StuG I I I Ausf. He also could not see the effects of his Sherman’s fire, since the targets were too far away on the other side of a forest. The problems posed by the bocage led to a number of attempts to find a way to crash through the hedgerows. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. There were no celebrations on Christmas Day. The battalion traveled through Paris and passed through several French towns on the way to Neufchateau, Belgium, where they prepared men and equipment for the battles ahead. “Everyone was beside themselves,” he said. “I remember seeing railroad tracks tied in a knot from the blasts,” he said. The next vehicle in line was not even a tank. As can be seen, the attack was beaten back with the loss of two assault guns and some towed antitank guns. There are moments in military history that forever alter the flow of human events. “She was nice looking,” he remembered, “and she had blond hair.”. All across the Ardennes Forest, American forces were reeling from a surprise German counterattack that struck on the morning of December 16, 1944. Two hours later, Captain James D. Berry (nicknamed “Red” for his shock of flame-colored hair) had Company C on the road to Sprimont. Someone remembered Rubel’s dismounted Daredevils, and at 12:45 pm on December 18, orders went out: move to Sprimont, draw all available armor, and prepare to defend the depot. H, which was armed with the effective 75mm PaK 40 antitank gun. Suddenly, according to driver Technician 4th Grade Robert Russo, “All hell broke loose.” Shells from a hidden antitank gun pierced Oglensky’s tank, forcing his crew to bail out. The M8 light armored cars of the reconnaissance company of the 29th Division in the ruins of St. He recalled firing once at some escaping Germans on the side of the road. The problems posed by the bocage led to a number of attempts to find a way to crash through the hedgerows. Neither Loopey nor his gunner, Corporal William H. Beckman, had ever seen an M36 before but thought they could get this lightly armored tank killer running. © Copyright 2020 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. He saw an old Junkers Ju-87 Stuka, which had once terrorized Allied armies by dive-bombing with its siren tearing the air. “Their families were dead and their towns bombed out.”. This Panther was knocked out by a 57mm antitank gun and was photographed near St. His parents were dead, his oldest sister had married, and one of his brothers was in the Pacific. In it's first half hour of combat, it stopped the furthest advance of the German 1st SS Panzer Division at Stoumont Station, Belgium. Captain Berry, Lieutenant Powers, and Staff Sergeant Loopey each received a Silver Star for their actions at Stoumont. Lo after its capture. “We’d fire and he would tell us when to quit.”. The M4 medium tank in the background is probably from the 2nd Armored Division. “We would go past a bombed-out building and we knew there were dead bodies in there,” he recalled. The day was cold, and icy fog kept visibility down to 100 yards or less. One marauding enemy column particularly worried General Hodges. The entire battalion qualified with pistols, carbines, rifles, and Thompson submachine guns. Out in the sprawling Arizona maneuver area the men built a dummy minefield, infiltration course, and even a mock city. With artillery finally in position, American infantry and tankers prepared to resume their attack at dawn. If it was warm enough outside, he slept under the tank in case of an enemy artillery air burst. During the campaign, the 70th Tank Battalion provided support to the 4th Infantry Division. This example has the side panels folded down. On April 30, the battalion helped the 82nd Airborne and 8th Infantry Divisions cross the Elbe River.

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