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OneShot
03-29-2009, 02:19 PM
The Battle of Villers-Bocage




Compared to the really huge tank battles of WW2 such as Kursk and Seelow Heights, what happened at Villers-Bocage on June 13, 1944 was a relatively minor affair, yet it has been the most discussed and written about tank action of that war. The one question everyone has asked is, “How could four tanks virtually destroy an Armoured Brigade?” In reality, they had not, but the deeds that day of one man, Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, had effectively wrecked the British hopes of taking Caen early in the Normandy Campaign.

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SS Haupstrumfuhrer Michael Wittmann,
WW II career: 141 tank kills, 132 anti-tanks guns destroyed

The Battle of Villers-Bocage was fought on June 13 1944, during the Battle of Normandy between the British 7th Armored Division and German forces made up of the Panzer Lehr Division, 2nd Panzer Division and the Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 in the area around the town of Villers-Bocage in Normandy, France. The city of Caen was a vital allied objective and had not been captured as planned during D-Day. XXX Corps launched “Operation Perch” a push to the south of the city and envelop it from the west while other British troops from I Corps would attempt to envelop it from the east. The battle was a result of improvisation due to a successful push south by American troops to the west of XXX Corps, which created a 12 kilometer-wide gap within the German lines. The 7th Armored Division attempted to push through the gap and around the main defenses of the Panzer Lehr Division, which was holding up the advance of XXX Corps. The British believed that control over Villers-Bocage and the higher ground to the east of the town, called Point 213, would force the Panzer Lehr Division to retreat and possibly result in the capture of Caen.

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Operation Perch

Despite the disappointing results of the initial German counter-attacks, Hitler still planned a major German counteroffensive directed at the British and Canadian beach heads. Von Schweppenberg's Panzer Group West was tasked with organizing this, and set up a field headquarters in orchards near the village of Thury Harcourt, 12 miles south of Caen. Among its equipment were several powerful radio transmitter trucks. The signals sent out by these were picked up by British Traffic Analysis monitors, and on June 10th Allied Hawker Typhoons and B-25 Mitchell bombers hit the German HQ. Von Schweppenberg was injured and many of his staff killed. With Panzer Group West HQ for the moment out of action, responsibility for directing the German offensive was handed over to "Sepp" Dietrich of 1 SS Panzer Corps, who quickly decided that for the moment potential Allied opposition was too strong to make such an operation feasible.

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Wittmann briefs his tank commanders in Normandy 1944

Both Montgomery and the British Official History would claim in years to come that the Allied plan from the beginning had been for British 2nd Army to adopt an overall defensive strategy, aimed at drawing against it around Caen the bulk of the German panzer divisions and so easing the task of US 1st Army in expanding the bridgehead to the west and eventually breaking out. In fact, there is convincing evidence that for several weeks at least after D-Day, Montgomery still hoped to take Caen and thrust armored columns deep beyond it towards Falaise. By June 10th he was planning a major offensive intended to trap Caen and its defenders in the jaws of a double envelopment. While the 51st Highland Division and 4th Armored Brigade performed a short hook east of the city in the Orne valley, in the west the right pincer consisting of British XXX Corps spearheaded by 7th Armored Division, would take the key road junction of Villers Bocage. It would then turn east to link up with the 1st British Airborne Division which would be dropped in the Odon Valley, trapping the defenders of Caen.

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Camoflaged SS Schwere Pz. Abt. 101 Tiger in Normandy

However Montgomery's plan ran into immediate difficulties. Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, commanded the Allied Expeditionary Air Force refused to carry out the drop of 1st Airborne on the grounds that the operation would be too dangerous for his aircrews. German counterattacks east of Caen reinforced the view that opposition to the paratroops was likely to be too strong. Nevertheless, Montgomery put the rest of his plan into operation on June 10th, when 51st Highland Division opened its attack east of Caen, only to be firmly repulsed by 21st Panzer. With his planned left hook stalled, Montgomery's hopes of success rested on the drive to Villers Bocage, headed by 7th Armored. Initial progress here also proved slow. But on the evening of June 11th it became apparent that there was an opportunity to outflank Panzer Lehr which had been fiercely opposing 7th Armored around Tilly sur Seulles, and drive through a gap which existed between Panzer Lehr's left and the German 352nd Infantry Division opposing the US V Corps' drive on Caumont.

