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Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.
Fall Gelb – May of 1940.
Advance towards the Oise.
After getting across, the armored forces of the division spent some time recognizing the difficult wooded ground which stretched before them; but once they did so the force was put in its way towards Montcornet via Liart and at 20:00 hours on May 15 of 1940 the objective was reached after crossing 65 kilometers towards the west in a single day and destroying in the way a French regiment (the 61 RI). Meanwhile the Pi Btl 57 had remained in the area of Monthermé in charge of the bridge and carrying out other cleaning tasks.
General Reinhardt ordered for next day (May 16 of 1940), the pursuit of the enemy which had been beaten, reason why the 6 Pz had to advance as fast as it could until the Oise River, reaching the crossing points in Etreaupont and Marly. Generalmajor Kempf called Oberst von Esebeck and ordered him to execute a fast advance up to Guisé with his battle group; Oberleutnant Bäke and his 1. /Pz Abt 65 would be the vanguard of the formation.
The displacement began at 15:30 hours and after overcoming some resistance arrived at dusk at Falvigny a suburb of Guisé, where the motorcyclists which marched in the lead, received machine-gun and cannons fire from the town. The antitank pieces of 37 mm of the Pz Jäg Abt 41 were moved ahead but they were beaten by enemy tanks firing from well masked positions.
After carrying out the necessary reconnaissance, the Germans attacked towards Guisé with the first lights on May 17 of 1940 and managed to conquer the locality after several hours of battle house by house counting with support of Bäke’s tanks. Once the combat had finalized, it was continued with the advance and the elements of the Battle Group v. Esebeck captured intact the bridges in Hauteville and Marquigny. Meanwhile the Battle Group v. Ravenstein, accompanied by the Divisional Commander, arrived at Grigny.
On May 17 of 1940 the day had been successful after all, nevertheless by dusk of that day, the 6 Pz had to face an armored counterattack against the bridgehead of Hauteville - Neuvillette and the antitank guns of the Pz Jäg Abt 41 had again an arduous task to fight with the heavy French tanks, one pak of 37 mm of the 3. /Pz Jäg Abt 41 (Oberleutnant Neckenauer) had to fire not less than 26 shots before halting an enemy tank.
Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.