Picture of Jagdpanther in Reichswald ID'd

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Sometimes you're almost on top of it .. but you don't see it ...

    A well known picture of the Jagdpanther of the 655 s.Pz.Jg.Abt. KO'd somewhere south of Cleve … the exact location has been puzzling me for quite a while. There is a large church spire behind the bushes, which made me study all church spires in the area, however to no avail.

    Today I received the coordinates or Map References of a knocked out Jagdpanther as given in the INTSUM 18 Feb 45 of the 15 Scottish Division from WW2talk member Wapen:

    The coordinates place the tank near the Gut Ranzow at Materborn, a large manson - nowadays an eldery nursing home - which I photographed a long time ago for the WW2talk site (photo below) ... and I suddenly noticed that the small bell-tower of this building fits with the IWM picture. But where is the church spire?


    ... the church spire on the IWM photo is of the church of Materborn, which was so much damaged during the battle, that it was torn down since, which explains it was so hard to find:
    Materborn church.jpg

    On 21 Feb 45 this photo was taken of Sgt L.E. Weeks of th eCandian photo and film unit. He is at work in front of the damaged church steeple:

    Materborn church steeple.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2022
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  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Same tank different angle. A picture that appeared in Panzerwrecks no.21 (courtesy Bedee):

    The tank has been knocked out by "B" Squadron of the 4/7 Dragoon Guards on Feb 11th, 45, in support of the Wessex Division (214 Bde) which sought to by-pass Cleve to the south. See: VERITABLE 1945: 15th Scottish & 43rd Wessex Divisions in the Reichswald battle

    Probable position of the tank was somewhere along what is nowadays called the Burgstrasse: The area nowadays is completely build up.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
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  3. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Excellent work as usual Stolpi!
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  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    This is what the Regimental History of the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards has to report about the action (The First and The Last):

    "We linked up once again with the 214th Infantry Brigade, and the following evening [Feb 9th] after dark we moved out, and made our way round on to the main Nijmegen -Cleve road. All that night we moved in fits and starts, a serpentine endless column of vehicles creeping slowly forward in the darkness behind the vanguard of the thrust against the German Reich. By morning [of the 10th] we had reached a position between Kranenburg and Cleve, and there we were halted nearly all day.

    All around us were signs of violent fighting: splintered trees, burnt and shattered houses, abandoned vehicles in the wake of the attack that was even now going in on the city of Cleve itself. (...).

    As night was falling [on the 10th], the "B" Squadron group got through the forest to the village of Materborn, but the village was strongly held and almost inevitably the leading tank was knocked out by a bazooka. They withdrew a little and went into close laager for the night, with their infantry around them. (losses on 10/2 were: wounded: Sgt E. Hewitt ("B"), POWs: Cpl. S.H.Dalley & Tpr. K. Ellis (both "B"))

    Next day, plans were made to attack Materborn, and the attack went in in the afternoon; by evening they had a firm enough grasp on the village, where finally the Squadron knocked out a Panther and an SP gun, to allow "A" Squadron with the 7th Somersets to be able to pass through. This group pushed on for about a mile to the crossroads ahead, already nicknamed Tiger Corner, because of a prevalence of reports of Tigers in the area (11/2 KIA: Sgt. F.H. Bayer ("B"))."

    infantry on tanks.jpg
    10 Feb 45, a picture taken on the main road Nijmegen - Cleve showing the 214 Bde's leading "DCLI Group", the men of 5th DCLI loaded on tanks of "B" Squadron, 4/7 Dragoon Guards. Moving out from Nijmegen at 20:00 hrs on the previous evening, the DCLI Group, after a continuous drive through the night with many stops and starts, at dawn on the 10th ran into the tail of the 129 Bde to the east of Kranenburg and was halted nearly all day. In the evening the tank/infantry column turned off the main road to the right into the Reichswald itself and began the advance on Materborn (photo IWM).
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  5. Wapen

    Wapen Well-Known Member

    Hi Guys,

    I'm starting to doubt that grid I sent Stolpi - 878544 (yellow circle)
    A. It's just where "C" Coy 5 DCLI passed on 11 Feb (below) as they tried to assault the Cloister but they make no mention of it. (Note that elements of 15 Div and 4/7 DG claim an SP kill at the grid ("SP kill 15.40?" 893537) but that's nowhere near the Cloister so couldn't be on the photo. Also First and Last and diaries claim the kill after Materborn captured.)
    B. The angles of the church and bell tower don't look right - the grid seems too close.
    C. The Jagdpanther is next to a road and there's no road on the map or the air photos (below).
    So based on this and some slapshod guesswork, I reckon the Jagdpanther is where the blue circle is.

    Please poke holes in my logic! I am biased. Moving the Jagdpanther puts it out of the 5 DCLI area and so doesn't spoil the battle description I've made for my thesis!


    Attached Files:

  6. Wapen

    Wapen Well-Known Member

    PS I'm also wishing away the line of houses beside the blue circle as they don't appear on the air photo (May 44).
  7. Wapen

    Wapen Well-Known Member

    PPS, tell me off I've put Tiger Corner in the wrong place! I think it could be the jcn to west of where I put it.
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  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Dermot - on closer inspection the location of the KO'd Jagdpanther could have been slightly more to the right (north), within the red circle. This would place the tank in the open space to the left of the row of houses on the wartime map; slightly to the left of the blue circle in your aerial.


    IMO Tiger-corner is right where you placed it on your map. Though the actual area where the SPs of 655. sPz.Jg.Abteilung were active was not restricted to the crossroads. They operated from the general area indicated in the map below. From here they were also able to check the advance of 129 Bde, which pushed through the southern outskirts of Cleve.

    5 DCLI Materborn attack map.jpg

    Note that there was another knocked out SP of the 655. sPz.Jg.Abteilung (a Pz Jäger IV) photographed near Tiger Corner. Do not have the exact location of the picture though, but you can see the Cleve - Goch road in the background or is it the more westward one running south out of Cleve. See my post : VERITABLE 1945: 15th Scottish & 43rd Wessex Divisions in the Reichswald battle
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
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  9. Wapen

    Wapen Well-Known Member

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  10. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    The Jagdpanther at the German Panzermuseum in Munster/Lüneburg, photographed during my latest visit a week ago.



    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
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