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SS 101st Heavy Tank Battlion Tiger I on the move in Normanady 44'


Speed was essential. Unfortunately Lieutenant-General G.C. Bucknall, commanding XXX Corps, lacked the necessary drive. It was not until midday on 12th June, urged on by General Richard Dempsey, Commanding 2nd Army, that Bucknell ordered Maj-General Robert Erskine of the 7th Armored, too disengage around Tilly and move round the Panzer Lehr's Divsion flank, heading for Villers-Bocage. Phase One of the battle began when the 22nd Armoured Brigade, with 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) in the lead, were ordered to capture the important road junction of Villers-Bocage and the high ground beyond (Point 213) on the morning of June 13th.


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Valuable time had been lost, and although the operation began well, it soon became clear that the British 7th Armored, famed as the "Desert Rats" in the North African campaign, were ill at ease in the confined surroundings of the Normandy bocage. Erskine would claim later that he had been given his orders to exploit the gap 24 hours too late. Even so, an opportunity still remained. Immediate opposition consisted of two armored and four infantry battalions of Panzer Lehr, reinforced by 101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion. With a 10-mile front to defend, the Germans could have been seriously stretched by an assault on a broad front, but fortunately XXX Corps elected to drive a narrow spearhead, headed by 7th Armored directly along the route to Villers Bocage.

Aware of the gap in their front line, and the probability that the British would attempt to exploit it, Schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 101 was dispatched to take up positions on the Panzer Lehr Division’s left flank and ordered to keep Villers-Bocage and Point 213 out of allied hands. The only unit from this formation, present in the vicinity of the town on the morning of June 13, was 2nd Company. This Company comprised six Tiger I’s: Said to be Tigers 211, 221, 222, 223, 233 and 234 (however, another Tiger 231 was photographed damaged after the battle) under the command of SS Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann. At full strength, the 2nd Company would have consisted of 14 Tiger tanks. However, the remaining Tigers, including Wittmann’s own, had not been able to complete the road march from Beauvais for various reasons, largely breakdowns. Also ,on the morning of June 13th 2nd Company's Tiger 221 was sent off to establish contact with the Panzer Lehr Division.



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Tiger I of the 101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion 2nd Company


The attack was to be headed by Brigadier Robert Hinde's 22nd Armored Brigade. Hinde was a fearless commander who believed in leading from the front. Pushing forward with reasonable speed, 22nd Armored was within 5 miles of Villers-Bocage by the evening of June 12th, when Hinde, uncertain of enemy strength, halted for the night. Early next morning the advance was resumed, and Villers-Bocage occupied to a rapturous reception from its inhabitants. Hinde ordered 'A' Squadron of the 4th County of London Yeomanry "Sharpshooters," supported by the motorized infantry of 'A' Company of the Rifle Brigade, to secure high ground, known as Hill 213, which lay about a mile north-east of the town. The commander of the Sharpshooters, Lieutenant Colonel Cranley was concerned about the lack of adequate reconnaissance before he made his advance, but was urged to haste by Hinde. While Cranley moved forward, four of his tanks and the motorized Riflemen remained parked in the road leading out of Villers-Bocage


The battle began on the morning of June 13th when the 22nd Armoured Brigade’s column consisting of “A” Squadron 4th County of London Yeomanry “The Sharpshooters”, “Sharpshooters” Regimental HQ, elements of 5th Royal Horse Artillery and the 1st Rifle Brigade with the 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) in the lead. The column were ordered to capture the important road junction of Villers-Bocage and the high ground beyond Point 213. Lt-Colonel Arthur Cranleigh, the commanding officer, had requested time to carry out a proper reconnaissance of the area as German armoured cars had been spotted observing the advance south from Tilly-sur-Seulles. Orders were, however, to push on regardless (which, apart from the immediate aim, accorded with the Allies’ overall strategy of keeping the German armour away from the American front). Leaving the regimental HQ tanks at the top of the main street in Villers-Bocage, ‘A’ Squadron was ordered forward to secure Point 213 about two km north-east up Route Nationale 175.

