Jump to content
Historical War Militaria Forum

Recommended Posts

Another truck piece found at the target location. It was found in the same area as the fuel/oil cap (mentioned earlier). I have no idea what this piece is, however it looks to be some kind of pull release for a truck bonnet etc.

It was found very close to the surface (about an inch deep), and was badly corroded with rust. It has cleaned up really well, and will hopefully clean up better still given more time.

If any of you guys have any idea what this piece is, then please drop me a message and let me know...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This piece had me quite concerned when we found it. It gave a huge signal on the metal detector, and at first we thought it could possibly be another bomb. It was at a shallow depth, and is around 3 feet in length. I for one was very relieved to find that it wasn't a bomb...!!!

It seems to be a metal truck step, which would have been attached to the rear of the truck.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were literally hundreds of pieces of this truck which littered this area.

The pieces mentioned are just a few. Research of the Bombing Analysis Unit Report reveal that a 500lb short delay fused bomb had detonated at a distance of 60ft from this truck. It also states that the strikes to the top of the truck had probably been caused by machine gun fire.

The following pictures show the location as found by the BAU along with a picture of the site before we started digging...

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was an unusual find.

A part of a 9mm casing. Not so strange to find a 9mm casing in Normandy, except this turns out to be an American bullet...

There were no American forces in this area either before or directly after this attack. The casing was found in the location of the tented area. It has cleaned up well enough to show the markings 'WRA' - Winchester Repeating Arms Co who were from New Haven, CT USA.

In the pictures below, you can see the remains of the found casing, alongside pictures of how it would have looked...

Interesting as to how it got here. My thoughts are that a German officer had a captured American weapon, from earlier fighting in Normandy.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Generals Car... Located in a corner of the orchard was the position of this target vehicle.

A sweep of the area uncovered some interesting finds, and a researched document is quoted as saying that this Panzer General was seen arriving on the location just as the attack began.

The Bombing Analysis Unit Report states that 2 X 500lb nose instantaneous fused bombs detonated at 93ft & 111ft from this vehicle, along with another that detonated in the nearby trees. The car was hit by at least 200 fragments, and that the insignia of a Generals car was found beside this vehicle.

In the pictures below you will see the wheel nuts that we found in this location, alongside a large piece of bomb shrapnel that was just 10ft from the car at a depth of 2 inches. This Panzer General was lucky to escape with just a wounding, as a large number of his Staff were killed...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the investigation of the target area, further exceptional finds were unearthed, starting with this piece of uniform.

Measuring 10 inches in length, at a depth of 8 inches, this piece of black uniform material was located along with 2 death head skulls, a wound badge in silver, a pocket watch, and compass/direction finder instrument.

Below are pictures of the piece of material, along with the 'Totenkopf' insignia...

These were incredible pieces to find, and were further confirmation of Panzer elements targeted in this attack...

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure there will be more "finds" Dave..

Hi,

I'm confident of further finds. Hopefully Panzer relic parts will start to emerge from the next location.

These Panzer finds although fantastic, are not the tank parts which I crave to find...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice finds, they are from a Heer Panzer solider, black jacket with the 2 Panzer collar skulls.  

 

Lou

Hi

Thank you for your comments.

There was a third collar skull that we found, however this one was broken. All 3 were in an area around 10ft apart.

I will post a picture of all 3 together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned above, this is a picture of all 3 collar skulls that were found.

The 3rd is broken, which is unfortunate, however, after looking at it closer it seems that the break is quite a clean cut. The only conclusion we can think of as to how this happened is by a direct hit by a razor sharp piece of bomb shrapnel travelling at a few hundred miles an hour.

The target area would have been a killing zone, with tens of thousands of shrapnel pieces shredding anything in their path...

We had an archaeological team on hand to preserve, document, and log any remains found, however it was unusual that no remains at all were found in this area...

A researched document did highlight the fact that after the bombing attack, surviving German troops did bury the bodies of the dead in one of the bomb craters (of which there were many).

We have also found information stating that directly after the war, these bodies were exhumed and transferred to a nearby official German War Cemetery....

I have a photo of the original burial memorial, which I will post about at a later date...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To reach areas of the 'target location', we had to go 'off road'. Deeper into the wooded area, until we reached the location of 3 of the researched targets on the overlap document.

After researching from Typhoon squadron reports that ALL vehicles at the target location were destroyed, with most left burning or obliterated, it wasn't a shock to find scorched earth at a very shallow depth.

As you can see from the pictures below, after scraping just a few inches of the topsoil at the location, we unearthed a burnt area where one of the German trucks was positioned. This area was littered with pieces of this vehicle.

