Poteau 1944

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Poteau 1944

Robert Lamos
Robert Lamos

January 2nd, 2003, 6:33 pm #1

I am currently working on a Dragon set 6091 Ambush at Poteau and I am planing to add there a M8 Greyhound.
I would like to know if anybody knows what was the weather like on 18th December 1944, I know it was not snowing,but was there snow on the field? And also the M8 was abandoned or was it knocked out?

If anybody has more specific information about this event and details,I would be most grateful to know them.

Robert
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phil mann
phil mann

January 2nd, 2003, 6:55 pm #2

If I were you I'd also post this in the Axis forum,their knowledge of anything remotely German is staggering!
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Dave O'Hara
Dave O'Hara

January 2nd, 2003, 8:20 pm #3

I am currently working on a Dragon set 6091 Ambush at Poteau and I am planing to add there a M8 Greyhound.
I would like to know if anybody knows what was the weather like on 18th December 1944, I know it was not snowing,but was there snow on the field? And also the M8 was abandoned or was it knocked out?

If anybody has more specific information about this event and details,I would be most grateful to know them.

Robert
...that the unit to which the M-8s belonged was the 14th Cavalry and that the vehicles on and off the road were most likely abandoned by the crews. I've worked on just such a project, myself off and on for the past couple of years and I have Dragon's Ambush at Poteau kit and Italeri's M-8 kit, as well as a partly completed diorama base. From the pictures I've seen of the incident in question, I'd say the weather was cold and misty, not snowy and that the ground off the road was rather muddy. I have no way to transmit pictures, right now; but there are shots of this scene available in Osprey's Peiper and Skorzeny in the Ardennes book. Like the other respondent said, you might want to check out the Axis DG for more answers. Ron Volstad's artwork on the Dragon kit's box is very good and can be quite helpful in establishing the right look of your scene. HTH, Dave
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Dave O'Hara
Dave O'Hara

January 2nd, 2003, 8:25 pm #4

I am currently working on a Dragon set 6091 Ambush at Poteau and I am planing to add there a M8 Greyhound.
I would like to know if anybody knows what was the weather like on 18th December 1944, I know it was not snowing,but was there snow on the field? And also the M8 was abandoned or was it knocked out?

If anybody has more specific information about this event and details,I would be most grateful to know them.

Robert
...the German unit involved was part of KG Hansen of the 1st SS Panzer Division moving west in support of the division's effort to force a passage west to the Meuse River. The pictures you seek were taken by a war photographer and many of the scenes were staged to look like combat. In reality, the fellows from the Cavalry outfit had moved out, earlier. That's what I've learned and that's all I've got to say about that. (Sorry for the obscure Forest Gump reference.) Lots of luck! Dave
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Robert Lamos
Robert Lamos

January 2nd, 2003, 9:15 pm #5

...that the unit to which the M-8s belonged was the 14th Cavalry and that the vehicles on and off the road were most likely abandoned by the crews. I've worked on just such a project, myself off and on for the past couple of years and I have Dragon's Ambush at Poteau kit and Italeri's M-8 kit, as well as a partly completed diorama base. From the pictures I've seen of the incident in question, I'd say the weather was cold and misty, not snowy and that the ground off the road was rather muddy. I have no way to transmit pictures, right now; but there are shots of this scene available in Osprey's Peiper and Skorzeny in the Ardennes book. Like the other respondent said, you might want to check out the Axis DG for more answers. Ron Volstad's artwork on the Dragon kit's box is very good and can be quite helpful in establishing the right look of your scene. HTH, Dave
Thank you very much indeed,the weather was the only thing I wasnt sure about.I have both Osprey books at home,but better photos are in a book from Jean-Paul Pallud - Ardennes Album Memorial - splendid.There all problably all of them.Can send you some,if want..
But what I wanted to ask is the MG42 gunner - does he wear American Poncho and trousers?We had a long discussion with friends - and I think yes,although it is not claerly seen,but the material is different from german,also it is quite bigger and also on one photo he didnt fix his Y stripe..

Thanks

Robert
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phil mann
phil mann

January 2nd, 2003, 10:43 pm #6

If I were you I'd also post this in the Axis forum,their knowledge of anything remotely German is staggering!
check Axis forum for my latest reply.
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Ryan Spindell
Ryan Spindell

January 3rd, 2003, 5:38 pm #7

I am currently working on a Dragon set 6091 Ambush at Poteau and I am planing to add there a M8 Greyhound.
I would like to know if anybody knows what was the weather like on 18th December 1944, I know it was not snowing,but was there snow on the field? And also the M8 was abandoned or was it knocked out?