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British Cromwell tanks knocked out by Wittmann's Tiger outside Villers Bocage


By 0900hrs on the June 13th, the British column had advanced through the town of Villers-Bocage as far as Point 213, a hill from which the road gently sloped back for about 1,200 meters to the eastern edge of the town. On reaching Point 213, ‘A’ Squadron halted and the commanders, Cranleigh included, decided upon a staff discussion and briefing. It would seem that once the Rifle Brigade officers and senior NCOs had left in half-tracks for the “O” Group meeting at Point 213, the soldiers had got out of their vehicles and begun to make tea. Everyone had relaxed, even though German infantry were still believed to be in the town. In actuality XXX Corps intelligence had no idea of the real opposition in the area. About 200 hundred meters southwest of this road were six Tiger I's of the 2nd Company, 101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion commanded by the greatest tank “ace” ever, Michael Wittmann. The 101st Tank Battalion had arrived the previous evening and had camped between a farm called “La Ciderie” and another “Les Hauts Vents” on the old road, now a narrow track, to Caen . This road runs about two hundred meters south of the Route Nationale 175, the more modern road. In addition to the six Tiger I's, Wittmann had assorted other troops and vehicles at his disposal.

From Wittmann's location he would have been aware of British tanks parked in the field south of Point 213 and that a long line of armoured half-tracks and other vehicles stretched back all the way back to the town, and he must have asked himself how the British had failed to see his tanks only two hundred meters away. Wittmann jumped into the nearest Tiger, which broke down shortly after traveling only twenty meters. He got into another Tiger and began the attack. The Tigers of his force engaged ‘A’ Squadron and the motorized ‘A’ Infantry company. There was little the British could do, and the Cromwells and Fireflies were soon in huge trouble.

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7th Armor half-tracks destroyed by Wittmann's Tiger


British Sergeant O’Connor was traveling towards Point 213 in a half-track when he broke radio silence to give the only warning the rest of the Rifle Brigade or the 4th CLY received before the Tigers attacked. At approximately 0900, The Tiger commanded by Wittman drove onto Route Nationale 175 and engaged the two rearmost tanks from A Squadron, 4th CLY destroying a Cromwell and Sherman Firefly. At the same time two more 'A' Squadron Cromwells were knocked out by Tigers 221 and 223 (commanded by SS Unterscharführer George Hantusch and Jurgen Brendt) which were making their way up to Point 213 via a wooded track around 200 meters south of the main road.

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More destruction left by Wittmann & his crew on Route Nationale 175 (RN 175)

Following the destruction of the two rearmost tanks, Wittmann proceeded with two of his Tigers and a Panzer IV down Route Nationale 175 towards Villers-Bocage, and in the following minutes destroyed the mechanized transport of the 1st Rifle Brigade parked at the side of the road along with two QF 6 pdr. anti-tank gun. As the riflemen had dismounted from their transport minutes before the attack, they took the opportunity to take cover in the hedges and fields nearby when the firing started and suffered few casualties. Some French sources, along with British eyewitness accounts of the fighting, report that two Tigers engaged and destroyed the transport of the Rifle Brigade and that it was not solely Wittmann's Tiger. It is speculated that the second Tiger I was positioned north of the main road, near the road junction to Tilly-sur-Seulles, and was possibly out of fuel. Wittmann and his Tiger continued alone down Georges Clémenceau Street into the town proper, engaging and destroying along the way two M5 Honeys of the reconnaissance troop before turning on the regimental headquarters' Cromwell tanks, the medical officer's half-track, the scout car of the intelligence officer (although no wreckage from these last 2 vehicles are visible in the after action photos) and two artillery observation post tanks ("OP tanks") of 5th Royal Horse artillery. All this had happened in about fifteen minutes, resulting in the destruction of fourteen British tanks, nine half-tracks, four gun carriers, and two anti-tank guns.