This target vehicle had 2 x 500lb bombs detonate a short distance from it (50 & 90ft), however it would have been destroyed by low attacking rocket propelled Typhoon's, as according to the Bombing Analysis Unit report, the 2 bombs would have only caused fragment damage...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got to be some relic pieces there Dave, unless the scrap man has been about... :smile:

Hi

There were plenty of vehicle pieces at this location. We went quite deep in the end, however it was only pieces of truck at this particular location.

The Panzer pieces elude us for now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to backtrack for a moment. I mentioned earlier in this thread about the surviving Germans burying the dead in a bomb crater.

The quote read,

'A researched document did highlight the fact that after the bombing attack, surviving German troops did bury the bodies of the dead in one of the bomb craters (of which there were many).'

After much research I managed to find a photograph of an RAF Squadron Commanding Officer on a field visit to the target location. He was seeing first hand the devastation caused by the attack in which he contributed. This photograph shows him standing next to the burial site (bomb crater), which had been decorated with a large wooden Iron Cross and a plaque with the names of the dead.

This photograph was taken 6 months after the attack...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An exciting development with this project.

In the same area as the officers Staff Car, close to the position where we found the field glasses (binoculars), we found a camera. It was at a depth of 12 inches, and was in very rough condition. My colleague sent this off to an expert, as we believed that it contained a film.

We have had a reply from the expert, who has confirmed that there was indeed a film still inside the camera, and that they have managed to retrieve it.

We now have to wait for confirmation that this film is in a condition to be processed.

We have been told that the chances are slim, however we might yet get a few pictures from it...

It would be truly incredible to get any pictures at all....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ReichFeldpost:

 

Hello! Absolutely amazing research and field work, very impressive. Thank you for sharing your journey with the Forum, please keep us posted.

 

Best regards,

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ReichFeldpost:

 

Hello! Absolutely amazing research and field work, very impressive. Thank you for sharing your journey with the Forum, Please keep us posted.

 

Best regards,

John

Hi

Thank you for your comments, it's appreciated.

This is just a small insight into the research for this project. It really is an incredible story... It is also only the first target location investigated, as there are multiple target sites to be researched.

We first thought the research could take around a year, however this now looks like being extended...

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was the wound badge that we found at the site. The location where this was found was consistent with other pieces found in the immediate area, and after further research we are confident that we know who the holder of this medal was....

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a long break from posting about this project, I am pleased to announce that it will 'soon be back', with further updates on research elements.

We have been very busy behind the scene's with this project, and have found some truly INCREDIBLE historical facts about this attack and the consequences of it...

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a long period of logging field finds, map referencing locations and photographs, it was time for further research...

An interesting development in the research element of the project was unearthed when discovering an American document containing a detailed interview with SS GeneralMajor Fritz Kraemer relating to 1 SS Panzer Corps & 12 SS Panzer Division in the West in 1944.

The interview took place through August & September of 1948 when Kraemer was a prisoner of the Americans.

It was a multi paged document, extremely detailed in content.

A few important points to note from the document are the facts that Kraemer states that on the morning of the day of attack representatives of the Luftwaffe attended a conference along with high ranking officers of the Army at the target location to discuss the possibility of a major counter attack in the direction of Creully using at least 2 Panzer Divisions.

The Luftwaffe couldn't guarantee air cover, and without it this counter attack would have been doomed to failure, so the idea was scrapped...

The decision to scrap the counter attack is a decision that saved many Canadian lives, as it was the Canadians who liberated Creully on D-Day.

There is much more information that we gained from this document, of which I will post about at a later date...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

 

An interesting thread, fine research and a good read.

 

Thank you for this thread.

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

 

An interesting thread, fine research and a good read.

 

Thank you for this thread.

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

Thank you Eric, I'm glad you like it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were further important pieces of information gained from the Kraemer document.

After trawling through the interview pages I stumbled across the GeneralMajor's account of this devastating RAF attack on the Panzer HQ...

It states that signal communications with 7th Army were very poor, with telephone calls only possible through a relay station which was handled by an Army general Staff Officer.

He continues with detail of how after the Panzer HQ was smashed by the attack, that the Chief of Staff along with around 40 Officers and men were killed.

This had the effect of completely disabling the control and command HQ for all Panzer Divisions in Normandy. Control was then placed under direct control of 7th Army (with poor signal communications).

Considering that this attack happened just days after the D-Day landings, it allowed the Allies to really gain a firm foot hold in Normandy.

Kraemer also confirmed that the Allied reconnaissance deception tactic worked, as he states that 'continual attacks from enemy aircraft in which the aircraft were often low enough for men on the ground to identify crew members, often had paralysing effects on our troops'...

It was after this revelation that the researched information became VERY interesting indeed.

It contained statements of promised Troop/Division movements to reinforce the German lines, however after cross referencing with another researched document it highlighted a direct link to Rommel, his staff, and the Valkyrie plot to assassinate Hitler...

PANZER HUNT - IT'S OUT THERE...

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×