Originally Posted by Allan B
Although Tiger 114 is shown being driven in the area Rauray-Fontenay le Pesnel, I cannot find any evidence that it was abandoned in the same area. It could have come from Grainville or Cheux area???
It was knocked out
not far from where it was filmed. The film clips show it at the junction of the D139 and the 173A near the burnt out Panther.
The above is a 1947 air view.
Fontenay is at the top LH and the road junction where the Tiger was filmed is at the bottom RH corner.
The Tiger would have been stopped somewhere near the farm with the orchard to the right of the road
The best account of it's demise is in Stuart Hill's book 'By Tank Into Normandy'.
Cassell 2002 ISBN 0304362166
Hill describes what happened as his Squadron started leaving Fontenay and going down the road towards Rauray.
We paused a few minutes, wiped the sweat from our faces and
checked the machine-gun belts. As we moved on through the paddock,
Geoff Storey had to avoid about twenty dead cattle. We moved to the far
hedgerow and were just able to see Rauray in the distance. A wooded
area jutted out to our left, and suddenly Arthur (reddish, lap gunner)spotted a Panzer Mark
IV. 'Enemy hornet,' I heard through the intercom. Remembering my
training at Lulworth, I ordered: 'Eleven o'clock. Two thousand five
hundred yards. Gunner, traverse left, steady, on. Enemy tank. Armour
piercing (AP). Fire when ready.' The first shot bounced once before hit-
ting the Panzer. There was a plume of blue smoke from its exhaust as it
lurched into reverse and stalled. It started to move again and a second
shot hit it as it disappeared into the wood. The shots would not have
penetrated but they might have damaged a track. This was my first
tank-to-tank engagement and it had not been as conclusive as I might
Meanwhile A Squadron had begun moving up from Fontenay, the
plan being that they would come through us and thrust towards Rauray.
John Semken was Squadron Leader and he had already heard from C
Squadron that there were tanks about, so his gun loader put an AP shell
up the spout, just in case. As they cleared Fontenay, they were suddenly
confronted by an enormous tank coming round the bend in front. It
was hard to know who was more surprised, but John shrieked, 'Fire,
it's a Hun', and they loosed off about ten rounds into the smoke. As
this cleared away, it was observed that the crew were baling out as small
flames came from inside the tank. It was a Tiger of 12th SS Panzer, the
first Tiger to be captured in Normandy, and made an impressive sight at
close quarters as both its size and the thickness of its armour became
apparent. Although the range had been only sixty yards, not one Sher-
man shell had penetrated that armour. The fire in the Tiger, we discov-
ered, had instead been caused by a shot hitting the side of the driver's
observation visor and showering white-hot splinters into the tank. The
driver had screamed that he had been hit and the commander had oblig-
ingly ordered his crew out.
A Squadron squeezed past the Tiger and into a field on the right
where they deployed. During the next two hours they systematically
shot up every hedgerow as they advanced. Some of John Semken's tanks
were Sherman Fireflies, and they started knocking out one German
tank after another. Sergeant Dring claimed no less than four himself,
and a Panther was shot up by the whole squadron as it drove across
our front, its crew baling out as it was still moving. The German infantry
started to surrender, leaping out of the ground under the noses of the
tanks, while our own infantry came up to finish things off. It had been
a great day. Thirteen Panzer Mark IVs had been knocked out, along
with a Tiger and a Panther
. The enemy tank force defending Rauray
had been eliminated and their infantry overrun. Aggressive tactics had
paid off, and at relatively small cost to ourselves. C Squadron had lost
two tanks, with Iwo dead and two wounded. I felt encouraged by the
way each squadrbn had performed and this was reflected in the gen-
eral morale of my troop, in spite of the casualties. We had won a tank
battle against significant opposition, and this gave our confidence an
The next day, June 27, it was B Squadron's turn to take the lead.
They sent out two troops to investigate the situation in Rauray but ran
into several Panthers which must have been brought up during the
night. Three Shermans were destroyed, and Troop Leader Ray Scott
and the experienced Sergeants Biddell and Green were killed. By midday
Rauray had been cleared and in it were found about eight German tanks,
all damaged to some extent, and one Tiger, which seemed to be
in perfect working order. We tried to incorporate it into our ranks, but
unfortunately High Command wanted it to be taken back to England.
Later that afternoon B Squadron ran into more trouble around Rauray,
and by the end of the day only had seven tanks still serviceable out of
their usual sixteen. John Hanson-Lawson, Squadron Leader, was badly
burnt when his tank was hit, and Sergeant Crookes, his signal sergeant,
later died of his wounds. He had been with the Regiment since before the
Appendix 'E' to
21stArmy Group RAC
Liaison Letter No.2
Extract from a Report to HQ Second Army from Col.A.G.Cole, DD of A
(No. 20 WTSFF)
The extract is of tank actions near RUARAY between 27 Jun. and 1 Jul.
SHERMAN - 75 MM GUNS.
4. Lt. Fearn engaged a PANTHER side on with his 75mm and APC
It was moving about 12mph at 80 yds range and he brewed it up with
one hit through the vertical plate above the back bogie
He saw his Squadron Commander engage a Tiger ( previously
examined by us) on the road. At 120 yds the Tiger was head on.
The 75mm put 3 shots on it and the crew bailed out without firing.
He put in 3 more. The tank brewed up. Four shots had scooped on
front plates.One had taken a piece out of the lower edge of the mantlet
and gone into the tank through the roof,and one had ricocheted off the
track and up into the sponson.
At another Panther he fired 5 shots with HE. The enemy
made off without retaliation.
5. Sgt Dring started out south from FONTENOY LE PESNIL with
his 75mm and fell in with a MK IV which he shot through the drivors
visor. It brewed up and the crew baled out.
Next he fell in with a Tiger at 1000 yds. The Tiger fired whilst Dring
was traversing but missed. Dring then pumped 5 shots in without further
retaliation. The last one hit the drivers periscope and the crew baled out.
(this tank is believed to have been recovered for shipment to the UK.)
Next he came on a Panther at the cross roads, This he got with one shot
with APC in front of sprocket and the crew baled out. Hit at normal and at
about 500yds range. It brewed up
Next he took on a Tiger at 1400 yds just outside Rauray. He fired 6
shots of which 4 hit and the last one brewed it up. Tp. Cmdr. thought he had
missed it and only hit the wall behind. Sjt. Dring's next shot brought the
sparks and the remark "You don't see a brick wall spark like that".
This tank has been seen and is much shot up. It now has one scoop in front
vertical plate, five penetrations in rear, four strikes with no penetrations in rear,
plus a scoop and one plate of engine hatch smashed
Finaly to the east of RAURAY he took on a MK IV at 1200 yds, fired two
HE ranging round and then one AP through the tracks, which went in and
There is some confusion in the above account. I believe the bits I marked in red are both describing the same event.
Originally Posted by Allan B
A 2. Kompanie Tiger is said to have been KO'd in the Rauray-Cheux area. This may be Operation Martlet or Epsom.
The location of the burnt out 2nd kp Tiger is not exactly known.
Originally Posted by Allan B
Wolfgang Schneider's "Tigers In Normandy" only mentions Tiger 3XX abandoned Fontenay le Pesnel on 26th June and Tiger 334 abandoned Rauray 28th June. Does this point to only 3. Kompanie operating in the Martlet sector and the other Kompanie in the Operation Epsom sector???
I would not depend too much on Schneiders account. He is not very reliable here. Note his misuse of the word 'abandoned'