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Carnage of the 7th Armor Desert Rats column destroyed by Wittmann outside Villers


Panic broke out, and the British Cromwell tanks in the town itself tried to reverse or turn round and drive back down the main street. Wittmann followed and destroyed most of them as he went. The German infantry who had been in the town all of this time now joined in and fired on the British vehicles and anyone on foot. Wittmann traveled about halfway down the main street before being engaged by a Sherman Firefly, under the temporary command of Major Carr. Carr, but the 75mm shells simply bounced off and Carr’s tank was soon destroyed. The other Cromwells were also dispatched quickly, except for Captain Pat Dyas’s vehicle. Dyas backed his Cromwell off the road and Wittmann failed to spot him as he advanced though the town. Wittmann continued his advance engaging the scattered remnants of the Regimental HQ group. Dyas pursued him down the street, hoping to shoot the Tiger in the rear.

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A destroyed 7th Armor Cromwell in Villers Bocage


Retreating British elements informed ‘B’ Squadron of the situation and Wittmanm soon found himself in a duel with a Firefly commanded by Sergeant Lockwood at the western end of the town. Witmman then began to withdraw, engaging the luckless Dyas en route. Dyas also obtained a hit on the Tiger, but to no avail and Dyas’s Cromwell was soon knocked out. As Wittmann moved back through the town his Tiger was immobilized by a 6-pdr. anti tank gun at very close range and Wittmann and his crew abandoned their tank and managed to escape on foot.

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Wittmann's knocked out Tiger I in Villers Bocage

Nevertheless, the situation was grim for the British. The Regimental HQ had been neutralized and ‘A’ Squadron was still under heavy attack at Point 213. Back at Point 213 confusion reigned. The remaining four troops of 'A' Squadron, 4th County of London Yeomanry were positioned in the fields and along the side of the RN715, with HQ in the house on the road junction at 213. ‘A’ Squadron was down to only seven Cromwells, two Fireflies, and an attached Cromwell OP tank from the 5th Royal Horse Artillery. There were also around a dozen infantry and a fair number of the Rifle Brigade's officers and NCOs, along with a few half-tracks and scout cars. A 2nd Company Tiger emerged from the hedge on the south side of the road and destroyed two of the tanks, then had to withdraw as its engine was overheating. Following a short conference between Lord Cranley and Major Wright of the Rifle Brigade it was decided to hold the position and await reinforcements. Lord Cranley then attempted to organize an all round defence of the hill with the forces available to him, but SS Panzergrenadiers from the 4th Escort Company of Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 arrived, some time around 1000 hours. The Panzergrenadiers began to engage and round up the men trapped on the hill, and by 1030 hours, Lord Cranley reported over the radio that the position was untenable, and withdrawal impossible. Within half an hour the radios in Lord Cranley’s scout car and in all remaining tanks were off the air. Few of the British soldiers managed to escape.

The Germans too around Point 213 were in a state of some confusion. They now only had three operating Tigers, and although infantry units were filtering through to aid them, Wittmann was conspicuous by his absence. In fact Wittmann was reporting to his HQ in order to properly assess the situation. Wittmann was debriefed at Chateau d'Orbois by Sepp Dietrich and other commanders. Dietrich had heard of Wittmanns exploits that morning and praised Wittmann for his bravery, credited him for deciding the battle, and then asked the tank ace what he could do anything for him. Wittmanns looked at his gunner and his comment was he wanted his Tiger recovered from the town and returned to him and his crew, which was subsequently done that evening by a recovery unit. Wittmann was given a Schwimmwagen so that he could return to his unit at Point 213 leading 15 Panzer IV's from the Panzer Lehr Divsion. When he arrived back at Point 213 Wittmann found that Karl Mobius, the commanding officer of the 1st Company, Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101, had also arrived with his company of eight Tiger tanks. The two company commanders then discussed the upcoming attack on the town which was to be made by the 1st Company and the Panzer Lehr's 15 Pz IV's.