If anybody has more specific information about this event and details,I would be most grateful to know them.

Robert
Howdy all,
I have a book entitled, Nuts! The Battle of the Bulge. Goldstein, Dillon and Wenger This book has 30 photos of the "ambush" great reference. Shows how the whole thing was set up. Sorry I don't have a scanner right now. ISBN#0-02-881069-4 This might help you some. Good luck, Ryan.
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Gary Binder
Gary Binder

January 3rd, 2003, 5:55 pm #8

The book "Nuts" has an excellent series of photos on the Poteau incident. The authors did excellent research to show that half of the photos that are so often reproduced as showing the German army/SS in the advance are in fact posed with the troops "attacking" in the wrong direction! I agree that the photos make the weather seem cool, misty and damp. The Krauts are all bundled up in coats and scarves and the distant background looks very misty/foggy.

By the way, as well as equipment from the 18th Cavalry Recon Squadron (Mecz) of the 14th Cav Group, note that there are towed 3" guns from the 820th TD Bn (towed). The 3" guns were towed by M3A1 halftracks (which show in some of the photos).

Good luck.
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Ron Volstad
Ron Volstad

January 5th, 2003, 5:43 pm #9

Thank you very much indeed,the weather was the only thing I wasnt sure about.I have both Osprey books at home,but better photos are in a book from Jean-Paul Pallud - Ardennes Album Memorial - splendid.There all problably all of them.Can send you some,if want..
But what I wanted to ask is the MG42 gunner - does he wear American Poncho and trousers?We had a long discussion with friends - and I think yes,although it is not claerly seen,but the material is different from german,also it is quite bigger and also on one photo he didnt fix his Y stripe..

Thanks

Robert
Hi Robert,

When I was tasked to design the Poteau figure set, I looked at every photo and frame of film that I could find related to that action. None of them were clear enough to conclusively see just what that machine gunner was wearing.

Based on my 30 plus years experience researching such things, I could find little in the German inventory that came close to matching what he appeared to be wearing. That conclusion was supported by the fact that a few of his comrades were wearing or carrying items obviously pilfered from the abandoned convoy.
Given that it was definitely a cold, soggy day, it made sense that some extra clothing might be scrounged.

The physical appearance of that particular machine gunner was the next clue. His right suspender is unhooked from his MG parts pouch and the lid of that pouch was mis-fastened (with part of it tucked inside). None of this was conclusive but it did indicate that perhaps this gear had been recently adjusted. (Personal experience with German harness of WWII suggests that a fellow would not go long without noticing the unhooked strap).

Next began the search for what the possible clothing could be. The sheen given off the upper garment suggested something tightly woven or even rubberized
and GI ponchos came to mind. Obviously, the item worn wasn't as long as a poncho, but seeing the combat knife clipped into the gunners neck band suggested that he had some easy means of cutting down that poncho. I acquired several "beaters" from a surplus store and hacked away at them and put all the gear together on a friend to see if I was on the right track. It certainly looked good to me.

The trousers remain a mystery though. They appear to have knee patches. That's very uncommon to see on German trousers (but not unknown). German winter camoflage trousers had such knee patches, however since no others in his group are wearing ANY winter gear, it is probable that that wasn't the answer.
This gunner does appear in some distance shots in the film shot that day and the trousers appear to be more
likely a cotton product and they appear to have been gathered at the ankles (or perhaps simply too short for the fellow). It is simply my supposition that he grabbed a pair of GI M43 overtrousers (perhaps with knee patches added) from a jeep and pulled them on.

In the end, unless the fellow survived the war to recall that day, I doubt that we will ever know just what his gear was. I've given it MY best guess. Maybe I was close.

Cheers,
Ron V






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R schoenmakers
R schoenmakers

January 6th, 2003, 11:06 am #10

I am currently working on a Dragon set 6091 Ambush at Poteau and I am planing to add there a M8 Greyhound.
I would like to know if anybody knows what was the weather like on 18th December 1944, I know it was not snowing,but was there snow on the field? And also the M8 was abandoned or was it knocked out?

If anybody has more specific information about this event and details,I would be most grateful to know them.

Robert
Maybe you get some more info on
www.museum-poteau44.be
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