Combat Report

Frankreich, Panzer bei Fahrt durch eine Ortschaft

Pz.Kpfw.IVF2 (7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43)

08644

T-34/76 model 1942

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KV-1 Model 1942

The following report written by Hauptmann Oehme, the commander of the 8.Kompanie/Panzer-Regiment 3, relate their experience in attempting to knock out T34 and KW-I tanks:

Combat Report for the Period of 11 through 17 August 1942:

At about 1800 hours, I received the order to drive to Jelnja to support the Gruppe von Bisehoffshausen with the Panzers that had just been repaired and the four Pz.Kpfw.IV (7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43) that had just arrived.

The Panzer-Kompanie counterattacked JeInja, which was surrounded by our Panzers and taken under heavy fire by all of the Panzers. The front elements of the Russians pulled back and most of the houses in the village went up in flames. It was observed that two T34s drove off in reverse out of burning sheds.

As dawn broke, the Russians renewed the attack with tank and infantry forces. The tanks were immediately spotted and two T34s on the road were knocked out at a range of about 300 meters. The rest of the tanks must have quickly retreated, as determined by the noise from their engines.

During the evening hours of 13 August, the Russians again attacked with tanks and a few infantry riding on them. In spite of night falling, a further two T34s and a KW-I were knocked out of which two enemy tanks brightly burned, upon which the rest of the tanks turned back. The attack was repulsed.

During the night, the opponent with tanks took up positions in the depression by Shulebino and at dawn attempted to break through the woods by Point 208. At the same time eight to ten KW-I attacked on the road. Of these, two were knocked out in our position by the Pz.Kpfw.IV with a long gun at a range of 15 to 20 meters. The rest were convinced to turn back. It should be noted that it was necessary to use about eight Hohlraumgranaten (shaped charge shells) to set each of the KW-I on fire. At Point 208, three T34s managed to break into the position but didn’t exploit the opportunity any further. The company commander of the infantry urgently requested Panzer support because these enemy tanks had hidden in the woods. One Pz.Kpfw.IV (7.5 cm Kw.K. L/24) and two Pz.Kpfw.III (5 cm Kw.K. L/42) were sent to the area where the enemy tanks had broken in.

In the afternoon, the Russians again attacked with strong tank forces. This time his attempt occurred south of the road. Several tanks landed in the swamp and remained stuck there. In the evening, these tanks were knocked out by the 5.Kompanie/Panzer-Regiment 3, while on the road four additional KW-I were knocked out by the 8.Kompanie. An 8.8 cm Flak gun had a large part in this last defensive battle. This gun was located in an alley south of the road, fell out when damaged by gun fire, and was pulled back.

On this day, several smaller Russian tanks were knocked out that had attacked separately. In addition a Pz.Kpfw.IV (7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43) was knocked out by a KW-I. One of the crew was killed, two severely wounded, and one lightly wounded.

Another Pz.Kpfw.IV (7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43) fought still another T34 but was itself knocked out. The Pz.Kpfw.IV immediately burned out. The commander and gunner were wounded, three of the crew were killed immediately. During these defensive actions from 11 to 17 August 1942, the 8.Kompanie knocked out 45 enemy tanks, of which 11 were T60s, and the rest T34s and KW-Is.