La Fiere questions.

La Fiere questions.

Garinek
Registered User
Garinek
Registered User
Joined: 05 Mar 2015, 06:43

05 Mar 2015, 06:43 #1

Hey guys,

I'm planning a trip to Normandy in May and this is my frist stop, La Fiere.  I have a few questions if you guys could lend me your expertise please.

1. Marcus Heim was on the manor said or the road, east of the bridge, next to the manor?  I've read accounts that say he was west of the bridge next to the bend in the road.  Any certainty on this?

2. The 91st Luftlande division was a Heer division and not a Luftwaffe, correct?

3. Any precise detail as to the location of the small arms including MG42 and mortars west of the causeway in Cauquigny?  I read that a mortar team was behind the church but that there were Germans in the hedgreows immedately to the left of the bridge facing west.  I imagine that any foxholes are now gone given that the hedgerows are considerably less dense and have been cleared.

4.  What is your guess as to the probability of the foxhole marked and "Slim Jim" Gavin's as actually being his foxhole?  To me it looks right as his line-of-site would have been perfect for watching the progress of the 325th before ordering Capt. Rae into action.

I apologize for any spelling errors.  I appreciate everyones input. 

- Garinek
Reply
Like

Scorpio58
Registered User
Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

05 Mar 2015, 15:23 #2

I think that I read somewhere that when Jumpin Jim Gavin saw the foxhole purporting to be "his" hole, he said something like he remembered urinating there but not necessarily his foxhole.............just sayin. I too am interested in many of the answers Garinek is seeking. "woody" had many good pieces of info on this battle and I've been waiting for many moons now for him to release a book on this battle. I thought that Heim was on the "far side" of the bridge closer to Cauguigny...........................sorry , wish I could be sure. There are several really good photos and a GREAT dissertation by Neils (Jpzr4 I believe is his posting handle) on this battle and a close examination of the knocked out tanks in particular. Especially in regard to the knocked out PzIII close to the bridge. That series of discussions are an absolute MUST for you to review before your trip to La Fiere!!! Johnny F
Reply
Like

Garinek
Registered User
Garinek
Registered User
Joined: 05 Mar 2015, 06:43

06 Mar 2015, 07:14 #3

Scorpio, Thanks for replying! This battle sure has me engrossed! I found in the thread you mentioned with Neils, that he had a link to another thread where he shares a lot of the same information and uses the men's accounts (ones that I've not read) to illustrate the battle. If you are interested in the 325th's push across the causeway I found the following document to be fascinating as well. http://www.history.army.mil/documents/W ... 25-LaF.htm
Reply
Like

Scorpio58
Registered User
Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

06 Mar 2015, 16:04 #4

The push across the causeway by the 325 GIR was epic. a vicious fight with a tenacious enemy in a very narrow corridor. A funnel of death! But men and leadership prevailed and the AIRBORNE won the day. My real compelling interest is in the time period when they were engaging the Panzer attack(s) and the desperate circumstance during that time when the outcome was so much in doubt.  One of the mysteries that still lingers with me is the use of a German truck that was used to block the approach to the bridge. Historical photos of the battle are few and its only through Neils outstanding detective work that the PzIII is identified and the pieces of the battle have become more in focus. Neils does an incredible job of piecing the photographic evidence together for a very convincing series of occurrences not just at the bridge but down the causeway to and into Cauguigny. He's incredibly knowledgeable and he seems to have cornered the market so to speak, on access on period "after the battle" type photos. As to the 325th's action "Woody" (Paul Woodage) was terrific in his knowledge of the battle and his presentation of same during my trip there in 2009. Thanks for the link and I look forward to reading it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Johnny F
 
Reply
Like

sirjahn
Registered User
sirjahn
Registered User
Joined: 11 Feb 2011, 20:41

06 Mar 2015, 18:34 #5

The 91st Luftlande Division was a Heer Division not Luftwaffe. It was supposed to be air transportable so all of it's artillery was reported to be of the mountain gun type. The 91st had the 100th Panzer Replacement Battalion operationally attached which is the source for most ex-French tanks and the Panzer IIIs attacking the airborne troops around La Fiere.
Last edited by sirjahn on 06 Mar 2015, 18:43, edited 1 time in total.
Dale
LTC USA Retired
Reply
Like