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Following the loss of Lord Cranley, Major Aird took command of the 4th CLY and ordered 'B'' Squadron to hold the town at all costs, he then ordered 'C' Squadron to move into the town to reinforce them. The 1/7 Queens was also called up into town to secure it following the initial fighting. Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Gordon, the battalion commander, ordered 'A'' Company to the area around the railway station and 'B' and 'C' Companies to cover the eastern entrances to the town. However the men were only able to clear the western half of town as men from the SS 101st 4th Escort Company had already infiltrated into the eastern end of town. After some skirmishing between the two forces, Lieutenant Colonel Gordon decided to pull his men back into a tighter perimeter. 'A' Company were still positioned around the railway station, while 'C' and 'D' Companies and their anti tank guns held the town, with 'B' Company placed in battalion reserve.

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Cromwell destroyed in Villers Bocage by Wittmann's Tiger

By 1100 hours, the Panzer Lehr Division was reacting after receiving information about the 7th Armoured Division's incursion. The Germans, now aware of the danger posed to the rear of the Panzer Lehr Division, dispatched more tanks and men. At 1300 hours, fighting resumed and went on throughout the streets of Villers-Bocage for the next six hours. Attempts were made by the 4th CLY to send tanks up the main road of Villers-Bocage to take Hill 213. However, being fired upon and unable to make any progress, No. 4 Troop, commanded by Lieutenant Bill Cotton, was ordered to find another way to the hill. This was an unsuccessful trip which resulted in Cotton leading his troop into the town center where he organised a defence and set up an ambush made up of his own tanks, a 6-pounder anti tank gun and riflemen from the 1/7 Queens.

In the town centre, Sergeant Bramall, commanding a Sherman Firefly, spotted a stationary Tiger tank around the corner from his position in the adjoining road. Realising the only safe way to engage the tank would be to order his own to reverse a few meters and then line the gun up through two adjacent windows in a corner building, he did so. Making final corrections by looking down the barrel of the gun, his crew fired two rounds in quick succession but did not manage to knock the Tiger out. The Tiger then tried to rush past the ambush but was engaged as it did so by Corporal Horne, commanding a Cromwell tank, shooting into the rear of the Tiger, knocking it out. Sergeant Bramall went on to destroy a Panzer IV of the Panzer Lehr Divsion.

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German Panzergrenadiers examine a captured British Firefly in Villers Bocage


By the early afternoon, tanks from ‘B’ Squadron (No.4 Troop, led by Lieuienant Bill Cotton) had driven through the southern part of the town and having failed to cross the railway embankment, had positioned themselves in the main town square by the Mairie. 1/7th Queens were also positioned throughout Villers-Bocage. Heavy fighting for the town resumed around 1300 when the men and machines from the Panzer Lehr Division and the 101st Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung attacked. The Panzer Lehr Division launched its attacks from the north while the latter attacked from the west. Fighting continued for the next six hours.

German forces began attempting to enter Villers-Bocage, initially with Panzer IVs of Panzer Lehr Divsion, but they lacked infantry support and the assault eventually stalled. However, Haupsturmfuhrer Ralf Mobius (1st Company, 101st Heavy Tank Battalion and Wittmann’s superior) led his force of 8 Tigers into the town with limited infantry support. A group of four Tigers pressed down the main street but were ambushed by No.4 troop and a six pounder anti-tank gun from 1/7th Queens. Elsewhere, a force of three Tigers attempted to infiltrate the town from the east but two were disabled by PIATs and one by a 6-pdr. anti tank guns at fired at extremly close range. During a lull in the fighting, Lieutenant Cotton and Sergeant Bramall went around the knocked out German tanks in their vicinity carrying bundles of blankets and jerry cans of fuel, setting fire to the tanks so they could not be recovered later. This action along with their bravery and skill during the defence of the town won them the Military Cross and the Military Medal respectively.

