Monthly Archives: November 2015

12 July 1944 330th Infantry Regiment area tank destroyer dispositions

Do we get the idea they were a bit obsessed with destroying tanks, or in this case probably mostly StuG  Assault Guns, since at this point I think the 83rd was mostly still up against the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen.  The positions seem to be a bit behind the front lines; I assume they were set to catch break-through armor;  defense in-depth.

12 July 1944, 330th Infantry Regiment area tank destroyer dispositions

12 July 1944, 330th Infantry Regiment area tank destroyer dispositions

 

The legend says they were the 3″ Anti-Tank guns, which were pretty good at knocking out what the Germans has in the area.  As a previous overlay seemed to indicate: German armor by this stage was not doing well against the 83rd. I assume they were guns  much like the one in this photo, reportedly taken in St-Malo.

 

3 inch anti-tank gun, St. Malo 1944

3 inch anti-tank gun, St. Malo 1944

 

While the “tank” they most likely were hunting in the bocage looked a lot like this appropriately messed up StuG III. Read more on these work-horse assault guns at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmgeschütz.

StuG III 1945 Germany

StuG III 1945 Germany

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12 July, 12:00: 83rd Infantry Division Situation

The second overlay for 12 July 1944 is a 83rd ID situation map  for 12:00.  It seems to be drawn from the perspective of the 330th IR, or it was produced for the regiment, since it has the locations for the other two regiments but nothing for the 330th. Notice that the 22nd IR, 4th ID is a good 1000 yards out in front of the 83rd ID.

From my reading on the German side, that is what the Germans would look for, and then send a counter attack in through the gap.  Not sure it happened here, we’ll have to wait till I get through the reports.  I’m not sure what the Germans hoped to accomplish doing this though. Time after time they only gained an advantage for a few hours before being completely cut up themselves, accumulating losses they could not afford.  Seems they would have been better off being purely on the defensive; but that was definitely not the German way.

When I finished with this map, it was a bit eerie . It shows my father’s company, F, and we are approaching the day he was seriously wounded and shipped the the States.  I  knew it was to the south-southwest of Sainteny, which of course he never knew; but I’ve yet to get it nailed down this close.

83rd Infantry Division Situation 12:00 12 July 1944 - less the 330th Infantry Regiment

83rd Infantry Division Situation 12:00 12 July 1944 – less the 330th Infantry Regiment

12 July 1944, 10:00; 330 IR , I Co; 331 IR, A Co, B Co, C Co.

First overlay for 12 July has more to do with the 331st Infantry Regiment; I’m thinking it was in with the papers for the 330th Infantry Regiment because it also locates the 331st, I Company.  I am assuming A Co, B Co, and C Co are from the 331st because there is a flag for the 1st Bn, 331 IR, on the map and the regiment number close to the area of the companies looks more like it would be 331 than 330 (I can’t really decipher the last number, but it does not seem to be a zero). But also, the 1st Bn, 330th regiment companies were much further to the south-east just the day before. Again, it will be clearer once I start integrating information from the various reports (I hope).

 

12 July 1944, 10:00: 330 IR , I Co; 331 IR, A Co, B Co, C Co.

12 July 1944, 330 IR , I Co; 331 IR, A Co, B Co, C Co.

11 July 1944, 330 IR Tank Hunting Zones

The last overlay we have for the 11th of July is a record of German tanks (and one assault gun) destroyed by infantry.  Destroying 7 tanks in one day (and one the day before) would be quite a slaughter actually.  Obviously by the 12th of July the US infantry in the 330 IR had figured something out. It will be interesting to get to the reports on this day. Many of the tanks seem to be behind what was the operating lines defined in the previous overlays for the day.  It would seem to have been a major German counter attack on the 11th?  We’ll find out.

11 July 1944, 330 IR Tanks Destroyed

11 July 1944, 330 IR Tanks Destroyed