Jpz4
Registered User
Jpz4
Registered User
Joined: 18 Jan 2008, 05:59

06 Mar 2015, 18:47 #6

Actually, only the first two artillery battalions were re-equipped to be suitable for airlandings. III.Abt. was specifically excluded from this and remained a standard 25.Welle battalion, without mountain guns.
Reply
Like

adam517
Registered User
adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

09 Mar 2015, 00:02 #7

Roland Daniel of B/507 was miss-dropped East of the Merderet and was positioned on the bank at La Fiere close to where the Iron Mike statue is now, operating as part of an MG team. When we took him there in June last year he remarked on a number of occasions how Bazooka men on the opposite bank risked life and limb on numerous occasions to disable tanks. He recalled that the only orders he received from that position was to fire on anything that moved beyond the positions of the bazooka teams. His memory of the fighting there is sketchy, but as he stood up on the bank it slowly started coming back to him. The modest man that he is, he really spoke of the bravery of those bazooka teams.
Ignorance means life is lost.
Reply
Like

Garinek
Registered User
Garinek
Registered User
Joined: 05 Mar 2015, 06:43

11 Mar 2015, 05:13 #8

Thanks guys for the information.

Johnny - I tried and get a tour with Paul but is always booked solid and I can never plan that far ahead of time.

Dale - Thanks for answering one of my questions.

Neils - Just read your threads on this subject entirely. Thanks for the great research.

Adam- Thanks for that interesting note about Roland!
Reply
Like

Scorpio58
Registered User
Scorpio58
Registered User
Joined: 28 May 2009, 12:31

13 Mar 2015, 14:31 #9

Just a few suggestions..................firstly the entire area is very much like it was during the battle, so any contemporary photos you can get your hands on you should make copies and bring along ( "to study and compare" like an old grammar school literature assignment! :-) would be a good idea. In this regard see and copy if you can all of Neils stuff including the photos of all of the French tanks (Abt.100 I think) around and outside of what appears to be Cauqaigny. I wish I had his stuff when I was there. The photos around Cauqaigny are very interesting, and Neils suppositions are very compelling. Also, if you haven't already read the book , buy it and turn to the pages regarding LaFiere and  Heim's interview. I know I'll screw it up but the book is on the 82nd by a trooper that just died recently, Bob Murphy I think it was ....."No Better Place to Die" ( I think that's the name. ) If you are/were close to me I'd loan it to you. The Manoire (sic?) and the surrounding walls are remarkable for their similarity. Also, get some of the photos of the Manoire destroyed as a result of the battle. There is an overhead shot of the place nearly destroyed. There were MG nests around the back of the property and there were a few entries I recall about troopers being shot trough a break in one of the surrounding walls of the Manoire and the nearby building. Forgive my rambling but I get very excited and re-interested in this event especially when I find new people also interested in this area.  Thanks for tolerating my enthusiasm!     Regards,  Johnny F
Reply
Like

Garinek
Registered User
Garinek
Registered User
Joined: 05 Mar 2015, 06:43

14 Mar 2015, 07:21 #10

Scorpio58 wrote:Just a few suggestions..................firstly the entire area is very much like it was during the battle, so any contemporary photos you can get your hands on you should make copies and bring along ( "to study and compare" like an old grammar school literature assignment! :-) would be a good idea. In this regard see and copy if you can all of Neils stuff including the photos of all of the French tanks (Abt.100 I think) around and outside of what appears to be Cauqaigny. I wish I had his stuff when I was there. The photos around Cauqaigny are very interesting, and Neils suppositions are very compelling. Also, if you haven't already read the book , buy it and turn to the pages regarding LaFiere and  Heim's interview. I know I'll screw it up but the book is on the 82nd by a trooper that just died recently, Bob Murphy I think it was ....."No Better Place to Die" ( I think that's the name. ) If you are/were close to me I'd loan it to you. The Manoire (sic?) and the surrounding walls are remarkable for their similarity. Also, get some of the photos of the Manoire destroyed as a result of the battle. There is an overhead shot of the place nearly destroyed. There were MG nests around the back of the property and there were a few entries I recall about troopers being shot trough a break in one of the surrounding walls of the Manoire and the nearby building. Forgive my rambling but I get very excited and re-interested in this event especially when I find new people also interested in this area.  Thanks for tolerating my enthusiasm!     Regards,  Johnny F
My thoughts exactly.  I am creating a binder with laminated photos of all my stops including notes of the events so I don't have to read through pages of material that I am already doing now.  Angoville au Plain is also another area I am going to spend a lot of time in after having read Pauls "Angels of Mercy."
Reply
Like