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ReichFeldpost:

 

Hello! Thank you so very much for sharing your 'Then and Now - Normandy' image, well done. I look forward to you updating topic.

 

Best regards,

John

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These photographs are taken from the entrance to the pathway directly opposite the stable doors of the building on the right (1st picture in this thread). Carrying the MG42 (with a slightly burnt stock) is Klaus Schuh who was Otto Funk's assistant on the weapon. There is a widely published photograph of SS trooper Otto Funk taken from this location.

Panther number 326 is parked directly in front of the double doors. I am standing where the Panther was parked.

There is an incredible story about what the tank crewman is doing in this picture.

The 'Panther' Commander has been cut in half in battle. According to research by my French historian friend, this was probably by a PIAT round during the Norrey attack.

The gunner (Gerd Krieger) is out of the turret cleaning the blood and body parts of his Commander off of the 'Panther'...

What a truly incredible but gory subject...

I hope that you enjoyed this 'Then and Now' series. I have more which I will post.

ReichFeldpost

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Hi David,

 

Thank you for your nice Then & Now photos, a job well done.

 

I am really looking forward to your mentioned ......"I have more which I will post"

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

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'Then and Now'...

This first photograph is of SS Otto Funk, exhausted and battle weary, his mind filled with the horrors of war that he witnessed. This photograph was taken on a small pathway in La Villeneuve at Rots. This is directly opposite the location where the 'Panther' was parked earlier in this thread...

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More 'Then and Now' from Normandy...

4th Company 'Panther' stands dormant in the street in Bretteville, after being destroyed by a PIAT round fired by Joe Lapointe.

The thing is, the PIAT round wasn't the shot that destroyed this 'Panther'. It took a round from another 'Panther' that mistook it to be an enemy tank. I have a great picture of this, and will add it to the next 'Then and Now' segment...

This was the first 'Panther' destroyed in Normandy.

There was some heavy fighting in Bretteville. On the opposite side of the road is a church, where some Germans took refuge. I have a great story to tell of this church.

In the picture, I'm standing in the position where the Panther was destroyed.

ReichFeldpost

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'Then and Now'

Following on on the above post, this is the Church opposite the house where the 'Panther' was destroyed in Bretteville.

German snipers had taken positions in the Church steeple, and after some heavy fighting with Canadian forces it was destroyed.

In the 3rd picture, I am standing where the 'Panther' was destroyed. I also investigated the Church, and managed to get up in the steeple. I have some magnificent pictures of this...

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Relating to the above post, these photo's show the inside of the Church at Bretteville.

The Church was deserted. The entrance to the steeple tower was a large old solid wooden door which was locked. After a short search I located the key (a large old iron key). The door opened to a small entrance to a spiral stone staircase which I just had to explore further (1st Picture).

The stone staircase was very narrow, and the higher you go the narrower it gets. I had to step sideways up the stairs about halfway up as my shoulders kept getting jammed between the stone walls. Round and round, higher and higher, until you reach a doorway which leads to a platform inside the steeple. This was where the German snipers would have taken position, as the views through the small slit windows offered a clear elevated view of the whole village (2nd & 3rd pictures).

I continued up, until I reached a roof hatch onto the steeple balcony. From here the views were truly amazing. You can clearly see the house where the 'Panther' was destroyed (4th picture)...

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This was an incredible moment, when I finally made it to the top of the steeple tower and stepped into a small area. The light from the sun was pouring into the steeple, and when I looked up I saw this...!!!

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'Then and Now'

This sequence of pictures is from a small dwelling opposite the Church (mentioned above). It is here that Canadian troops were stationed for a short while after the fighting for Bretteville.

In the picture below a Canadian trooper is showing a rather impressive tattoo. Notice the damage to the roof of the buildings, due to the fierce fighting that took place here...

In the 3rd picture, I am standing roughly where the tattooed Canadian stood...

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They just take you back to a forgotten moment in time Dave.

Yes indeed,

Just thought that you may be interested to know that I am in Normandy today. I have been on a field visit to the location of the project that I am researching.