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Tiger I and Panzer IV knocked out in Villers Bocage

As the afternoon wore on more and more pressure was brought to bear by the Germans as they fed troops into Villers-Bocage. By 1600, the British were still in possession of the town after a spirited and determined defence. The Germans then put in another determined counterattack against the town supported by mortar and artillery fire. Portions of the attack were blunted but close street fighting continued. At the railway station the attacking Panzergrenadiers overwhelmed 'A' Company, 1/7 Queens, and captured a complete platoon. Elsewhere, the Germans managed to surround the battalion headquarters.

As the pressure built up on the defending troops, Brigadier Hinde, the commanding officer of the British forces fighting within the town, reluctantly decided that the situation was becoming untenable and that the his troops must be withdrawn . Under the cover of artillery fire and a smoke screen laid by the 5th Royal Horse Artillery, the infantry withdrew from the town covered by the tanks of the 4th CLY who withdrew last. The town of Villers-Bocage was to suffer heavily as the town was then pummeled by the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force. The British pulled back north west to the village of Amayé-sur-Seulles and formed a defensive "brigade box" alongside other elements of their division. The fighting continued the following day in an encounter to be later know as the “Battle of the Brigade Box” but their position were deteriorating in the entire British sector and “Operation Perch” was now at an end.

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Panzer Lehr Panzer IV beside a knocked out Cromwell in Villers-Bocage

The battle of Villers-Bocage came only one week after D-Day and a vital phase in the Allied build-up. The thrust by the 7th Armored Division, the famous 'Desert Rats,' was hoped to be a dashing and audacious move to out maneuver the cream of German panzer forces lined up before Caen, a major D-Day objective. Although the opportunity to send Britain's best-known tank division into the heart of German defense was a piece of military opportunism, the move fitted perfectly with Allied grand strategy in that it was designed to destabilize the German front before sufficient reinforcements were in place to hold the invaders near the invasion beaches. The British units had suffered considerably in the initial attack but had held the town with its vital crossroads. The Germans were forced to break contact, but later managed to execute several strong counterattacks on Villers-Bocage and the hold of the 7th Armored Division elements was tenuous. Support for the British was available from several sources. An accompanying US artillery forward observer called in very heavy and accurate artillery fire to break up one German attack. Several uncommitted infantry brigades were available and could have been used to reinforce Villers-Bocage, but the British commander on the scene Brigadier Hinde did not request help. The Division commander George Erskine, could have requested these brigades also, but choose not to do so. Neither the Corps commander, Gerard Bucknall, nor the Second Army commander Dempsey reinforced the units at Villers-Bocage.

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Knocked out (note the Tiger's 88mm shell hole just left of the gun mantlet) Sherman Firefly in Villers-Bocage

The withdrawal from Villers-Bocage ended British hopes of unhinging the German front south of Caen. Many historians feel that a great opportunity had been lost through poor execution of the plan. Dempsey later remarked that "the whole handling of that battle was a disgrace." Both Erskine and Bucknall were relieved of command in early August, after another failure to capture Villers-Bocage and Aunay during Operation Bluecoat. Brigadier Hinde and the Commander, Royal Artillery of 7th Armoured Division were also removed. The events at Villers-Bocage were thus ascribed almost entirely to Wittmann who was given credit for 27 of the 30 destroyed British tanks during the battle. It must be pointed out that Wittmann's Tiger tank greatly outclassed the British vehicles he faced in firepower and armor. However, it is also true that in the close quarters of this battle, the British 17-pounder was capable of defeating the armour on Wittman's tank. Even the towed 6 pounder and 75 mm guns on the Cromwells and Shermans could under ideal conditions. It may be concluded that the real reason for Wittmann's success was not so much technical superiority or individual skill, but poorly executed tactics and battle procedure on the part of the 7th Armoured Division. Its failure at Villers-Bocage has led to criticism of British generalship, the commanders in the field, and the willingness of the fighting men to continue their sacrifices into a fifth, bloody year of war, although the later is not justified in my opinion.