I am spending tonight in Thury Harcourt. We had to cut short the sweep of the target area, as we uncovered 6 Mortar shells and had to call in the authorities...

I have some cool 'Then and Now' pictures...

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Hi David,

 

Thank you for continuing your Then & Now - Normandy thread.

 

I follow it with great interest.

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

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How  I  missed  this  thread?  This  is  brilliant. Thanks  for posting  David

 

Jim

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Hi David,

Thank you for continuing your Then & Now - Normandy thread.

I follow it with great interest.

Best regards

Eric-Jan

Hi

Thank you for your comments.

'Then and Now' shots I find fascinating. I love exploring these war locations.

Last night I explored the ruins of Le Chateau du Harcourt at 2 o'clock in the morning, very spooky indeed. This Chateau was built in 1635, survived the bombing and heavy fighting in the area of WW2, but was destroyed by the retreating German Division that was stationed there on 12 August 1944.

It's not an open ruin, however I managed to gain access, and have some really nice 'Then and Now' material that I will post when I return home.

Here's a little teaser of how the ruins looked in the early hours of this morning...

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How  I  missed  this  thread?  This  is  brilliant. Thanks  for posting  David

 

Jim

Hi

Thank you Jim... I will have to pull my finger out and post more then...

I'm glad you like my Then and Now...

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Jeez, that place looks like it's crawling with ghosts :ohmy:

 

Look forward to the pictures Dave.

 

"Then & Now" pictures really bring you back to those sad days of yesteryear.

 

I've always wanted to got to "Abbaye D'Ardennes", where 150+ Canadian soldiers where executed.

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Jeez, that place looks like it's crawling with ghosts :ohmy:

 

Look forward to the pictures Dave.

 

"Then & Now" pictures really bring you back to those sad days of yesteryear.

 

I've always wanted to got to "Abbaye D'Ardennes", where 150+ Canadian soldiers where executed.

Hi,

At 2 o'clock in the morning it was VERY SPOOKY...!!!

I went back at 08.00 this morning, and using the same access technique, I managed to take lots of lovely photographs from inside of the ruins in daylight... They are spectacular...!!!

May I ask, are you Canadian.? I have a real admiration for the Canadians. I have excellent research material of a Canadian Typhoon pilot involved with my project. He was one amazing individual...

I have had 7 hours sleep in 4 days..!!! It's my last day in the field tomorrow, and I haven't even found time to visit the 'Secret Barn'... Normandy is full of history. So much too see, so little time..!!!

I hope you make it to the Ardennes, a truly historical location....

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I did the Ardennes back in 1992 and did a lot of Peipers route. It's a great place to visit.

Jim

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I did the Ardennes back in 1992 and did a lot of Peipers route. It's a great place to visit.

Jim

Hi Jim

Did you take any pictures. I would be interested in seeing them if you did...

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Just to back track for a moment... I mentioned early in this thread about the 'Panther' which had been destroyed in Bretteville.

It had been hit by a PIAT round, however it was a direct hit from another 'Panther' that was mistaken in thinking this was an enemy tank that destroyed it.

I have at last found the photograph of this. You can clearly see the hole in the turret where it was hit. This would have caused devastation inside this 'Panther'. I had added a 'Now' photo again for comparison of location...

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Hi

Thank you for your comments.

'Then and Now' shots I find fascinating. I love exploring these war locations.

Last night I explored the ruins of Le Chateau du Harcourt at 2 o'clock in the morning, very spooky indeed. This Chateau was built in 1635, survived the bombing and heavy fighting in the area of WW2, but was destroyed by the retreating German Division that was stationed there on 12 August 1944.

It's not an open ruin, however I managed to gain access, and have some really nice 'Then and Now' material that I will post when I return home.

Here's a little teaser of how the ruins looked in the early hours of this morning...

 

Hi David,

 

That photo is indeed a teaser.......but not a little one.

A spooky image that you show us......asking for more.

I am really looking forward to more photos of that Chateau.

Thanks for showing.

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

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