The British losses in the battle were:

8th King's Royal Irish Hussars: 3 Stuarts, 2 6 pdr. ant-tank guns, 4 Bren gun carriers

4th County of London Yeomanry: 18 Cromwells, 4 Sherman Fireflies, 3 Stuarts, 5 half-track vehicles, 3 Scout cars,

Rifle Brigade: 9 half-track vehicles, 12 Bren gun-carriers, 4 Carden-Loyd Carriers

5th Royal Horse Artillery: 2 Cromwell tanks, 3 Sherman "OP" tanks

The German losses in the battle were:

101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion: 6 Tiger tanks were put out of action (of which 3 were later repaired), 1 Panzer IV

Panzer Lehr Divsion: 5 Panzer IVs.

*note: the actual British losses and the actual kills credited to Michael Wittmann on June 13, 1944, have been the subject of much controversy for years following the battle, mainly due to the fact that German forces reoccupied Villers-Bocage and the pummeling resulting from aerial bombardment the town and srrounding area was subject to following the British withdrawl*

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Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101


7th Armored Division
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souces:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Villers-Bocage
http://www.strategos.demon.co.uk/D-Day/Epsom.htm
http://www.desertratsorg.btinternet.co.uk/Villersbocage.htm
http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/9790983
http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tigers-02.htm
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/gen3.htm
"Panzer Aces" by Franz Kurowski

zeroy
03-29-2009, 11:05 PM
Excellent story, thanks :wink1:

one_richard
03-30-2009, 04:01 AM
Great Info One shorty, thanks for taking your time and effort to bring us such an useful and interesting data.

:bravo:

OneShot
03-31-2009, 08:56 PM
As always i enjoy reading ur post oneshot.
you are a very good writer.



awesome post!! i enjoy reading it...such a good writer.. keep it up mate!


Thank you guys, but in actuality a vast majority of the verbiage is not mine. I spend an inordinate amount of time researching the historical event or subject from as many possible sources as I can locate. Often events reported by different authors/sources do not agree with each other, such was the case in this battle. You have to do your homework, and often you still have to use your own judgment as to what source to quote.

I then put in a equal amount of time assembling all the raw data into a rough draft. Next, I edit the data in order to blend the various authors reporting of the events as they perceive them into some type of sensible, cohesive, flowing, chronological order. Finally, you do have to rewrite many sentences, change tense, grammar, word agreement, and paragraph structure in order to present the material in such a way as to not seem like a mish-mosh of jumbled ideas.

I normally try to relate the historical events of my posts from a more "personal" or soldier's point of view and thus give our members and visitors a perspective of "being there." My attempt is to present the information in a accurate but condensed version to fit the format of these forums without boring the readers with a history lesson.

Give it a try if you have some time. Personally, I enjoy researching historical events and find it to be an interesting hobby. As always the key to doing this type of post or article, while a good bit of the writing may still be your own, is to give credit where credit is due.

Always remember to cite your sources. :wink2:

osnddutch
04-24-2009, 02:03 PM
Nonetheless oneshot I enjoyed reading it and looking and listening to the film. Well done keep it up I really enjoyed it :bravo: I am gonna read the other one now :d

Dak Knight
05-01-2009, 09:45 AM
Enjoy reading your research on these different scenarios,Thank You:wink1:

richterbel
05-01-2009, 11:02 PM
nice story mate.. :bravo:
im pretty well informed now..